So I drove my car with a loose radiator cap

Asked by Nov 16, 2017 at 02:10 PM about the 2003 Toyota Camry

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

So I drove my car with a loose radiator cap and
didn't realize till I pulled over , my car was smoking
but never ran hot I watched the temp as I was
pulling off the nearest exit . It was white smoke
coming out of my exhaust pipe is this anything bad
? Or I just have to wait till the car cools off because
there's no oil or water on the ground and water was
still in the reserve jug

2 Answers


Make sure the radiator is full of the correct mixture for your area before doing anything, then start the engine and let it warm up as normal, keep an eye on the level in the recovery bottle and add if need be once it gets to operational temp, you most likely will notice steam and have an antifreeze smell as it warms up but if all is good it should dissipate within 20 minutes. If you don't see any leaks under the hood or dripping on the ground then your good to go, just watch the temp gauge. After you shut it down and let it cool like overnight recheck the coolant level in the radiator and recovery tank cold, top off if needed, any loss could just have been some air cycling through. It doesn't sound like anything got damaged.

2 people found this helpful.

Which he may be correct but if white smoke continues it's a possible signed they either have a crackhead or warped head and maybe have a damaged head gasket you could have boiled it over with the loose It once the fluid is not in to make contact with the sensor it cannot give you a proper reading and the temperature

1 people found this helpful.

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