Can you drive with a broken radiator?

My radiator is on the fritz, but I don’t have the money this month to fix it. Can you drive with a broken radiator?

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Answer provided by
Natalie Todoroff
Answered on Jul 13, 2022
It is very unsafe to drive with a broken radiator. Your radiator plays an important role in circulating and regulating the temperature of your engine coolant which, as its name implies, helps keep your engine cool. With a busted radiator, you run the risk of overheating your engine.
Driving with a too-hot engine can not only create dangerous driving conditions but also does some costly damage. To name just a few possible scenarios, it can:
  • Warp your engine cylinder heads
  • Burn too much oil
  • Create a leak in the gasket head
Although it’s not fun to cough up money on radiator repair or replacement—usually between $500 and $3,000—it’s much cheaper than replacing your entire engine.
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