Is it Safe to Drive With a Radiator Leak?

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

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Matthew

9 years of experience
38 reviews
Matthew
9 years of experience
Mitsubishi Montero Sport V6-3.0L - Coolant is leaking - Denver, Colorado
As always. Matt is thorough and honest!! I hate it when I need him, but Matt is the ONLY mechanic I want messing with my car.
Mitsubishi Montero Sport - Coolant is leaking - Denver, Colorado
Matt is so awesome!! He came, pressure tested the cooling system, and found the leak, then fixed it. I was in a bind, and he really saved me. I would HIGHLY recommend MATT!!!!!!

Collins

12 years of experience
488 reviews
Collins
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox V6-3.0L - Coolant is leaking Inspection - Atlanta, Georgia
He was great. He informed me about the issues I had with my car even giving me suggests about what to do with it.
BMW 650i - Coolant is leaking - Woodstock, Georgia
Collins showed up as expected and accessed the issue I had with my car. I initially assumed it was my radiator, but after an inspection of my car is was found to be a hose that needed to be replaced. He was very thorough with his diagnosis and pinpointing the exact issue. I am fully pleased with his service and professionalism.

Raymond

27 years of experience
223 reviews
Raymond
27 years of experience
Mini Cooper L4-1.6L - Coolant is leaking - Victorville, California
Raymond was great! I didn't feel like his recommendations for other services are forced which I really appreciate. Will definitely use his services again!

Jose

12 years of experience
49 reviews
Jose
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Classic L4-2.2L - Coolant is leaking - Riverside, California
Jose provided extraordinary customer service. He explained the issues with my vehicle and was professional and polite.

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