Can you still drive a car with a cracked radiator

Driving Car with No Water in Radiator & Cracked Radiator

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Is driving car with no water in radiator an ok practice? This and a lot of other questions come to a divers mind when they are running low on coolant.

In this article we are going to discuss how to fix a cracked radiator metal, is it ok to driving car with no water and coolant in radiator and Can you still drive a car with a cracked radiator

The cooling system of every car needs coolant to prevent overheating. The coolant is mostly added to the radiator for it to function properly.

Here is the highlight of what we are going to consider in this post.

  • driving car with no water in radiator
  • how to fix a cracked radiator metal
  • Can you still drive a car with a cracked radiator
  • how long can you drive with water in radiator

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Driving Car with No Water in Radiator (Can You Still Drive a Car With a Cracked Radiator)

A mixture of water and coolant is needed for this purpose. It is advisable to add this mixture rather than just adding water.

So is water same as coolant? Well, the answer no and that is due to the fact that coolant has a higher composition which helps it avert heat.

This is the reason water is quick to boil when used solely for car radiator and this might cause the car engine to overheat.

However, if you are stuck somewhere and there is no coolant in sight, you can manage to use water for the time being.

The role of the radiator is to maintain the temperature of the engine so as to avoid overheating.

To do this, the radiator circulates coolant through the engine. When you use a coolant, it gets rid of heat from the engine and goes into the atmosphere with the help of your radiator.

The coolant performs its job whether it is in hot or cold weather.

The temperature stays hot when it is too cold and cold when it is too hot. Without the function of the radiator, the engine of a car will become damaged, as a result of overheating.

To prevent engine damage and maintain a long life span for your car, ensure you maintain the temperature of your car.

If your coolant runs out, it is possible that your engine will shut off immediately depending on the car you are using.

When this happens, you may not be able to drive the car without cooling it.

The sign of a low coolant that you should watch out for is the warning light on your dashboard.

Once you notice it, it is advisable you stop driving, and add water if you cannot mix it with a coolant that moment

Driving a car with no water in the radiator

Coolant is needed to get the radiator functioning properly. The coolant is usually a mixture of antifreeze and water.

When you apply it in the needed measurement, it works to make your engine function properly.

The coolant eliminates your engine’s excess heat and uses the radiator to transfer them to the atmosphere.

Another function of the coolant is that it keeps things hot when it is cold and vice versa.

Your car running out of coolant is not something you should overlook, as it may cause extensive damage to the engine.

This is mostly the problem of old cars. You need to watch out for the signs or risk damaging your engine. For those with modern cars, there is a feature which the engine control unit has.

 It turns off your car to prevent any more damage from happening. Some of the components that are at risk as a result of failure of coolants are water pumps, cylinder heads, crank, engine cylinder, connector rods, and head gaskets.

If you notice that your temperature gauge is abnormally high, then there might be a problem with your coolant.

For those using recent cars, whenever your engine begins to cut off suddenly, it may be a sign that you are out of coolant.

 It will be difficult to move the car unless something is done to it. If your engine is damaged, it will cost you more than you can imagine.

This is the reason why you need to take the management of your car seriously. Make it a hobby to check the coolant level of your car and top it when necessary.

You can also flush it out for refill when necessary. If you also discover that a coolant is leaking, do not neglect it. Try to find a solution as soon as possible.

Can you still drive a car with a cracked radiator?

There are so many things that could crack a radiator. It may be that the thermostat is damaged which is then letting lots of coolant into the radiator.

Although adding coolant to the radiator is important, it needs to be the right measurement. If you add too much, it could cause high pressure and cause the radiator to break.

Another cause of it is whenever you experience a leaking head gasket. The head gasket is very costly to fix. The radiator also has a high probability of cracking during hot seasons.

This is due to the fact that it works harder to make the coolant cool. This does not mean it is safe during cold weather either.

When the weather is abnormally cold, it can cause the radiator fluid to expand thereby cracking the radiator.

If you notice that the coolant is leaking then, you most probably have a cracked radiator. After parking your car overnight or for a few hours, you will notice a yellowish fluid on the floor.

The coolant may come in different colors. You can also find out if you see that your low coolant light comes on or the coolant level drops drastically.

Now, the answer to the question, it is not safe to drive a car that has a cracked radiator as the engine risks overheating which could cause more damage.

Damaging the engine could be very dangerous as it could lead to car crash. An overheated car can also catch fire. In addition, it is very costly to fix.

You will need to spend more than what you would have spent to repair the radiator. If you notice that steam is coming out from the hood of your car, you need to stop driving and stay away from it as fast as you can.

How to fix a cracked radiator metal

Unless you have experience repairing a radiator, it is advisable to leave the job for experts. The cost of fixing a radiator can be between $100 and $900.

If you go to a local automobile store, you will come across kits that have been designed to fix cracks in radiators.

All you need to do is to follow the step to step directions. Repairing it should take about 30 minutes or less.

As long as you ensure that you do not make any mistake then, your radiator will be back to new in no time.

if you still insist on fixing your crank radiator yourself. then you may want to follow this video tutorial below.

How Long Can you Drive with Water in Radiator

What is not total replacement for your coolant however when you run out of coolant and your car vehicle is overheating while on a journey, you may use water to keep car engine serve.

But how long you can drive with only water in radiator of your car engine during this journey can range from anywhere around 15 to 30 max.

When you go beyond this time frame, you stand a chance of hutting your engine except you keep topping water till you get to your destination.


This post explained some of the reasons why you should not drive your car without coolant (antifreeze and water).  We have shown you what to expect when driving car with no water in radiator and why you truly need coolant and not just water plus how to fix a cracked radiator metal.

And finally we responded to these 2 question you might be concerned about “can you still drive a car with a cracked radiator” and how long can you drive with water in radiator?

Your final take here is to never drive your car without coolant in radiator and as temporary substitute; you may use water until you can purchase a proper coolant while on journey.

Ensure to always check your coolant level in order to prevent damage of your engine.

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