What Are Brass Radiators & Where Do They Come From?

brass radiator

Scrapping brass radiators can be a profitable endeavor if done correctly. Understanding where to find these radiators, how to clean and upgrade them, and where to get the best deals can significantly increase your earnings. Below is a detailed guide on maximizing your profits when scrapping brass radiators.

What Are Brass Radiators?

A brass radiator is a type of heat exchanger used to cool engines. It circulates coolant through a network of tubes and fins, which absorb and dissipate heat away from the engine, preventing it from overheating. The role of the brass is to transfer heat from the engine coolant to the air, effectively reducing the engine’s temperature.

Where Can You Find Scrap Brass Radiators?

Some common scrap sources include:

Identifying Your Brass Radiators

Whereas your standard aluminum radiator will be relatively lightweight and whiteish, Brass radiators are typically heavier and have a distinct dark yellow color. They can be confirmed as brass by scratching the surface with a file and checking for a yellow or reddish hue underneath.

Remember to keep your magnet handy as well. Hit the ends and frames of the radiator to see what the magnet sticks to. Often, you’ll find a Steel frame, but you may end up having Brass there, too!

Clean Your Brass Radiator Before Scrapping

The ends of these radiators are made of various metals, so you can quickly get downgraded if you don’t check to see what the rest of the radiator is made of. Be sure to drain your fluids before scrapping them, as well as cut the steel ends and add them to your Steel or Light Iron pile. Most scrap yards will not accept or will downgrade the material if the fluid and steel are still part of the unit.

Benefits of Cleaning Scrap Brass Radiators

  • Higher Scrap Value: Clean brass radiators fetch a better price per pound than dirty ones.
  • Easier Handling: Less weight from Steel and less mess from any liquid contaminants will always make transport and movement easier.
  • Environmental Responsibility: Proper cleaning ensures that hazardous materials are removed, reducing environmental impact.

How to Clean and Upgrade Your Brass Radiators

Properly cleaning and upgrading your brass radiators requires a few tools and a bit of know-how. Luckily, the process is nearly identical to stripping and cleaning a standard copper or aluminum radiator. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.

Invest In Yourself
DEWALT Reciprocating Saw
$149.00 $117.99
Buy Now
We earn a commission when you buy, with no additional cost.
06/12/2024 05:51 pm GMT
Southwire Outdoor Extension Cord 50ft
$44.00 $37.22 ($0.74 / Foot)
Buy Now
We earn a commission when you buy, with no additional cost.
03/14/2024 02:25 am GMT
SAFEAT Cut Resistant Work Gloves
$9.98 $8.98
Buy Now
We earn a commission when you buy, with no additional cost.
03/14/2024 02:31 am GMT
WORKPRO 10" Durable Steel File
Buy Now
We earn a commission when you buy, with no additional cost.
05/21/2024 02:23 pm GMT


  1. Identify and Sort Your Radiators: Secure it to your workbench or table once checked.
  2. Use a File To Identify if it’s Brass: Some radiators will be aluminum (silver in color), so using your file to scrape away any material for that yellow brass color will help you identify it.
  3. Pour Out Any Liquid Contaminants: They may still have fluid, depending on how you sourced your radiators. Be sure to find a hazardous waste depot near you that can safely dispose of this liquid.
  4. Cut and Remove Steel or Plastic Ends: Using a Sawzall, carefully cut along the edges of the radiator to remove any steel or plastic ends. Ensure you wear safety glasses and gloves for protection!

Getting The Best Scrap Brass Prices

Getting the best price for your brass radiators involves research and work. Firstly, if you follow the above cleaning steps, you are already upgrading your prices.

Secondly, we recommend heading to the iScrap App and looking up your nearby yards and seeing their reported prices for their brass. If you find a yard close to you that has prices in the ballpark you were looking for, call them to confirm, and you’re all set to go!

If you don’t find any local yards that accept brass, look up Brass Radiators and let the app populate the closest yards to you that will take them, as seen on the right.

Remember! Scrapping brass radiators can be a lucrative activity if done right. By following these steps and tips, you can maximize your profits and get the best possible deal for your efforts.