CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

(Vid included) Is it the Radiator, Water Pump or Head Gasket?

My lancer started smoking, white smoke coming from the engine bay, coming from the radiator at least in the beginning. Sweet anti freeze smell after 15 minutes. It also sprays fluid from hole at the top of the radiator. The hole isn’t a crack is actually suppose to be there. I included a video to further explain. What do you think radiator, water pump, or head gasket? I know it’s the radiator but What’s causing the radiator to spray, because i know other parts of the car can make the radiator fail? I don’t want to waste money replacing the wrong part.https://youtu.be/pYy8S7b2AHQ

The radiator is leaking at the core to tank seam.

Replace the radiator.

Tester

1 Like

Thank you so much for your reply

Make sure an overheating incident isn’t the cause tho. My Corolla split the radiator at that point b/c the electric cooling fan didn’t come on like it should during some stop and go driving, due to a faulty temperature switch. Otherwise you could replace the radiator and have the same thing happen. In my case I had to replace both the radiator and the faulty switch.

Thanks ill look into some troubleshooting techniques for the fan switch

One test that’s easy for the owner to do, if the coolant temp gauge says the engine is overheating, stop, pop open the hood. The engine cooling fan should be spinning fast. If not, that’s at least part of your problem.

That’s the confusing part because the temperature gauge says the engine is at normal temperature even when there is smoke that’s coming from the radiator and the fans aren’t on

What parts would that be?
You need the radiator replaced and then search for other problems that may or not be present.

The coolant can boil at normal operating temperatures if the cooling system is not under pressure. With your radiator leak the cooling system is not under pressure. Replace the radiator before overheating causes damage to the head gasket and other engine parts.

1 Like

In short, whenever you’re fixing a cooling system problem it’s always wise to check out the entire system. Sometimes the root cause of the part failure isn’t obvious.

1 Like

Depending on the age of the car, the radiator needs to be replaced.first and foremost.
Car owners hate to be told that, “this is the first thing I see” in regards to car repairs.Well that happens to be the truth.
leaks find the path of least resistance.
Replace the radiator. Regardless if the fan works or not the radiator ought not bubble like that. It isn’t designed to be like that.
If the fan was not working the coolant reservoir would be boiling like a pot on a stove, on high. Not your radiator at the seam, which appears to be broken.(the seam and thereby the radiator)
Then see if the “smoking of antifreeze” continues.
(If the fan does not come on after replacing the radiator consider your self lucky, since the pressure didn’t build to where a head gasket blew.)
If the fan doesn’t work check fuses, inside the car and inside the engine compartment. Since the fan has several reasons to come on, the a/c has been turned on, and the car is warmed up.
Hope this can help you.

Oh, oh! That sounds like a head gasket!

Alright so i replaced the Radiator and now everything is back to normal. Thajks

Good for you for getting the problem fixed. Suggest to keep an eye on the coolant temperature, make sure it never goes into the overheat zone, and that the engine fans are coming on when they should.