Radiator leak

Tiny
JCORT1006
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • V6
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 219,100 MILES
It looks like I have a leak on my radiator after I accidentally hit my car pulling from the curb. It did make a noise when it happened. It is leaking a yellowish fluid and I think it is leaking the coolant. I am afraid my mechanic will tell me the radiator is broken on the bottom and will have to replace. Is it possible to make a small fix before I spend a lot of money? What do you recommend? Thanks.
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Saturday, January 21st, 2017 AT 4:51 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Do not do anything until you have a proper diagnosis. This could be as simple as a rusted hose clamp. If the radiator is damaged, do not waste your money trying to repair it. The cooling system gets up to fifteen pounds of pressure, and patches do not hold up to that. What if that patch lets go on a Saturday night, out in the country, when it is 30 degrees below, and you are on a hot date? The disappointment will be over-shadowed by the potential expensive damage that could occur to the engine.
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Saturday, January 21st, 2017 AT 5:49 PM
Tiny
JCORT1006
  • MEMBER
How soon do I have to get a diagnostic? Am I not able to drive the car? Is it safe to drive it by just adding water to the radiator?
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Saturday, January 21st, 2017 AT 6:01 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
How long after feeling chest pains can you wait before having your heart checked? I cannot answer any of those questions. How much do you want to risk engine damage? How fast is it leaking? Is it cold enough where you are that water will freeze? If it is, just take the car to the junkyard and do not waste any money on it. The engine block can be cracked if the water in it freezes.

If the coolant level gets low enough, the engine will overheat from lack of circulation. That can easily result in a warped cylinder head and a leaking head gasket. The first symptom will be cold air from the heater. You are risking turning an inexpensive problem into an expensive one. That is not a chance I would take with my car or those of my customers.
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Saturday, January 21st, 2017 AT 6:12 PM

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