Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Popping sound in the radiator

asked by on

When the temperature gets high the radiator on the driver's side starts making a popping sound. I can actually see the top of the radiator move a little bit each time that it pops. There's also a gurgling and whooshing sound coming from the upper radiator hose. The car doesn't ever overheat and you can still hear the sounds even after the car is turned off. What could be causing it to make that sound?

My car has 179472 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The noise is the coolant is turning into steam due to low amount of coolant to water concentrations. The ratio should be 50% coolant to 50% distilled water or just purchase a 50/50 coolant that is already mixed. Since you say your engine is not overheating then this is the most likely cause of the popping since these engines may get over waters boiling point of 212 degrees F. Have your coolant replaced if it tests with a low boil point meaning it is not mixed correctly. Once it is drained you may want to replace the thermostat also. This is just in case it is not opening all the way or at the correct temperature. If you need help with either of these issues a certified technician from YourMechanic can come to either your home or place of business to make repairs.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: My car randomly stalls

This may be related to a dirty or failing idle air control valve. The idle air control valve reads the air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into the engine at low speeds and at...

Q: 2002 Chevy Malibu won't start

The anti-theft indicator is supposed to come on for three seconds when the ignition key is cycled, then go out. Since you said the indicator went out, it doesn't sounds like the anti-theft system is the problem. If you have...

Q: Every three months, catalytic converter and muffler must be replaced

I would start with checking the O2 sensor. This is what relays exhaust gas changes to the vehicle's computer. When this sensor is not working correctly, incorrect or misdiagnosed air/fuel mixtures are relayed to the vehicle's computer causing incorrect changes...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...