Found coolant all over my Accord's front bumper after a 20-min drive

I have no idea why this could happen. I immediately had the car towed to my FNG.

BHPian PainlessDeath09 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello, Bhpians!

I recently got my 2003 Honda Accord 2.4 AT. It’s been absolutely blissful so far up until today. Got the regular service and everything done. During the general service, there was a coolant leak which was from a pipe that was fixed.

Today, after about a 20-min drive, I stopped my car to find the coolant all over my front bumper. Opening the hood, I see this:

The radiator's neck had sheered off with the pressure. I have no idea why this could happen. I immediately had the car towed to my FNG. They had suggested a thermostat stuck open or a water pump failure.

Something to note, when I drive my car, the temperature gauge is never in the middle, it’s always been slightly cooler than the middle. Not sure if that’s relevant but yeah.

Any ideas/theories/personal experiences as to why this could’ve happened?

Here's what BHPian dhanushs had to say about the matter:

I initially would've thought overtightening of the hose clamp would've done it, but looking at the photo seems like that is not the reason.

If your radiator mount/engine mount is weak and the radiator to engine hose moves a lot, that will also induce a failure over time.

But looking at the bigger picture, the car is 21 years old. Think of it as a wear-and-tear failure.

Here's what BHPian NomadSK had to say about the matter:

I would be more interested to know what kind of fix was done to the hose. A new hose or the neck was just tightened to arrest the minor leakage. Rubber tends to lose its elastic properties over a period of time and if only tightening was done then that points to the mechanical damage to the radiator, in addition, due to the ageing of the vehicle the plastic component would have weakened over time.

Sorry, but I guess that doesn’t add up to the failure. Open Thermostat failure will run your engine cooler and the closed thermostat will not let the coolant circulate and will overheat the engine and you will get this warning on the dash. In both cases, nothing to do with the radiator assembly. And water pump failure would simply give you a first warning for engine overheating on your dash.

In my opinion, this is mechanical damage (a brittle failure) and has nothing to do with the temperature/pressure of the coolant. And if I match the clamp location, it almost matches to the location where the failure occurred. So it could be a weak plastic component, due to ageing, which got damaged during the clamping of the hose.

Here's what BHPian arjab had to say about the matter:

This looks to be a case of mechanical ageing. Can happen with any "teenage-d" automobile.

Don't lose sleep over it. Yes, a replacement radiator for an Accord will be pricey but you do not have any option but to change the whole radiator assembly. Avoid getting talked into "plastic welding" and "changing the top tank and sealing it" kind of stuff. In aluminium radiators, these "jugaad" fixes do not last long.

Also since your vehicle is a couple of decades old, if you haven't already, maybe it is a good idea to have certain main components checked for mechanical integrity & fitness.

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