"New" Radiator Low on Coolant, Blown Tire

Hi all, I have a Hyundai Sonata 2006. About a month and a half ago, I got in an accident and had to have the very front of the car repaired (they replaced the radiator, a/c unit, hood and a few other smaller things). The receipt that lists everything out in detail shows that the antifreeze/coolant was filled.

Fast forward to yesterday, and I’m getting an oil change. I also asked them to check out the front tire on the driver’s side, as it seemed to have a slow leak. The woman at the counter wrote down to check the front left tire. A couple hours later, the guy calls me up and tells me that they found a nail in the right tire and will patch it up (and he tells me that it will be $10 more than the woman told me when I dropped the car off), but nothing in the left. He also says that I am low on coolant and that he highly recommends I get the radiator flushed for $133. Of course I told him not to do it since the radiator was just installed last month (well within the 90 day warranty).

I got the car home, checked the coolant level, and sure enough, it was way below the L. I haven’t noticed any fluid under the car in parking spots or the driveway. I figured I would call up the place that did the repair work on Tuesday (it being a holiday weekend and they were already closed) and ask them about it. The receipt does say that it is an aftermarket part, but it wouldn’t need to be flushed already, right?

Around 1 AM this morning, I heard a loud bang. It was my driver’s side tire. What are the odds that the mechanic thinks that driver’s side is right and the receptionist thinks that it is left? Do you think that it is more likely the patch failed or that the unpatched tire burst? Who should I call first on Tuesday: the mechanics that did the repairs about the radiator, or the mechanics that did the oil change/patch job?

I don’t know about the tires, but the coolant being low might not be a big problem. It’s normal after a coolant change – and changing the radiator would require a coolant change – that the coolant level will drop after a day or two of driving. I’m not sure what causes this, but it always happens to me at least when I change the coolant. something to do with air in the system escaping I suspect. So the OP might just keep checking and topping off the coolant for a week or two of driving. If everything is ok, the need to do this should stop by then. In the meantime the OP’er should monitor the dash temp guage, and stop driving immediately if it goes into the overheating zone.

BTW, since the shop recommended a radiator flush to address a low coolant problem, that’s probably not the shop to use going forward. Find yourself a good inde mechanic by asking friends, relatives, coworker who they use.

The reason you noticed the low coolant level is more than likely due to your system burping itself with several hot cold cycles… The idiot who did the radiator install did it with the engine cold and thermostat closed…he filled it until it wouldnt take any more coolant and called it a day… You had a HUGE air pocket in the system and it took care of itself (at great risk to your head gasket/s i might add)

Fill the radiator up and move forward…i believe the air pocket is now gone it burped itself with the hot cold cycles…very bad for the car btw.

The tire situation is anyones guess…just stick with the important component…the rad…

Fill it…heat the car up with the rad cap off…and see if she takes more coolant when hot…if so…add it…if not… put the cap on and drive it paying CLOSE ATTENTION to the temp gauge…


Please be sure that your engine is cold before removing the radiator cap. Actually, you could probably just add coolant to the overflow reservoir until it stabilizes over a few days or so depending on your driving. If you add any coolant, use a 50/50 premix, or dilute conventional coolant 50/50 with water, ideally distilled water, before you add it.

However if you are concerned and would rather not mess with this yourself, you should go back to the shop which did the radiator and have them purge the system properly and make sure it’s full.

Good for you for checking your coolant level.