I noticed my radiator was dry after three weeks of driving my car after i got it back from the dealer, they replaced my water pump. I just discovered this tonight after my check engine light came on. Do I have them come pick up my car or should I pay for the tow myself? I am wondering how much damage may and could happen due to their mistake.

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    Are you sure they failed to replace the coolant? It sounds more like they left you with a leak. – Chenmunka Jun 15 '16 at 7:43
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    You probably need legal advice, not repair advice here. All we can tell you is that the damage induced by driving with no coolant can be terminal. Though don't come to a quick conclusion that they forgot to put coolant in after a water pump replacement. Maybe it's leaking. Also, usually driving with no coolant shows signs of overheating, not a check engine light. – I have no idea what I'm doing Jun 15 '16 at 7:43
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    The new water pump is probably holding pressure much better than the old one, and now it's made other leaks more apparent. However, if your engine light came on after it cooking itself with no fluid, I think you'll be in for a lot of repairs. – Aaron Lavers Jun 15 '16 at 8:34
  • Did the car actually overheat? What was the check engine light for? How did you determine the cooling system (radiator) is "dry"? – CharlieRB Jun 16 '16 at 16:52

It is unlikely that you would be able to drive a car without coolant for three weeks. I suspect what actually happened is that there was a coolant leak, possibly (probably) as a result of the work carried out to your car.

It's likely to have been a small leak and it's taken three weeks for what remained of the coolant to seep away.

What I would say is to stop driving the car immediately. I'd contact the Toyota dealer straight away. If they don't instantly cover the cost of recovery plus any repairs, contact Toyota head office.

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    It's also possible that they filled the system, didn't burp the air out of it and the air's made it to the top of the radiator. – Blrfl Jun 15 '16 at 16:40
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    @Birfil My thoughts exactly... and the OP's version of "dry" may be a lot different than mine. If it's missing a quart, the fins that are visible through the neck might appear dry. – SteveRacer Jun 15 '16 at 17:06

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