Car getting very hot with coolant tank full

Tiny
LPOTHAAR
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 CHEVROLET IMPALA
  • 135 MILES
Car gauge got hot. (Didnt overheat or steam yet) checked coolant, was bone dry. We let car cool added coolant to the coolant recovery tank (but not the radiator - when we opened the radiator tank we could see the water coming into it from the coolant tank.) Turned car on left it in park, after 3 min temp rose 3/4 to top. Theres a small puddle under the car which may explain why coolant was empty, but why isn't it staying cool now that the tank is full
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Saturday, December 24th, 2011 AT 5:46 AM

11 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Does the radiator cooling fan come on?If so what temp does it turn on at?Also is both the upper and lower radiator hose getting really hot?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, December 24th, 2011 AT 5:49 AM
Tiny
LPOTHAAR
  • MEMBER
Umm the fan comes on when its like 3/4 hot. And I didnt check upper/lower rad hose. Someone told us to add water or coolant directly to the radiator so I think we will try that and I will check the upper/lower rad hose are getting hot as well. I will be back in a bit. And thanks for your quick response.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, December 24th, 2011 AT 5:55 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Most the newer cars have coolant fill tanks where you add coolant not at the radiator itself. Where did the radiator fan come on temp wise before?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, December 24th, 2011 AT 6:02 AM
Tiny
LPOTHAAR
  • MEMBER
Its a 2004 and our manual suggested adding to radiator. Im not sure what temperature the fan came on before. But now we added water directly to the radiator. Drove it around the block a few times, the temp is now fine. However the coolant tank has gone down by about half. Does this mean its been absorbed into the radiator or do we have some sort of catastrophic leak while were driving? We are supposed to drive a couple hundred k tomorrow for xmas. Is this gonna be safe if we have lots of water in the car to keep adding to the tank if needed? Thanks for your help. You rock.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, December 24th, 2011 AT 6:26 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
The drop could just have been a air pocket in the cooling system but you said you have had to add coolant several times. You also mentioned a coolant leak?A leak go from a slow one to a major one without warning. Were is the coolant leaking from?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, December 24th, 2011 AT 6:31 AM
Tiny
LPOTHAAR
  • MEMBER
Were not too sure where the leak is coming from, we just noticed a puddle when we first pulled out before all this happened. I peeked at the undercarriage and cant see anything dripping at the moment, so im not sure how fast its leaking. We originally added coolant only to the coolant tank. Im guessing that didn't work at first because the radiator was still bone dry. Now that the radiator has coolant in it, it seems fine. Im just worried about driving long distance, and im assuming everything is closed on holidays. In case you couldnt tell this is our first car and we only bought it recently - i.E. We know shiza about cars. It seems like the last owner took very good care of it tho. And all fluids were topped up b4 we got it. Weve driven it about 5000 k since then with no problems. Last time we drove it we took it thru a high powered car wash, maybe this somehow caused the leak? Do you recommend we try and find an open mechanic tomorrow before our roadtrip? Or do you think it would be ok to drive it anyways, keeping constant eye on temperature, and keep filling with h2o if needed. Its not very cold here.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, December 24th, 2011 AT 6:41 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
If the radiator cap looks older I would change that I doubt your going to find a shop open on christmas eve but you may get lucky. If you can get it checked out I would I would hate to see something happen on your long trip. Keep me posted on what you find.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, December 24th, 2011 AT 6:47 AM
Tiny
LPOTHAAR
  • MEMBER
Hm well the car seems like it was taken really good care of the owner was very organized with his paperwork etc. Radiator caps in great shape. Theres a bit of orange-ish colored sludge on the inside of the coolant and radiator tanks. Thats probably not good. But again - I know nothing. We might just give the trip a shot anyways keeping a constant eye on the coolant level and the temperature and turn back if its bad. I really REALLY appreciate all your advice. Have a wonderful christmas if you celebrate.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, December 24th, 2011 AT 6:55 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Yes I celebrate christmas you have a great one also. Another thing you could try if auto zone is open you can try and rent a coolant pressure tester. It goes on like a radiator cap and you pump the pump to pressurize the cooling system and then you watch for the gauge to drop or visual leaks. Really easy to do its your car though your call. Keep me posted on how you make out and have a very merry christmas.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, December 24th, 2011 AT 7:01 AM
Tiny
LPOTHAAR
  • MEMBER
Never heard of auto zone so I will look it up and give it a try if they are open. Thanks so much again. You probably saved our christmas with your advice. Good kharma to you :) merry xmas.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, December 24th, 2011 AT 7:08 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Your welcome its a auto parts store I dont know which auto parts stores you have by you. But I would check the auto parts stores in your area. You have a great xmas too keep me posted on what you find.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, December 24th, 2011 AT 7:14 AM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides