....I didn't know my radiator cap was loose till I saw my car overheating...eventually it wouldn't accelerate as I pulled over n opened the hood I saw it was missin n their was radiator fluid everywhere....now it won't even start...what damage Iam I looking at?


1 Answer 1


It pretty much depends on how much you drove this way. If there is less coolant the car will heat up the remaining coolant a lot quicker, and once it reaches a hot enough temperature, most modern cars will display an error or warning, or a simple thermometer warning light will turn on and they won't let the car rev further so that the engine won't get any hotter. If this is the case you might have gotten away easily but i do not think you got that lucky. Once the engine gets hot enough (and you keep driving) and the coolant doesn't do its job because it s just not enough of it to cool the engine down, in which case the remaining coolant simply boils. Usually in a gasoline engine it can be a minor issue as it might only mean you need to replace a few gaskets (i do not know their names, i m not a native speaker), but it can also mean that the engine has seized, meaning damage to the pistons (some might actually become scrap metal as they re so damaged that the cylinder (which can also be damaged) will have low compression, a.k.a. dead engine or on its way out. In my experience (just seing cars break down) a diesel which had the coolant boil is in big trouble. The repair cost i a lot greater than the one for a gasoline engine, but again, it depends on the wear of the engine. Go get your car checked by a qualified mechanic and take a compression test. This is the most relevant test that tells you how much the engine has been damaged (if it has been damaged at all). As for the radiator... seal the leaks and get a new cap and gasket.

Please keep in mind that i am no mechanic and i am talking out of personal experience (my water cooled motorcycle engine seized because of a similar problem).

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