Q: Coolant leaking from reservoir

asked by on February 26, 2016

The car was running good until I heard something pop. When I checked under the hood, I saw that the radiator neck was broken and the hose was detached. I had the radiator replaced and the car drove fine after that with no warnings. If I drive more than two miles, the car overheats. The coolant leaks from the reservoir, but I am not sure why.

Hello. It sounds like when the radiator neck broke off, the engine got overheated. It is common on most modern cars that have aluminum cylinder heads the head gasket will fail soon after overheating. If your head gaskets have failed, this would cause overheating and coolant loss. There are some tests that can be done to see if the head gasket is blown. The easiest one to look at is the coolant’s color. If the gasket has failed bad enough, the coolant will have mixed with the oil giving off the color of chocolate milk. If your car has a dipstick, pull the dipstick and see if it looks like chocolate milk. If it looks like regular oil (clear tan to a black), the other testing must be performed. Since some of this testing will require a running engine and might have to do with hot coolant, a mechanic may be needed to confirm a blown head gasket.

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