Can I drive 90 miles with radiator cap loose or off ? - YotaTech Forums


Go Back   >


95.5-2004 Tacomas & 96-2002 4Runners 4th gen pickups and 3rd gen 4Runners
Sponsored by:
Click Here

Can I drive 90 miles with radiator cap loose or off ?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-06-2010, 09:35 AM   #1
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
BigBallsMcFalls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 847
Can I drive 90 miles with radiator cap loose or off ?

new radiator haz a slow leak (coffee cup per 15 minutes) at the bottom
doesn't leak when engine off (unpressurized)


if I drive unpressurized, I should be able to keep enough coolant in there
to make a 90 mile drive to the shop who installed the radiator so they can
replace it.

Do you think I will be OK driving the 99 4runner 1 hr 30 minutes with the cap loose ? normal pressure is .9 atm (13lbs)

I will bring 2 gallons of 50/50 with me, and watch the temp gauge of course.

do ya think I can do this no problem ? move day temp should be in the 70's
BigBallsMcFalls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 09:45 AM   #2
Registered User
 
hross14's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Austin Texas
Posts: 1,485
question is whether you are going to lose more with the top being lose or the cup every 50 minutes?

What about putting some pepper in the radiator to see if it slows the leak down until you get it to the shop?
hross14 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 10:20 AM   #3
Registered User
iTrader: (1)
 
wyoming9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: I live in New Tripoli Pa out in the woods
Posts: 10,455
Red face

Do you have the means to remove the radiator and transport it back to the shop.

With my luck at the worst place that slight leak would get real bad. I would be along side the road now with a towing bill yet.

Something like this happened years ago to a company vehicle the boss said dump water in.

I said it runs out faster then I can pour it in.

Good luck no matter what you decide.
wyoming9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 10:25 AM   #4
Registered User
iTrader: (1)
 
aa1911's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Western Washington
Posts: 1,256
coffee cup every 15 minutes is a slow leak??

you can drive it, just bring a bunch of dH2O with you and top off periodically. watch the temp gauge, should be fine. had to do it a couple times, once in my 4runner last year idling on I-5 in 85 degree weather. bring a book...

I would try and temporary patch the leak though, if the shop won't mind some JB weld or epoxy, lol
aa1911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 10:32 AM   #5
Registered User
iTrader: (6)
 
mightymouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: st. louis
Posts: 1,736
replace it with a good radiator then take the crappy one back to the shop and get your money back. Just because you can do it (drive 90 miles with leaking radiator) doesn't mean you should. But that's just my opinion so what's risking your engine worth? definately not a radiator to me. Let me know if you decide to do and take before and after pics of your engine bay when you're done. It's going to get messy!
mightymouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 10:32 AM   #6
Registered User
iTrader: (1)
 
aa1911's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Western Washington
Posts: 1,256
had a bad coolant 'explosion' in my old S-10, was traveling along the blue ridge parkway and all of a sudden my passenger side floor was sitting under 2" of antifreeze and more would gush out from the lower heater vent every time I accelerated or went uphill.

made it over an hour to a shop that was open with a fraction of the coolant left in the system, I think I only added a water bottle or two; had to shut it off at stoplights to keep the temp down but made it
aa1911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 10:40 AM   #7
Registered User
 
Teuf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Napa, Ca
Posts: 5,523
Fix it yourself, I wouldn't drive it.
Teuf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 11:10 AM   #8
Registered User
 
TheDurk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: New Jersey and Sao Paulo
Posts: 1,091
It's not the leakage part of the loose cap, it's the lowered boiling point of the coolant that creeps me out. If it starts boiling inside the engine all kinds of bad things happen. 13 psi makes a big difference. Keep it pressurized, and stop as often as you have to to maintain your coolant level above Low....or, as others have said, don't drive it at all.

Sorry, I can't get this to format, this is for water, not coolant, but it's indicative. Unpressurized 50/50 ethylene glycol boils at only 225F, so its the pressure that keeps your engine from boiling over. Glycol makes a big difference in the freezing point, but not so much in the boiling point.


Boiling Points & Pressures
Pressure Boiling Temp. (Deg. F)
0 212
4 224
7 232
9 237
13 246
14 249

Last edited by TheDurk; 10-06-2010 at 11:27 AM.
TheDurk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 11:10 AM   #9
Registered User
iTrader: (5)
 
ChefYota4x4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Palos Verdes, California
Posts: 19,281
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teuf View Post
Fix it yourself, I wouldn't drive it.
x2...or whatever, lol. Maybe x3?

Anyway, I would NOT risk blowing a head gasket or whatever, due to their mistake. Just IMHO... If you can, take the time to find a ride and remove it, bring it to them... Or, call them and see if they'll have someone drop by and with a new one while picking yours up(a shop did that for me, they felt so bad that I got stranded... Of course, they had delivery trucks cruising all of LA County, all the time.) Might be worth at least asking, "hey, can you help out here, I'm stranded?" eh? Napa did that for me as well, one time. They messed up on a part and it caused me to stall.... their driver dropped one to me where I was visiting and picked up the old one.
ChefYota4x4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 11:14 AM   #10
Contributing Member
 
mt_goat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Oklahoma State
Posts: 10,664
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teuf View Post
Fix it yourself, I wouldn't drive it.
X4, if you do drive with zero pressure straight antifreeze (no water) would be the way to go.
mt_goat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 11:24 AM   #11
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
BigBallsMcFalls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 847
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDurk View Post
It's not the leakage part of the loose cap, it's the lowered boiling point of the coolant that creeps me out. If it starts boiling inside the engine all kinds of bad things happen. 13 psi makes a big difference. Keep it pressurized, and stop as often as you have to to maintain your coolant level above Low.

Sorry, I can't get this to format, this is for water, not coolant, but it's indicative.


Boiling Points & Pressures
Pressure Boiling Temp. (Deg. F)
0 212
4 224
7 232
9 237
13 246
14 249
it runs at 184 degrees normally

but at the cylinders it'll be way hotter. it should boil a little there constantly (which is OK as long as coolant stays there. if it drops...bad) and overflow some, but ...as long as something is boiling it cannot get hotter till it boils dry. water pump will make sure it stays flowing
since this is not a 'closed zero-air system' with a high mounted water pump. if that was the case, I'd be screwed. I had a car like that once and one little air bubble makes the water pump fail hard.

if i pressurize it and run it, and it overheats, I will need to wait 1/2 hour or more to pop the cap and top off. also I risk blowing the slow leak to a wide open mess. right now, it holds coolant at zero pressure.

if I run unpressurized, at least I can immediately top it up without waiting

----
I spoke to the radiator shop and they said just watch the temp gauge
closely. 1 1/2 hour will not hurt it (and surfing the net and what I know from being an old dinosaur...I agree I can likely do this just fine)


I'll post my outcome and how high my temp gauge went. it is 3 miles city driving, then 85 miles pure interstate, and 2 miles city again to get to the shop. I am gonna float the 'loose pressure cap and 2 gallons of 50/50 on hand) and see how it goes.

lets hope my next thread isn't: got screwed, now shop is fixing my head gaskets.

Last edited by BigBallsMcFalls; 10-06-2010 at 11:27 AM.
BigBallsMcFalls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 11:33 AM   #12
Registered User
 
Teuf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Napa, Ca
Posts: 5,523
QUESTION>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Why can't you take out your own radiator?

I wouldn't drive 88 seconds like that, that pushing it.

Last edited by vital22re; 10-06-2010 at 11:48 AM.
Teuf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 12:04 PM   #13
Registered User
 
xxxtreme22r's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
Posts: 13,579
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teuf View Post
QUESTION>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Why can't you take out your own radiator?

I wouldn't drive 88 seconds like that, that pushing it.

I agree, this is a simple task just a few bolts and 2 hose clamps. Hardest part of the job is burping the system. lol.
xxxtreme22r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 12:07 PM   #14
Registered User
iTrader: (5)
 
ChefYota4x4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Palos Verdes, California
Posts: 19,281
I really find that strange for a Radiator shop to give that type of advice. I'd bet you dollars to donuts that, ....if they had a similar situation, they'd pull the thing, call a buddy, have them drive em over to the shop, wait while it's fixed(20 min???) and drive back without ANYYYYYYYY risk of a 2 day repair in the mix, whatsoever. Not trying to be a paranoid, Debbie downer... but WHY risk anything at all?

Best wishes.... Hope you don't need to make a 'wish' along the way. I guess after all the work I've done to mine... I'm a lil more apprehensive about 'taking chances that aren't necessary'... but still, lol.
ChefYota4x4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 12:15 PM   #15
Registered User
 
TheDurk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: New Jersey and Sao Paulo
Posts: 1,091
Quote:
Originally Posted by mt_goat View Post
X4, if you do drive with zero pressure straight antifreeze (no water) would be the way to go.
Because 100% antifreeze has less cooling ability than water (lower specific heat), you probably don't want to go over 75-80%. That would give you a boiling point higher than pressurized 50/50 and better cooling capacity than a 0/100 mix. I still don't like it.

My approach was intended to NOT have it boil over. Just refill the overflow tank before anything happens--every 15 min. if necessary. If your idea is to run unpressurized until it boils over, and refill with ambient temp liquid, I ....wish you, and your aluminum head engine, luck. I would NEVER deliberately do anything that would let one of these engines boil over even once. A cast-iron I6 sure.

Another old dinosaur

Last edited by TheDurk; 10-06-2010 at 12:31 PM.
TheDurk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 12:46 PM   #16
Contributing Member
 
mt_goat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Oklahoma State
Posts: 10,664
Yeah it will run a little hotter with straight antifreeze (maybe 10 degrees in hot weather) but it won't boil at zero pressure until you get well over 300* F.
mt_goat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 01:19 PM   #17
Registered User
 
FogRunner's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Galveston, Texas
Posts: 434
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBallsMcFalls View Post
if i pressurize it and run it, and it overheats, I will need to wait 1/2 hour or more to pop the cap and top off. also I risk blowing the slow leak to a wide open mess. right now, it holds coolant at zero pressure.

if I run unpressurized, at least I can immediately top it up without waiting
With modern radiator caps you get half a twist and it dumps the pressure to the overflow tank. After that half a twist you have to push it down and turn it to get it off.

All you have to do is get a nice big rag and put it on top of the radiator cap and slowly turn it WITHOUT pushing down till it vents to the overflow and hits the safety stop. Once the pressure has vented press down and turn the cap off.

I've lost count how many times I've done this with zero problems. Also if you don't want to pressurize it just put the cap on and then twist it back till it hits the safety stop. In this position it won't built any pressure and it will keep coolant from sloshing out.


FOG

Last edited by FogRunner; 10-06-2010 at 01:21 PM.
FogRunner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 01:20 PM   #18
Registered User
 
TheDurk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: New Jersey and Sao Paulo
Posts: 1,091
Quote:
Originally Posted by mt_goat View Post
Yeah it will run a little hotter with straight antifreeze (maybe 10 degrees in hot weather) but it won't boil at zero pressure until you get well over 300* F.
But there is no advantage in going much over the BP of pressurized 50/50 (226F). Then all you do is decrease the specific heat and increase the viscosity and you have to ram that liquid through the radiator core. These two factors, added to whatever reduction in WP efficiency you get from running unpressurized (cavitation more likely at zero pressure? not sure here), leads me to worry that you will not be extracting enough heat from the engine to protect it from damage, even though it sure as sh*** won't boil over. At least the thing WAS designed to work with 70/30 in cold climates so why go all the way to 100?

AND, if it goes dry, it WON'T alert the driver by steaming/boiling first (and the gauge won't help either) and now you get a seized engine. Boiling can be a good thing.

By the way, what is your source on what happens at 100% unpressurized--the 10F thing? Have you tried this? (not being combative, just honestly curious).

Last edited by TheDurk; 10-06-2010 at 01:39 PM.
TheDurk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 01:39 PM   #19
Registered User
iTrader: (1)
 
aa1911's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Western Washington
Posts: 1,256
12mm socket x 4 bolts -> 2 minutes, pliers x 2 hose clamps --> 1 minute.... new radiator --> priceless (says the headgasket)
aa1911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 02:21 PM   #20
Contributing Member
 
mt_goat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Oklahoma State
Posts: 10,664
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDurk View Post
But there is no advantage in going much over the BP of pressurized 50/50 (226F). Then all you do is decrease the specific heat and increase the viscosity and you have to ram that liquid through the radiator core. These two factors, added to whatever reduction in WP efficiency you get from running unpressurized (cavitation more likely at zero pressure? not sure here), leads me to worry that you will not be extracting enough heat from the engine to protect it from damage, even though it sure as sh*** won't boil over. At least the thing WAS designed to work with 70/30 in cold climates so why go all the way to 100?

AND, if it goes dry, it WON'T alert the driver by steaming/boiling first (and the gauge won't help either) and now you get a seized engine. Boiling can be a good thing.

By the way, what is your source on what happens at 100% unpressurized--the 10F thing? Have you tried this? (not being combative, just honestly curious).
I've been running waterless coolant for the last 3-4 years in my truck. There are lots of references for the BP of coolant by googling. He would have to work pretty hard to get to 100% antifreeze anyway. Yeah 80-90% would probably work fine.
mt_goat is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
87 22r rebuild issue bigjstang 86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 10 06-10-2016 06:15 PM
FS[SouthEast]: Mercury Villager Fan & DCC Fan Controller coryc85 Misc Stuff (Vehicle Related) 6 09-09-2015 06:24 AM
83 pickup lift and engine rebuild God's Bounty Hunter Pre 84 Trucks 6 07-08-2015 12:54 PM
4runner stalling in gear... Do this again please Jnkml 95.5-2004 Tacomas & 96-2002 4Runners 3 07-06-2015 01:20 PM
sway-a-way coilovers lifespan? Vargntucson 95.5-2004 Tacomas & 96-2002 4Runners 0 07-04-2015 12:15 PM


Tags
air, bmw, boil, busted, cap, cars, colder, drive, drove, engine, loose, mountains, radiator, run, trip

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:34 AM.


2010 InternetBrands, Inc.