Radiator leak cleanup inside engine compartment -- How to?



My radiator blew on my Acura Integra GSR, after 120,000 miles. I replaced the radiator, but the fluid splash as a result of the blow out has left white marks all over the engine compartment. I suspect that this spill may aid corrosion and cause additional problems.

My mechanic tried couple of things to clean with, but it didnt work. Has anyone had similar problem before? – How can I clean the spill up?. Your inputs are appreciated.

Thank you.


You could use a power wash with lots of soap. Just bag the electronics and distributer cap.


It would help if you had given a better description than “white marks.” What exactly are we seeing? Are they on painted or unpainted surfaces? Metal, rubber, or plastic?

For now, with such limited information, I can only advise you to do nothing further. The old coolant has been washed off and cannot cause further effects. Ethylene glycol can dissolve some paint but you may be seeing primer. If that is the case, there will be no corrosion.

If you are still concerned, provide more details.


the marks are on metal, rubber and plastic alike. everywhere. marks are from the forced spray of the radiator liquid after the blow out. the marks are ash like in color ranging from small specks to about the size of a quarter.

let me know if this description is sufficient.


That’s better. Since the marks appear on metal, plastic, and rubber, they are clearly residue of some form. They ought to simply scrub off. A coarse sponge dampened with soapy water ought to do it.


The stains may be from minerals in the coolant. Distilled water(free of minerals) should have been used in the cooling system; but, who knows what was. Use the same stuff that is used to clean coffee pots to remove the stains.


I would only use a power washer on low with much care.