Sometimes when driving the coolant light comes on

Tiny
JOE1953
  • MEMBER
  • 2006 SATURN ION
  • 2.2L
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 166,000 MILES
Sometimes when driving the coolant light comes on. I just notice it Thursday and now it comes on every time I drive the car and it does not stay on all the time. The engine is not over heating. What could be causing this problem and what to check?
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Saturday, September 17th, 2016 AT 10:11 AM

12 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Check the coolant level in the reservoir. It should be above the "Min" or "Add" mark when the engine is cold and below the "Max" or "Full" mark when it is hot.
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Saturday, September 17th, 2016 AT 12:02 PM
Tiny
JOE1953
  • MEMBER
The coolant level is 1" below the add mark when the engine is cold so I drive the car about 4 or 5 miles and I check the level again the coolant level was still 1" below the add mark.
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Sunday, September 18th, 2016 AT 10:45 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The level isn't going to change in just those few miles. It's low, so you can expect the low coolant level light to turn on. Add about a quart of 50 percent antifreeze and 50 percent water.
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Sunday, September 18th, 2016 AT 11:24 PM
Tiny
JOE1953
  • MEMBER
Do it make any different what color antifreeze I use green or orange?
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Monday, September 19th, 2016 AT 7:55 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Just to add to this one fill it to the seam of the bottle with 50/50 GM dexcool
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Monday, September 19th, 2016 AT 12:55 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
GM used the red Dex-Cool, (Dex-Mud) and advertised it as "lifetime" coolant to make their cost of maintenance appear to be lower than that of their competitors, but on the vehicle there's a sticker that says to replace it every three years. Even the Dex-Cool company doesn't want you to go three years. They recommend every two years just like for all other brands of antifreeze. The antifreeze is alcohol and will always be alcohol. It's the additives like water pump lubricant and corrosion inhibitors that wear out, then the acids that normally form in the system begin attacking metal parts. That's why GM owners have so many problems with corroded and leaking heater cores and radiators.

A lot of mechanics want to get the Dex-Cool flushed out and replaced with a different brand of antifreeze, but that is only done when it's time for a flush or a repair. When you're just adding to top off the reservoir, stick with what is in there now. There are actually about a dozen different antifreeze formulas now as each car manufacturer is trying to address their individual problems. There are also some brands of antifreeze that claim to be universal and can be mixed with any other brand. I don't know how true that is or whether I'd want to believe the salespeople, so unless Saturntech9 has a better answer, I'd stick with the Dex-Cool unless it's past time for flushing the system. The "Dex-Mud" comment refers to what a lot of people called the coolant, and what it turned into when mixed with an incompatible brand of antifreeze. That's why I'm leery of adding some other brand of antifreeze to what you have.
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Monday, September 19th, 2016 AT 3:18 PM
Tiny
JOE1953
  • MEMBER
I have a Gal of supertech prediluted 50/50 antifreeze/coolant, extended life up to 5 years or 150,000 miles would it be ok to use it?
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Monday, September 19th, 2016 AT 6:55 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
That's probably a universal coolant just get the GM dex cool.I worked for Saturn for over 16yrs and had no problems using the dex cool.I have a 1999 Saturn which I have had for ten years. Iam running def cool in it when I replace the radiator water pump etc. As well as my sisters 2003 Saturn ion I run dex cool in that also.
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Monday, September 19th, 2016 AT 7:17 PM
Tiny
JOE1953
  • MEMBER
Can I buy the GM dex cool at wal-mart? That where I bought the supertech prediluted 50/50 antifreeze/coolant.
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Monday, September 19th, 2016 AT 7:41 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Iam not sure if they sell it there I don't go to Walmart very much at all.
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Monday, September 19th, 2016 AT 7:42 PM
Tiny
JOE1953
  • MEMBER
What store I get the GM dex cool from?
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Monday, September 19th, 2016 AT 7:48 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Try a auto parts store they should have it.
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Monday, September 19th, 2016 AT 7:57 PM

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