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How to Deal With a Cracked Radiator & Transmission Failure in an Infiniti

Infiniti Radiator

Infiniti vehicles are affordable and reliable. They provide amazing performance and enhanced drive-assist technologies. However, a known issue with some Infiniti models is a cracked radiator. Many drivers do not know that they have a cracked radiator until they experience a problem.

Radiator 101

The radiator is a part of the cooling system. Its purpose is to remove heat from the engine and transmission. It is a critical component that keeps your Infiniti from overheating. Coolant is pumped through the engine and circulated through the radiator, traveling through the metal fins. The outside air cools the coolant with the help of the radiator fan. This coolant is then pumped back through the engine to reduce heat, then the whole process is repeated.

How does a cracked radiator affect the transmission?

When coolant leaks from the radiator, it can mix with the transmission fluid, which enters through the cooler lines. This creates a colorful mixture referred to as the Strawberry Milkshake of Death (SMOD). This dreaded mixture is toxic and leads to irreversible transmission damage.

Signs of Transmission Failure

  • car doesn’t warm up
  • vibrations when shifting
  • vibration during acceleration
  • stalling
  • shuddering noises

Symptoms of a Cracked Radiator

A crack in your radiator isn’t always visible. If your Infiniti has a cracked radiator, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms.

Coolant Leaks

Coolant can leak onto the ground if the radiator is cracked. If you notice any type of fluid under your car, other than condensation, have it checked out right away. Coolant is usually bright blue, green, red, or yellow.

Leaks are often noticeable when you park on a paved surface. However, if you park on dirt or gravel, they often go unnoticed. Placing a large piece of cardboard under your car can help you determine if there is a leak.


When there isn’t enough coolant in your radiator it will not be able to properly cool your car. This will lead to overheating.

Low Coolant Level

During regular maintenance, your technician can check the coolant level. It is also something that can easily be done yourself. Always make sure that your car has cooled off before you open the radiator cap.

Having clean coolant at the proper level is critical to prevent overheating. If your coolant is low, it is possible that your radiator is cracked.

Radiator Sludge

Coolant is usually a bright color. If there is an issue with the radiator, the coolant can turn dull or rusty in color. It will become a thick sludge that cannot circulate through the engine to keep it cool.

Damaged Radiator

Inspect your radiator for damage, corrosion and leaks.

Illuminated Check Engine Light

If your Infiniti has an issue with the cooling system, it can trigger the check engine warning light. There are many issues that can activate the light. If your light is on, have it checked out right away to avoid additional damage to your car.

Common Causes of a Radiator Crack

There are several factors that can cause a radiator to crack, from a faulty thermostat to design flaws. To keep your radiator in good condition for as long as possible you should:

  • always maintain the proper coolant level
  • flush the coolant system regularly
  • never drive your car if it is overheating

Driving with a Cracked Radiator

A cracked radiator may not seem like a big deal, but it is. Do not drive your car with a damaged or cracked radiator. Your radiator is key to keeping your engine cool. Continuing to drive your car can cause your engine to overheat, which can cause major damage, including catastrophic transmission and engine failure.

Infiniti Cracked Radiator & Transmission Failure

Euro Plus Automotive is Here to Help

The radiator is one of the most important components in your car. When it fails, your vehicle can overheat. Overheating leads to irreversible damage. If you believe your radiator is cracked, it needs to be inspected as quickly as possible. Failing to do so can lead to additional failures and expensive repair bills. Our expert team of professional mechanics know what to look for and how to get your car fixed properly.

Book Your Appointment Today

If you are experiencing any Infiniti Radiator Changeissues with your Infiniti, don’t hesitate to call. At Euro Plus Automotive, we are here to help you. Call us today to book an appointment. We proudly service the Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles County, CA areas.

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