When your car's engine overheats, the first thing that comes to mind is that your radiator might be leaking. This can be traced back to the radiator's cooling process, where a stabilized system is necessary. Maintaining a balanced radiator is the radiator crossmember's job. When the crossmember breaks, it is advisable to replace it immediately to prevent further engine damage.
Materials that matter
Knowing which material suits your vehicle's radiator is essential in choosing a new radiator support crossmember. Identify your car's make, model, and year, and refer to your car's manual to see the list of materials that fit your vehicle.
Replacement radiator support crossmembers are made of either steel or aluminum. With a primered finish, both materials almost offer the same benefits. Their price gap remains close. Crossmembers made of aluminum cost around $180 while those made of steel cost around $200.
However, if you don't want to bother checking if the materials would fit your vehicle or not, you can always get a crossmember replacement from your manufacturer. With a few bucks more, you're sure to get a crossmember that fits your car and is covered with your car brand's warranty.
If you're a budget-conscious DIYer, then price is a major factor in choosing a radiator support crossmember. Different brands offer different prices, and different prices are matched with varying levels of quality. The usual price for aftermarket crossmembers ranges from $49.59 to $205.48. Be suspicious if you are offered a price lower than $40, since it may be a low-quality product.
Buying during a clearance sale is another way of getting crossmembers at a relatively low price. An original price of $50.64 can drop down to $22.88 only. Though these clearance products tend to be old stocks, they're still as good as new in terms of quality-performance.