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Frozen Engine Block

Q: My radiator has a small pin-hole leak. I was planning on getting it fixed here really soon. In the meantime, I used water to fill it up. This morning my radiator was frozen. Not knowing it, I started the car to warm it up to go to school. About 10 minutes later I went outside and the windshield wasn’t unthawed. When I got in the car the temp gauge was all the way up. I immediately turned the car off and waited for about 15 minutes. When I tried to start the car again, it wouldn’t start. I noticed that one of the soft plugs popped out of the engine block. What can I do?

A: The first thing you need to do is park the car in a heated garage to let the engine and radiator unthaw. From there, you will need to complete diagnostic work to figure out if the block, head, or radiator has cracked. I suspect that you possibly cracked a head or blew a head gasket from overheating engine. When the engine and radiator were frozen the coolant was not circulating. That is also the reason your windshield wasn’t unthawed. The coolant did not circulate to the heater core.