When this car was delivered, the low coolant warning was on. The mechanic who installed the water pump did not bleed the air from the cooling system when he refilled it. I bled the system and topped it off. Problem solved - at least apparently.
About three days later, our old friend the low coolant warning made another appearance. After my wife drove the car, she noticed coolant running underneath it. The car never lost enough coolant to begin overheating, but it lost enough. I traced the problem to the connecting hose that connects the expansion tank to the radiator. The hose developed a leak at the radiator end while the previous owner had it. I found a big glob of glue on the hose at that end. Someone tried to avoid replacing the hose by repairing it. The repair held long enough for the car to be sold, and that's about it. I assume that the previous owner was either afraid to go under the hood, or assumed that the dealer would charge a fortune to replace the hose (and they probably would have, since my local dealer quoted me $100 for an oil change).
I bought a replacement hose from my local dealer (cost just over $30), and it took about 15 seconds to install once I got the old hose off. Hint: if you do this repair, just break the plastic clamp ring on the old hose and gently pry it open rather than trying to compress it. It saves a lot of time. The warning light has not reappeared in the month since I installed the new hose.
The only other problem I have had is that the power antenna has stopped retracting. The motor still runs, so I bought a mast kit for about $15 and will install it next weekend.
The only other thing I plan to do right now is have all the fluids flushed and replaced.
Tuesday, June 27th, 2006 AT 9:21 PM