Driving A Car With A Radiator Leak
Written by Craig B

Driving A Car With A Radiator Leak

The radiator in your vehicle serves the purpose of keeping the engine cool during operation. If your radiator has a leak, though, this can be a major issue, causing you to lose coolant. This can then force your engine to overheat, resulting in long-term issues. Removing coolant from the engine transfers heat through coils into the engine. If there was not a leak, the cool air would flow back into the engine, preventing it from overheating. Read on to see if it is safe to drive if you have a radiator leak in your car.

Leaking Radiator

Coolants have typical colors of green, pink and sometimes orange. Pay attention to fluids under your car of these specific colors, as this could be a sign of a radiator leak. Additionally, there is a sweeter smell the coolant gives off, so you may be able to notice this as well. If you observe one of these two things, it is highly recommended you contact a local mechanic as soon as you possibly can. They will then inspect the vehicle to see if there are any coolant leaks.

If your coolant levels drop too low due to a radiator leak, there should be a low coolant signal on your dash alerting you of the problem. You may also see a temperature light starting to increase; this is a clear indication that you have a leak. Simply put, these two signals mean your car will most likely overheat very soon.

Vehicles that overheat constantly indicate that your car most likely is experiencing leakage. When realizing your vehicle is overheating, turn on the heater as high as possible to relieve some of the stress off the engine. In the instance that your gauge does not give or go down, you need to pull over immediately. Pop your hood and look at what is going on. Do not open the radiator cap, as this can be severely dangerous. Opening this has the possibility to spray hot liquid in your face. This does have the potential to be fatal. Give your local mechanic a call immediately to have an inspection done on the overheating issue within the vehicle.

Repairing A Radiator Leak

Vehicle radiator leaks can be easily repaired by mechanics, typically. This, of course, does depend on the seriousness of the leak. Coolant leaks can potentially cause extensive damages to the radiator resulting in a costly repair. Driving with coolant leaks is dangerous, and will likely cause engines to begin overheating. As mentioned previously, if you are operating the vehicle and notice signals of engine overheating, we ask that you please pull over and let your car cool itself down and call a mechanic. Radiator leaks can be serious issues if not dealt with correctly and it is highly advised to have the vehicle reviewed by a mechanic at your earliest convenience.


We offer a full range of auto transmission repair and replacement services from automatic transmission to manual transmission to the entire Phoenix Metro area.

*Disclaimer – This is not an actual quote. Your transmission repair or replacement cost could be different than the prices you see on this guide. The only way to get an actual estimate is by searching for transmission repair and replacement shops near you. Contact Automatic Transmission Exchange if you are in the Phoenix area and need transmission repair or replacement.