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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was driving my car on the freeway and the temp needle pegged at the Hot mark and coolant was coming from under the hood. I threw some coolant and water in it and drove back home. When I pulled into my driveway there was more coolant steam coming from the radiator (to the 3-5inches right of the rad cap) but the temp was at normal operating temp.

I drove it to work this morning and it began overheating again with more coolant/steam from the same spot. The coolant reservoir is still full. The upper hose was very warm.

It's not leaking from the Rad Cap.
Upper hose was very warm.
Fans were running in the correct direction.
Coolant steaming from 3-5inches right of the rad cap.
The hoses seem to be in good shape and no visible leaks.

My question is; Does the radiator have a pressure release or something? Or am I probably looking at a cracked radiator? I'm not entirely sure how a radiator works, but if my thermostat is stuck close, would the radiator overheat and spew hot coolant steam?
 

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Acountabilibuddy
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4,862 Posts
Cracked radiator. Replace it. And since it overheated, replace the thermostat too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys. After further review i found a crack in the plastic top of the radiator... I replaced it last night and everything is good now!
 

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My 2003 Elantra overheated one month after I bought it new. The Hyundai dealer found a radiator hose clamp was improperly installed in the factory, causing coolant leak. Since then, I found a little coolant loss every time I opened the radiator cap, but I didn't know why for several years.
The second overheating occurred at around 185,000 miles. It was a very hot summer and I was using A/C. Suddenly there was hot air coming out from the vent. I pressed the A/C button on an off and on. But there was no cold air. Then I saw steams are coming out from the front of the hood. I looked at the temperature gauge and the needle was at red hot zone! I turned off A/C and turned on heater at maximum strength. Fortunately, it happened 5 minutes to home. I heard that I should not turn off the engine. After arriving home, I kept the engine running with heater high for around 10 minutes until the temperature dropped down to normal range. I found the radiator was leaking next day and replaced it.
Future smart cars will have audio warning if the temperature gets abnormally high or other engine malfunction occurs.
 

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Acountabilibuddy
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A lot of cars already give warnings. It has nothing to do with "future" and everything to do with the price paid.
 

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You should always be watching your gauges while driving, all of them. That's your warning.
 
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