Is it Safe to Drive With a Radiator Leak?

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The radiator helps to keep your engine cool. If your radiator is leaking, coolant will be lost and the engine will have the potential to overheat. The coolant removes heat from the engine by transferring the heat through a series of coils. The cooled air flows back into the engine to prevent it from overheating. You should not be driving the vehicle anywhere, and should have a mobile mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, inspect and potentially replace your radiator, as the car will be prone to overheating.

If you believe you have a leaking radiator, here are some things to consider:

  • Coolant tends to be green, pink, or orange in color. If you see any of these fluids on the garage floor underneath of your vehicle, you may have a radiator leak. In addition, a sweet smell accompanies the coolant. If you notice these two things, contact a mechanic as soon as possible to have your vehicle inspected for a coolant/radiator leak.

  • If the coolant level drops too much because of a radiator leak, a low coolant light will come on. In addition to the low coolant light, if you have a rising temperature gauge, this can also mean a radiator leak. These two signs combined can signify your vehicle may overheat very soon.

  • If your vehicle constantly overheats, this is another sign that your car may have a radiator leak. When you notice your vehicle overheating, turn on the heater as high as it can go to transfer some load off of the engine. If your temperature gauge does not go down, pull over to the side of the road immediately. Open the hood of the vehicle, but do not open the radiator cap, as this is extremely dangerous. Opening the radiator cap can cause hot liquid to spray in your face, causing burn injuries that are potentially fatal. Contact a mechanic right away to have your car's overheating problem inspected.

  • Radiator leaks can be repaired by a professional mechanic. Depending on the severity of the leak, the area can be sealed or the entire radiator may need to be replaced. Do not drive far with a radiator leak as it can cause further damage to your engine, which can mean a more extensive repair.

Driving with a radiator leak is a dangerous operation, as it will very likely cause your engine to overheat. If you are driving down the road and notice your engine is overheating, pull over immediately and let the vehicle cool down. A radiator leak can be a very serious issue and you should look to have this taken care of by a certified mechanic as soon as possible.


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Recent Coolant is leaking Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Coolant is leaking Inspection Service

Average Rating

4.8/5

Number of Reviews

1,213

Rating Summary
1,123
39
5
11
35
1,123
39
5
11
35

Robert

19 years of experience
674 reviews
Robert
19 years of experience
Mini Cooper - Coolant is leaking - Commerce City, Colorado
Robert is the Man! I would use him at any point needed and I will let my friends and family know as well.
Ford Focus - Coolant is leaking - Erie, Colorado
Perfect. As a single woman, I'm ALWAYS fearful of being ripped off. I felt very comfortable with Robert & his advise.

Chris

21 years of experience
1713 reviews
Chris
21 years of experience
BMW 325Ci - Coolant is leaking - Murrieta, California
Chris was very professional and courteous. Very honest with his recommendations and knowledgeable. Would definitely refer Chris to friends and family!
Saab 9-3 - Coolant is leaking - San Juan Capistrano, California
I appreciated that Chris arrived earlier than appointment time. He was very knowledgeable, professional and personable and provided me with all the information I needed regarding what my car needed to fix the problem. I would highly recommend Chris!

Oscar

15 years of experience
88 reviews
Oscar
15 years of experience
Nissan Altima - Coolant is leaking - Houston, Texas
I truly appreciate the fact that he wasn't just on time, he was early. No one wants to be without their vehicle in this busy city. He was able to tell me what was wrong and what needed to be done. His thorough inspection let me know the time frame other things needed to be done in order for me to keep reliable transportation. Thanks Oscar.

Simon

26 years of experience
52 reviews
Simon
26 years of experience
Volkswagen Passat - Coolant is leaking - Temple Hills, Maryland
Simon arrived on time, ready to work. I booked two services, however my 02 sensors were seized which requires heat to remove. Even though Simon was unable to complete the service, choosing caution over just proceeding and possibly causing more damage, he gave me great advice on what needed to be done. Simon inspected my coolant leak and Simon also gave me great advice about my exhaust manifold resonator upon visual inspection while trying to replace my 02 sensors. Overall I'm happy to know at least some of my issues with the car, instead of being in the dark.

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