I’ve got an '08 Cobalt. There is a large leak in my coolant system. The plastic reservoir is empty and if I add coolant and start the engine it all gushes out of a hole in a piece of plastic on the side of the radiator. Can I drive it to the shop if I watch the engine temperature or should I have it towed? Is the engine temperature measurement affected by the lack of coolant?
If it is gushing at a high rate (you say “it all gushes out”), then a tow is in order. You didn’t tell us how far to the garage, either, which could make a difference.
if it were a very slow or minor leak you could probably get away with driving it a little ways.
if as you state it is gushing then have it towed. do not take a chance and basically ruin a motor to the tune of a few thousand dollars in damage
To be more specific, when I say it gushed out, all of the coolant leaked out within < 1 minute.
The dealership is ~9 miles away. Closest shop is likely 3-4 miles away.
Your best bet would be to spend the minimal cost for a tow compared to the cost for a trashed engine.
If it Is under warranty, have it towed to the Dealer. If not, have it towed to your trusted mechanic. Don’t attempt to drive it, aluminum motors do not take overheating very well.
Ed B. (2010 Cobalt owner)
Tow it. Once your coolant gushes out you temperature gauge won’t work.