My car has a radiator leak and I need to get it to my mechanic

My car has a radiator leak and it has been sitting in my garage for two weeks. I need to drive it to my mechanic who is 9 miles away from where I live in LA, but I'm not sure if it will cause damage to the engine. I have coolant liquid in my car which I can refill it with as I go along the way and was just wondering if that's good enough to get my car there. Will that be ok for me to do?

My car has 155000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
If the radiator has to be replaced because it leaks, that replacement can be performed right at your location (without moving the car) by a mobile mechanic. If you desire that service, please request radiator replacement and the responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you. If you desire to bring the car to a mechanic, the practicality of that will simply depend on how large the leak is, although any leak will make it impossible for the cooling system to operate under pressure and thus the system could boil over even with a relatively small leak. Unfortunately, without seeing the car and understanding the exact extent of the leak, it is impossible to advise whether it is safe to drive and, if so, what sort of distance might be safe. Generally, if you have a known leak, the most prudent course is to either have the car towed or just simply avail yourself of YourMechanic’s mobile repair service which will save you money, too, because you don’t have to pay the considerable overhead associated with in-shop or dealer repairs. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

The most common reasons a Ford Focus has a coolant leak are loose hose connections, a broken radiator, or a failed water pump.
If you have a very small, slow leak, ensure your coolant is up to the normal level and drive your car to our shop. However, if you have a major leak such as hose that has burst, we recommend having your car towed.
The average cost for a Ford Focus Coolant Reservoir Replacement is between $107 and $120. Labor costs are estimated between $45 and $57 while parts are priced between $61 and $63.
Leading Causes of Radiator Leaks

The leading and most common cause is corrosion in the radiator. Radiators, hoses, and hose connections collect sediment and rust that can punch holes in the radiator over time. In a few instances, weak coolant can be the cause of overheating.

A leaking radiator can overheat the engine, blow head gasket, spark plugs or crack block. In extreme conditions leaking radiator can result in complete engine failure.
A green puddle of coolant under your car is usually the first sign of a radiator leak. In most cases, this leak is small enough that you can add coolant until a replacement radiator can be obtained.
Water Versus Coolant

Running just water in your car`s radiator will guarantee overheating and damage, including to your cylinder heads and engine block. And most tap water contains minerals that will leave deposits inside the radiator, causing corrosion, shortening its life and further diminishing its ability to cool.

While driving with a coolant leak doesn`t pose an immediate threat to your well-being, we highly recommend that you avoid doing so. Driving a car that is leaking coolant can cause serious damage to your engine. Your engine can overheat, costing you big time.
Look for signs of coolant leakage—a light-colored residue or stain—around the radiator cap, on hoses throughout the engine compartment (check the ends where they are clamped to other components) and on the radiator itself. If it looks like a hose is leaking near a clamp, try tightening the clamp with a screwdriver.
The most common coolant leaks occur in the hoses that connect your engine to your radiator or heater core, or other small hoses running coolant to different equipment on your engine. The best way to stop these leaks is usually to replace the hose as they are inexpensive and easy to get to.
It may be a broken hose and/or a hole in the radiator. Solution: Check your hoses to see if any coolant is coming out. Replace the hose(s) if you notice coolant coming out of them. If you notice coolant leaking out of your thermostat that can be an easy fix.
Other than your vehicle consistently running too hot, other signs of a bad radiator might include low coolant levels, coolant that looks rusty, radiator hose problems, and coolant leaks.
Driving with a radiator leak is a dangerous operation, as it will very likely cause your engine to overheat. If you are driving down the road and notice your engine is overheating, pull over immediately and let the vehicle cool down.
An antifreeze leak can occur through a hole in your radiator. Corrosion of your radiator tubes or damage because of stones or debris can create a leak. You may also see a leak between the tank and radiator body over time, as the sealing gasket wears out.
A car radiator leak can reduce the effectiveness of your entire cooling system. If you don`t get it repaired, it could cause your entire engine to overheat — and that can cost a pretty penny to fix.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

My car has a radiator leak and I need to get it to my mechanic
ANSWER : If the radiator has to be replaced because it leaks, that replacement can be performed right at your location (without moving the car) by a mobile mechanic. If you desire that service, please request radiator replacement and the responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you. If you desire to bring the car to a mechanic, the practicality of that will simply depend on how large the leak is, although any leak will make it impossible for the cooling system to operate under pressure and thus the system could boil over even with a relatively small leak. Unfortunately, without seeing the car and understanding the exact extent of the leak, it is impossible to advise whether it is safe to drive and, if so, what sort of distance might be safe. Generally, if you have a known leak, the most prudent course is to either have the car towed or just simply avail yourself of YourMechanic’s mobile repair service which will save you money, too, because you don’t have to pay the considerable overhead associated with in-shop or dealer repairs. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

My car has a coolant leak – 2001 Lincoln Town Car
ANSWER : The heater AC (air conditioning) case has a drain to let out condensation from the case. The heater core is positioned in the case that allows it get out through the case drain on the outside of the engine firewall between the center toward the passenger side of the car in the case of a leak. Bypassing the heater core has stopped the leak but the heater and defroster is not inoperative along with the automatic temperature control of the air conditioner. I recommend having the heater core inspected and replaced to fix the system.

Fuel EVAP line that runs under car is kinked how do I know if it is leaking? Also can I drive it like that if it’s not leaking?
ANSWER : Hi Ricardo. We answered your question earlier. However, if you didn’t receive the reply, here is what we stated earlier. In most cases, an EVAP leak will create an OBD-II trouble code. The best way to detect an EVAP leak is by having a professional mobile mechanic complete a check engine light inspection, they will be able to download the code and determine the source of the leak. That’s the best advice we can offer you. Thanks.

I put the wrong key in my car and a few weeks later my car just shut down and it will not start I believe it’s the computer but…
ANSWER : Hi there. What had happened is the wrong key set the security to the vehicle. This is to prevent the vehicle from starting with the wrong keys. Try removing the battery cables (+) and (-) for 13 minutes. During that time, put the original key in the ignition and turn it on. Activate everything in the car even though there is no power. Then remove the key and hook up the battery cables. The computer should have reset and reset the security. If the security is still being tripped, then I recommend seeking out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you

cover gasket leaking after my last service, where is my mechanic? I want sell the car but I can’t sell with leaking oil.
ANSWER : Hi there. I’m sorry this has happened. Your request is being forwarded to customer service. Thank you for using Your Mechanic.

Oil leaking from under car and "remote control car" sound when car is first started for a few minutes until it warm up.
ANSWER : Hello,
There are a number of things that could make an engine noisy when starting up. Depending on the specific type of sound you are referring to, this will determine how to properly diagnose. If there is a bit of a hissing sound, this may be a sign of a vacuum leak. If this is more of a shrieking sound, this may be a sign of a worn out or out of adjustment serpentine belt. If there is a bit of a howling or growling sound, this may be a sign of a worn out or low on fluid power steering pump. A rattling or pinging sound may be caused by an ignition problem. An engine can ping (or knock) due to an improper combustion process. A "spark knock" is the result of combustion occurring too early. Early combustion can occur from carbon buildup inside the combustion chamber, a lean air/fuel mixture, and advanced ignition timing (spark plug firing too soon). A clattering type sound may be a result of improper lubrication in the valve train which could be a more serious problem and should be addressed as soon as possible. I would suggest having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle to ensure everything is in proper working order.

I was recently in an accident and a mechanic told me that I needed my radiator, radiator support and transmission pan replaced. 2010 Chevy Cobalt
ANSWER : Hi there – I think it is appropriate to get a 2nd opinion, even though some of the damage is to mechanical components. This task is best handled by a collision repair estimator at a reputable paint and body shop. S/he is trained to evaluate visible and not-so-visible damage, and the costs to repair. Contact a reputable paint and body shop in your area for an estimate and repair.

Can I ride my car with a bad oil pan for at least a month until Ican get the MONEY TO GET IT FIXED
ANSWER : Hello. If the mechanic at your garage is telling you that the oil leak is severe, I would highly recommend replacing that as soon as possible and not to drive your vehicle until it has been fixed. Leaking oil from a cracked or damaged oil pan or rear seal can increase due to heat and excessive driving. It also will cause internal component damage as the engine will rapidly loose oil pressure and lubrication. An oil leak from the pan is one that should be resolved ASAP and without further driving if possible.