Q: Car squealing when I add water to the radiator

asked by on February 14, 2016

I hear a metal-on-metal squealing sound. It happens intermittently when I am adding water to the radiator.

The noise you are hearing is cold water hitting hot metal and turning to steam, like a steam whistle. You may have an intake or head gasket leaking where the head and intake meet in the front, or back, of the top of your motor. This is very common. I recommend that you have a mechanic, like the ones from YourMechanic, come by to verify the source of the squealing noise; a pressure test may be done to see if your engine has the leaks I described.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

What others are asking

I have a 2006 Nissan Maxima and have been told the valve covers are plastic, so they have to be replaced. They cannot replace jus

Hi there. As far as I'm aware, the valve covers on a V6 3.5 Liter Nissan engine are made of steel and not plastic or a polymer. If the valve cover was a strong polymer (or plastic), the valve cover...

Radiator/coolant

Be sure not to drive the car if it is overheating because overheating can warp the cylinder head and/or engine block causing costly damage. The most common causes of overheating include low coolant level, a faulty thermostat, a plugged radiator,...

My brake pedal is rock hard and extremely hard to press to get the car to stop...what might be wrong with it?

Your supposition is a reasonable one. That is, if there is no mechanical or hydraulic fault with the brake components, then the power assist is probably not working. The booster could be leaking, the internal valving defective, a bad check...

Why is the paint coming off?

This particular concern of yours hits close to home for me, as I am one to love a shiny clean car with nice paint! As a fellow Honda owner, I am quite familiar with the paint deterioration issues Honda has...

Squealing sounds when the truck is under load

Hello. Firstly, I suggest checking for vacuum leaks, the turbo piping for leaks, and the exhaust tubing that goes to the EGR valve for any cracks. Any of those conditions could cause high pitched noises. I've noticed that a few...

Hard to shift transmission

Hello there, many different faults can cause your 2006 Land Rover Range Rover to have hard shifting. The most common would be low transmission fluid, faulty shift solenoid, valve body failure, a wiring harness fault, or a transmission control module...

Radiator fan running max

The issue you are having is either an electrical issue, or it is a cooling problem. The first step to take is to have the vehicle scanned for diagnostic troubleshooting codes. If the computer detects an issue, you will see...

When I accelerate, my car hesitates, the rpms bounce, and sometimes i have a missfire flashing CEL

Hello and thank you for your question. With having your engine with bank 1 being lean (lack of fuel), the symptoms are showing that there is a problem with fuel delivery or excessive heat. If the EGR valve was to...

Car keeps overheating

A common failure item on your BMW is the water pump; the impeller that spins to circulate the coolant breaks off. This can be verified, without removing the pump, through an inspection of the cooling system for proper circulation. Although...

Related articles

How to Repair a Leaking Car Radiator
The radiator is the start of your car’s cooling system. Coolant from the engine travels through tubes in the radiator. These tubes are surrounded...
A Buyer's Guide to the 2012 Buick Regal eAssist
Although Although a lot changed about the Buick Regal in 2012, the addition of a hybrid model was definitely the biggest head turner. Whether you want to do your part for the environment or simply save at the pump, this...
A Buyer's Guide to the 2012 Buick Regal
The The 2012 Buick Regal is definitely not the Regal of yesteryear you may have heard your grandparents fawn over. This mid-size sedan has a lot of modern features that start at the engine and stretch all the way to...