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.
Monday, April 18th, 2011 AT 12:53 AM