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Doug, ASE Certified
Category: UK Car
Satisfied Customers: 8621
Experience:  .16 years automotive and OTR repair and factory training
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Just ran into another car with my evo viii and pushed in the

Customer Question

Just ran into another car with my evo viii and pushed in the intercooler with the other cars hitch to the point it's touching the radiator. Need to do drive bout 100 miles in the morning and worried about damaging the engine. Any thoughts?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Car
Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.


Are you losing any coolant at all?
Did the intercooler take any serious damage apart from being pushed? For example are there any piercings of the bars of the intercooler from the hitch (or tow hook, or anything else it came in contact with)?
Lastly, is the radiator showing any signs of being bent at all where the intercooler is touching it?

Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.

It looks like we missed each other, but those are your main concerns...

1) If there is any signs of coolant anywhere, it is not safe to drive. These cars are super sensitive to cooling deficiencies, and even losing a small amount could be catastrophic on a long drive.
2) If there is any external damage to the intercooler, where the bars are breached at all, the vehicle is unsafe to drive. This will cause a boost leak that will result in the computer not being able to normally regulate the fuel control and can cause catastrophic engine damage in the right scenario.

3) If the radiator is bent from the intercooler hitting it and they are still pressed against each other this is a concern and you should probably consider not driving it. While this could happen with no coolant loss and no damage to the intercooler, if the impact was enough to bend the radiator and the two are still under pressure against each other, it will likely lead to chaffing as you drive that could result in the radiator core leaking while you drive, unknown to you. This would put you back to the #1 scenario you don't want to be in.

One last thing to keep in mind, if this is an AC equipped Evo then there will be a condenser mounted in front of the radiator. Obviously the impact could push the intercooler into the condenser and then into the radiator causing the same scenarios as above, but also if the impact was just right it could damage the condenser and not touch the radiator... at which point your cooling system concerns would be resolved, you would just be concerned over if the intercooler had any boost leaks.

So essentially.... verify no leaks at the radiator; verify no obvious sign of puncture at the intercooler. If both are OK, you are probably OK to drive, just try to verify that there isn't any chaffing/load between the intercooler and the radiator (or condenser and radiator if AC equipped) that might lead to a leak from rubbing over the next 100 miles.