Is it Safe to Drive With a Cracked Radiator?

The radiator in your vehicle is used for cooling the internal combustion of the engine. Coolant is passed through the engine block, the heat is absorbed, and then fed into the radiator. The hot coolant is passed through the radiator, which cools it down and dissipates the heat. Without the radiator, the engine could overheat causing damage to the vehicle.

Some things to watch out for include:

  • Coolant puddle: One sign of a cracked radiator is leaking coolant. The coolant fluid is red or green in color, so if you see a puddle of this under your vehicle, contact a mechanic as soon as possible. The coolant is toxic to both humans and animals so be careful if you have small kids or pets. Do not drive with leaking coolant.

  • Overheating engine: Since the radiator cools the engine, a cracked radiator may not cool the engine like it is supposed to. This can cause the engine heat to rise, and eventually the vehicle will overheat. If your vehicle overheats, pull over to the side of the road right away as driving with an overheating engine can cause more damage to your engine.

  • Constant need to refill: If you constantly have to put coolant in your vehicle, this may be a sign you have a cracked radiator and it is leaking. The coolant needs to be refilled on a regular basis, but if you are filling it up more than normal, this may be a sign something is wrong with your radiator. You should have your coolant system checked before you continue to drive.

  • Replace your radiator: If your radiator is cracked, it may need to be replaced depending on the severity of the damage. A mechanic will be able to let you know how bad the crack is, and whether they will be able to repair it or if the entire radiator will need to be replaced.

  • Keep your coolant fresh: To keep your radiator in good working condition, change the coolant on a regular basis. If you do not change your coolant enough, the radiator can start to corrode and crack over time. This can cause the radiator to leak and the engine to overheat.

A cracked radiator can be dangerous to drive with because the engine may overheat. A cracked radiator does not allow the proper amount of coolant to reach the engine, which causes the overheating. Contact the professionals at YourMechanic to make the correct diagnosis and to repair the radiator properly.


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Recent Car Radiator Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

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Rating Summary
1,913
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16
41
1,913
67
7
16
41

Mathew

6 years of experience
54 reviews
Mathew
6 years of experience
Ford Expedition V8-5.4L - Radiator - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
My experience was amazing! He was on time, he was very professional, he told me everything that he was gonna do with my truck! All around great experience.
Nissan Murano - Radiator - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
My experience with Mathew was great. He arrived early to replace the radiator and hoses as well as flush the coolant system on my 2009 nissan murano sl (appointment time was between 10:00am-10:15am and he arrived at 9:45). He is very friendly, professional, respectful, courteous and knowledgeable, and had did an excellent job with the repair of my vehicle. I will definitely book all of my appointments with him from now on. I highly recommend Mathew for all of your vehicles repairs and maintenance needs.

Jason

32 years of experience
507 reviews
Jason
32 years of experience
BMW 325i L6-3.0L - Radiator - Redwood City, California
This man might have been the best mobile mechanic I've seen yet. He arrived with minutes to spare. My other mechanics on this website have been 1 hour later and some even cancel, but Jason didn't. Along with showing up early, he diagnosed the problem fast and began working. He was very friendly towards me and didn't mind me talking to him while he worked. He did everything right and completed the repair at and in efficient time. I will recommend Jason to any of my friends who needs a very knowledgeable mechanic!

Jonathan

35 years of experience
483 reviews
Jonathan
35 years of experience
Nissan Xterra V6-3.3L - Radiator - Brooksville, Florida
Professional and knowledgeable. Worked through the rain to repair shoddy work done by mechanic not associated with YourMechanic. Will always request him!

Sebastian

5 years of experience
110 reviews
Sebastian
5 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz ML320 V6-3.2L - Radiator - Boca Raton, Florida
He was a true professional. He identified the problems with the car and made fixes accordingly. He was easy to deal with

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