Repair

Tiny
MACINTOSH
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 CHRYSLER CONCORDE
  • AUTOMATIC
Can I still drive if my radiator hose has a tear in it?
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Friday, June 10th, 2011 AT 3:49 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
NO! At least not very far. The engine will overheat leading to serious and expensive damage. You can nurse it a little ways if you let the engine cool down for 15 minutes after each mile or two. Drive it even shorter distances if it's the lower hose that's leaking.
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Friday, June 10th, 2011 AT 4:10 AM
Tiny
MACINTOSH
  • MEMBER
Alright thanks. I have about 10 miles to travel. Will that be too much on the car?
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Friday, June 10th, 2011 AT 4:29 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Watch the temperature gauge. Once it starts creeping up, stop and let the engine cool down. Which hose is leaking? I've already made makeshift repairs by wrapping hoses with electrical tape, filling the system with water, and leaving the radiator cap loose so no pressure will build up. That works for any hose but if it's the upper radiator hose that's leaking, at least there will still be some coolant in the engine so it will take longer to get hot.

Be aware that if enough coolant has leaked out that the sensor for the gauge on the dash is immersed in air instead of liquid, it will not read correctly so don't be misled if the temperature gauge stays on cold. The engine really will be warming up.

If you tape the hose and fill the system with water, you could make it ten miles but you may see steam coming out from the reservoir. One more important note specific to your car. The radiator cap is on the overflow reservoir, not on the radiator itself. You have to fill the reservoir, then open the bleeder screw on the engine to let the air out so the coolant will go in. If you don't do that, the coolant usually will not circulate to the radiator so the engine will still overheat. That bleeder screw is on the thermostat housing. That is what the upper hose is attached to in the middle front of the engine. You'll need a 10mm wrench, as I recall, to open it to bleed the air out. If you don't have all of that for an emergency repair, just drive two or three miles at a time to be safe. That's better than overheating the engine.
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Friday, June 10th, 2011 AT 5:47 AM

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