2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer



July, 14, 2011 AT 12:09 PM

The check gauges light came on right before I turned off the engine, then I heard a hissing sound. The check gauges light came on again as I was driving and began flashing and dinging then smoke began billowing from the right side of the engine.


15 Answers



July, 14, 2011 AT 12:39 PM

What exactly did you do when you 1st saw this "Attention Light"?

The Medic



July, 14, 2011 AT 12:47 PM

The first time it came on I had just pulled into the garage and turned off the engine.



July, 14, 2011 AT 1:56 PM


Sometimes I may sound harsh. My wife knows this well!

I sorta view our vehicles as $$$ on wheels

I drive really old Jeeps, my only warnings occur, each time I glance down at the gauges, or hear a different sound, or feel a unusual "feel". Or even once in a while, drive slow, my doors off (or windows down), radio off. Just listening! Even when you park somewhere, do it in a "clean spot", then when you return. Look for fluid leakage.

I also read any literature that comes with any device I must operate. If you will notice, at the beginning, it will usually say "READ THIS 1ST!"

Same applies for your vehicle. HAVE YOU READ YOUR OWNERS MANUAL COVER TO COVER. Or at minimum, have it right beside you, so you can reference things you do not understand?

I think Drivers would be much better off and SAFER, if not only were they graded on "Steering and Braking" and what "Road signs mean", but also should be graded on "EMERGENCY PROCEDURES", they should take when their car is having a problem (NOT WRITTEN, BUT HANDS ON, LIKE A PILOT, IN A SIMULATOR). ALL SHOULD BE REQUIRED, BEFORE THEY GIVE YOU A PIECE OF PAPER ALLOWING YOU TO "HURTLE DOWN THE HIGHWAY". WITH ONLY "FATE BY YOUR SIDE"

Way back, I reckon, this would be called "normal driving" and everyone should be "alert" to these things and KNOW EXACTLY WHAT TO DO, SHOULD SOMETHING ABNORMAL OCCUR!

Now over the years they make "Improvements" designed to "COUNTER NEGLIGENCE". Obviously still "Tuned Out" by the Operator!

If a cell phone can do it all. Surely they can make a vehicle that will not start until all "CHECKS and SERVICES" have been performed ON SCHEDULE, with a little cell phone screen, instructing you on "Exactly" what to do, in order for it to crank up, and you be able enter the "Hurtling Mode"

Did you know, you are supposed to pull Mr. Dipstick weekly. Even check other critical items more often than. When the man changes your oil? What if his cell phone distracts him at work, or he's texting. Your car would again, be neglected. YOU MUST STAY ON TOP OF YOUR STUFF. NO ONE ELSE WILL!

OKAY--back to your issue for a bit,

After your car "BEGGED" you to stop and investigate a critical problem,

YES, GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE! YOU DID RECOGNIZE IT! BUT THEN YOU IGNORED IT.(Sorta wasn't like you left your turn signal on.)

"Check Gauges" means one of these puppies ain't readin' right. Better find out why! (Usually popping the hood, and checking fluids, at minimum). Not, yeah, there still here, nobody has stolen them!

Now the issue has escalated into a more major problem. Possibly was avoidable,

I really hope you stopped when the "Hiroshima Atomic Plume", projected out from under the hood

This is where you come in, as I am here, and you are there!

Do you see oil or water in the vicinity of where the smoke came out?

When the car is cool, check your fluids see whats low or non-existent.

Maybe this is as simple as a hose, with a hole in it

Keep info coming!

I will still help, even if you don't like it!

I really am trying to help.I usually get ignored. Like a warning light!

I will also discuss the way I sent my Daughter Hurtling down the highway. Best I could. If you're "in" for the rest of my story.





July, 14, 2011 AT 2:18 PM

There is a substance on the floor of the garage. It has an oily consistency, there is no smell and it is clear.



July, 14, 2011 AT 2:31 PM

Using a hand mirror and a flashlight can you tell where it's originating from? Send pics if possible, like "out some, so we can see location, in some as to see the problem.

Using WHITE PAPER, daub some up, see if it has color?

Fluid level checks SAID WHAT?

The Medic



July, 14, 2011 AT 3:14 PM

Coolant is empty, oil, transmission fluid are full. I took a picture of the area where the leak came from, the spot on the garage, a papertowel dabbed into the spot, and the empty coolant reservoir.



July, 14, 2011 AT 3:45 PM

I'm gonna be gone a few hours, someone else may jump in and assist

Before I take off, I want you to fill your radiator back up.

BUT, I want you to keep track of how much water you add to it. In quart increments will be fine

. Do not worry about adding coolant at this time. Will come later (don't want you to waste $$$, if it will require draining again)

After it's filled, volume recorded, I want you to crank up, and continue to fill, and keep up with volume you are adding

Monitor your temperature gauge or light. After it reaches operating temp, you probably cannot fill it anymore. Replace the cap.

Lets let it run about 10-12 minutes total. WATCH TEMP THE WHOLE TIME. Record abnormalities

Watch under the hood and also watch your exhaust, and if anything starts happening that is NOT NORMAL---shut it off!

You are looking for leaks, water/ steam coming out of the exhaust, and the engine running real rough. Water temp skyrockets or oil pressure drop off really low. Shut it down before the 12 minutes, if this happens

Let me know everything you did or added. How it ran during that period, and what the temp gauge read at various times. Other gauges also. Oil pressure in particular. Is your check engine/ and/ or check gauges light on permanently. Was it off at the beginning of this test?

Gotta leave soon, back in several hours!

The Medic



July, 14, 2011 AT 4:39 PM

I added the water and ran the engine as suggested. The oil temp was 40 at 11: 04 and 11: 16, battery was 14 at 11: 04 and 11: 16, water temp was 100 at 11: 04 and 210 at 11: 16. No exhaust fumes, I filled up the coolant reservior and it remained the same while the engine was running. As of 11: 38 there is no leakage. I will continue to monitor it.



July, 14, 2011 AT 11:47 PM

OK you're looking good so far!

I want you to drive it 10 miles

Looping close-by around your house, not on major roads

Monitor your gauges the whole time, radio off, A/C on low (we want to load it up, making the engine work hard!)

Leave your window down so you can hear anything unusual!

Pull over and stop, if your Water Temp gauge rises high, or your Oil Pressure gauge falls to nothing. If Water temp gets high, let it cool down, try to get home, if it rises again, stop and repeat. As long as you do not drive Overheated, your engine should be OK.

If oil pressure goes to nothing. No more driving, PERIOD!

Like I said, real close to home, 10 miles, even if it's 'round and 'round the block!

Come home, shut it down look for leaks

When it cools down. We're gonna check the water, see if any disappeared, seeing if you can make more go in your "Now Full" radiator. This could indicate head or head gasket problems

This test may tell us if you have a thermostat problem or worse. Or you just let you water get too low without checking it.

We are hoping for the latter, and nothing was damaged

If all is fine, we're gonna drain the radiator, replace the drain plug or close the valve, whichever!

Then replenish the radiator with properly mixed coolant, before you pour it in!

I want you to find out the proper type coolant/ antifreeze needed for your car. Owners manual. Hood stickers?

I will tell you how to mix it, when you return with good results. Make sure you monitor warning lights, let me know.

Some comes already mixed, but is more expensive than doing it yourself.

Your Turn

The Medic



July, 15, 2011 AT 12:58 AM

The water temp kept rising to 260 and I had to keep stopping to let it cool down. There has been no leakage and the water level has not moved since I added it this morning.

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