Radiator leaking from crack in top

I have a four inch crack in the top of the radiator, causing the car to leak. The radiator top is metal.
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
This is pretty common. The metal gets very thin from cooling system wear, and the tank cannot hold the pressure any more and splits. I recommend replacing the radiator and testing the complete system for any other problems.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

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Corrosion within the radiator is one of the leading reasons that coolant leaks. As the tubes get older and weaker, you may get sediment or debris inside that causes a leak. The sealing gasket between the tank and the radiator can also wear out, and that could lead to a leak.
The most common reasons a Toyota Camry has a coolant leak are loose hose connections, a broken radiator, or a failed water pump.
A stuck or faulty radiator cap

If the cap gets jammed, pressure will build up inside the system, eventually causing the radiator hose to crack or break, causing a leak.

A faulty Thermostat or a Leaking Head Gasket can cause Overheating or High Coolant Pressure inside the Radiator which can lead to a crack. Summer heat makes it more difficult for the Radiator to be cooled by outside air. Not maintaining the Radiator Fluid can lead to Overheating and a Cracked Radiator.
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.
#3 Best Powder: AlumAseal Radiator Stop Leak Powder

It can seal radiator cracks and lubricate water pumping systems to improve cooling performance. AlumAseal powder works with all varieties of antifreeze. It`s not very effective against large leaks but works well against pinhole-sized holes and breaks.

Coolant Leak at the Front-Center of your Car

The water pump is comprised of multiple gaskets and seals that keep coolant contained and ensure that consistent flow of coolant is delivered from the radiator to the engine. Eventually, these gaskets and seals will wear out, dry up, crack or break entirely.

Is It Safe to Drive with a Coolant Leak? 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.
It sounds like you may have a faulty water control valve, which may be prohibiting the flow of coolant properly through the heater core from the motor. Generally, when this happens you may notice the heater may not work or that coolant is leaking.
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.
The first thing you need to do is locate the source of the coolant leak. It might not be coming from the radiator. The best way to confirm the source of the leak is to wash the radiator and hoses with water, and then start the engine and look for new signs of coolant.
Technically speaking yes you can use plain water in your cooling system but it isn`t recommended as a long term solution and certainly not in extreme weather conditions.
The first thing you need to do is locate the source of the coolant leak. It might not be coming from the radiator. The best way to confirm the source of the leak is to wash the radiator and hoses with water, and then start the engine and look for new signs of coolant.
Assuming you are not overfilling the radiator coolant reservoir your engine is overheating. This causes the coolant to expand to the point it overflows the coolant bottle.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Leaking top radiator hose? Leaking top radiator hose how to replace a leaking top radiator
ANSWER : If you have not done a job like this before you might want to consider watching a professional from YourMechanic do it for you, especially as the labor time is less than 1.5 hours so it’s pretty economical. The first order of business, of course, is to make sure that the upper hose is actually leaking and you don’t have a different issue such as a crack is the radiator itself where the hose attaches. Also, if that hose is leaking due to a break in aged rubber, the other "old" hoses should be inspected as well. A radiator hose replacement entails removing any plastic shields that prevent access to the hose(s). Then, you have to drain the coolant to a level below the lowest point that you will be working at. The hose clamps are removed and then you have to carefully "debond" the hose from the point it is attached to the tank. Over time, the rubber will bond really tightly to the radiator and you have to break the seal with damaging or severely scratching the radiator "nipple" (the part the hose slides over). Then you slip the new hose on (with clamps already loosely applied), apply the clamps and you are ready to refill. When refilling, you have to open the cooling system bleeder screws (if equipped) to ensure that air does not get trapped. Trapped air could cause the car to overheat as trapped air can block coolant flow.

I have a leak in the coolant system that I have narrowed to I believe is the water inlet tube off of the lower radiator hose.
ANSWER : First off, I would say it would be best to pressure test the cooling system to verify where the coolant is coming from. With the complexity of repairs to the cooling system on this vehicle, it may be worth the time spent to pressure test the system before tackling the replacement. Now then, as far as replacing the o-ring seal on the water pump inlet tube, it should really only require the removal of the bypass hose, lower radiator hose, and the two (or three, depending on manufacturing changes) mounting bolts that hold the inlet tube to the block. I personally would go ahead and replace the tube while I was there, instead of just the o-ring. Granted, this doesn’t mention what it will take to get down to the inlet pipe, but this is all it should take once you have access to it. If this is something that you feel you could use a hand with, consult with a certified mechanic, like those available at YourMechanic.com.

Radiator leaking from crack in top
ANSWER : This is pretty common. The metal gets very thin from cooling system wear, and the tank cannot hold the pressure any more and splits. I recommend replacing the radiator and testing the complete system for any other problems.

Have a leak from upper or lower radiator hose.
ANSWER : I would recommend looking at either hose to determine which hose the leak is coming from with the car running as this will pressurize the system and force water to the leaking point. Consider scheduling an appointment with one of our expert mechanics to come to your home or office to diagnose the leaking coolant issue and make necessary repairs.

water is leaking from my radiator. I have to put antifreeze every other day. I put stop leak but it did not work and my A/C stopped working
ANSWER : If you are losing coolant from your radiator, the radiator will need to be replaced in order to stop the leak. When your coolant level drops past a certain point, the air conditioning will no longer work because the engine is overheating. I would recommend having a qualified mechanic perform this service to prevent any possible problems during the repair as well as having a warranty to go along with the repair.

After the radiator is replaced, I would the recommend having a cooling system pressure test performed to ensure that there are no more leaks in your cooling system. Once it has been verified that the leak has been repaired, have the air bled from the cooling system because any air that is left in the cooling system will cause the vehicle to overheat.

My engine is knocking very loudly and I have a cracked radiator and an oil leak . I have a quote for 920 to repair everything is t
ANSWER : From what you’ve described, I have a feeling that you may need a lot more work done than your quote of $920 to fix this vehicle. Be aware that an engine knock can be an internal engine problem requiring an engine replacement or overhaul due to bad crankshaft bearings. You overheated the engine and this may have damaged the engine heads and head gaskets.

I would recommend having a second opinion done one your vehicle before any money is spent to replace the radiator or other repairs. Consider YourMechanic, as one of our mobile technicians can provide you with a diagnosis of the engine knock and oil leaks. Best of luck.

I have an antifreeze leak internal I replaced the upper radiator hose new radiator as well can not see a leak or drip
ANSWER : Coolant leaks no matter how big or small should be addressed as soon as possible. As you noticed, the engine will run hot with a low coolant level. Even a minor leak can expand to a large or catastrophic leak with no warning. A minor repair now can turn into engine overheat and damage. The leak can be small enough now that it is burning away when contacting hot surfaces and not hitting the ground. If the radiator leaking is the cause of the coolant loss, then it should be replaced as soon as possible. The cooling system operates under pressure – usually 12-15 psi. A small leak can become a large leak because of the pressure. Have a certified technician address this as soon as possible. Do not use "coolant leak sealer" products as they are a temporary fix and can actually cause more damage by clogging small coolant passages and damage the water pump as well.

Slow leak on left side of the radiator, no heat
ANSWER : The radiator leaking coolant would be the the most important leak to repair first. The thermostat can be checked by watching the temperature on the gauge to see if the temperature gets up near the middle of the gauge and then stabilizes there. If the temperature keeps rising then you most likely need the thermostat replaced along with replacing the radiator to correct the leak and the heater not working. If you need help having this diagnosed, a certified technician from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to locate the leak and follow through with repairs.