Q: My radiator is froze and I'm going to take it to a friend's heated garage in the morning. Any advice on what to and not to do?

asked by on January 02, 2018

My radiator had the wrong fluids instead of 50/50. Frozen water in the radiator and the car will run but overheat pretty quickly. I managed to put some antifreeze in one of the hoses that is connected to the radiator, so there is some in the system (nearly an entire bottle of 50/50)

I am taking it to a friends heated garage in the morning. I am going to warm it up for a few hours and attempt to remove the wrong fluids and allow the antifreeze to cycle (?) through.

Any advice would be welcome and greatly appreciated.

My car has 126000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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Hi Chris. Thanks for contacting us today. There are a few things that I would recommend. First, it would be better to NOT start the vehicle until the fluids have been fully melted. If the engine isn’t able to flow the coolant through the motor, the engine will overheat - and possibly damage the head gasket and other major internal components. The best option is to tow the vehicle to your friend’s house and allow it to thaw for a few days. You can use a hair dryer to thaw the fluids in the radiator, coolant tubes, and water pump, but be careful not to burn any coolant tubes. Once this has been completed, flush the coolant system completely and make sure to correctly bleed the coolant system as recommended by GM (as there are likely to be several air bubbles). If you don’t feel comfortable completing any part of this process, it is better advised to have a professional mobile mechanic flush the radiator and coolant system or replace the radiator entirely.

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