Coolant leak and motor sounding strange

Today while driving I heard a sound like I had hit something, which I hadn’t. When I pulled into my driveway I noticed the engine sounded strange. I probably hadn’t noticed it while driving because the air conditioning blower was on high. I turned off the engine and restarted. It sounded normal for about 3 seconds before the louder, sick sounding buzz or low whine began again. I went into the house for a while to tell my husband and take care of a couple of things. When I went back out, there was coolant leaked out from the engine. I opened the hood and discovered the coolant lid was blown open. That was probably the noise I had heard.

So what do you think about the engine sounding sick? What could cause that? Oh yes…we have had coolant/radiator issues before and had repaired or replaced radiators, but never like this. I think there is maybe some major damage. I am concerned about even driving the 7 miles in town to have it looked at.

I Don’t Know If There’s Anything To Add. You’ve Done Great, Right Down To The Justified Concern About Driving It.

Just curious, though. You didn’t have any over-heat warning at all until you got home . . . no warning lights (check engine or coolant temp.), high temperature gauge, steam, pinging . . . nothing ?


Do not drive this. You’ve overheated the engine. The coolant has blown out. Not starting it again until it’s repaired might still save the engine, driving it in this condition can only destroy it. Have it towed.

By “coolant lid” do you mean the pop-on plastic lid on the plastic reservoire?

The sick whining sound might be the water pump. It’s failure may have been the root cause of the entire fiasco. It’s hard to tell from here.

It could have been registering a high temperature without me noticing, but if it overheats toward the red zone, I get a warning bell. If it goes into the red zone, the warning bell (dinging noise) is constant. I did not get any warning bells. I also did not look at the temperature gauge.

Yes, the “coolant lid” is the pop-on plastic reservoir lid.

I hope the 2-3 miles I drove before getting home have not done more damage. Thanks for the insight and help.