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Tiny
JEMISHA
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 FORD TAURUS
  • 6 CYL
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 185,412 MILES
Recently I was involved in an accident in my 2000 Ford Taurus SE. There was a leak in the coolant reservoir after the accident. Should I drive the car home?
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Sunday, April 17th, 2011 AT 10:54 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
How far is home? A mile or a hundred miles? If just the reservoir is leaking the engine will not overheat as long as the radiator is still full and not leaking.
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Sunday, April 17th, 2011 AT 11:19 PM
Tiny
JEMISHA
  • MEMBER
Home is 13.15 miles from the exact location of the accident site.
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Sunday, April 17th, 2011 AT 11:50 PM
Tiny
JEMISHA
  • MEMBER
Can I put water in the radiator if it begins to get hot?
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Sunday, April 17th, 2011 AT 11:51 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Yup. It depends on how badly it's leaking. If it's the radiator that's leaking and not the reservoir, no pressure will build up in the system. That will reduce how quickly coolant is lost. If the leak is up high you might make it all the way home but keep a close eye on the temperature gauge. If the leak is on the bottom all the coolant will run out of the engine. In that case, you can nurse it home by driving no more than a mile at a time, then allowing it to cool down before continuing. To be most effective, get up to as high a speed as possible, then when the temperature gauge rises higher than normal, carefully shift to neutral, turn the engine off, and coast as far as possible. I once nursed my car with a frozen radiator 30 miles like that.

Be aware too that if there is no coolant in the engine, the temperature gauge might stay on cold even though the engine is getting hot. How far you can drive without the engine overheating is somewhat of a judgment call. That's why I suggested limiting it to a mile at a time.

Your engine has aluminum cylinder heads so it will cool down very quickly. After waiting 15 to 20 minutes, make another one-mile dash, then let it cool down again.
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Monday, April 18th, 2011 AT 12:53 AM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
Doc that's really good "making it in safely" advise, many would not go to the trouble to help to this extent!

Is that reservoir (the one presently busted), like the one in my wife's Ford Escape, in that the reservoir is under the same pressure as the pressure in the radiator? Unlike older stuff that I am more familiar with.

I really just jumped in here, so I too, would get an Email notification, so that I could hear (monitor) "The Rest Of The Story".

Seems things are going really slow at 2carfellers, gotta have something to do. I also really appreciate you taking the time/ writing a book, to help me with the communication device, I am messing with.

The Medic
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Monday, April 18th, 2011 AT 1:53 AM

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