I have a 2000 chevy blazer, was low on coolant so i filled the radiator and reservoir. one week later and it needed about a gallon more. i do not see any on the ground or on the engine.where could it be going, and what needs to be done?
You may also check your heater core. That was happening to me and it
was leaking which you wont see it on the ground if it is that. Can you
smell any odors coming through your vents? if so im almost positive it
would be your heater core.
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In most newer chevys, the coolant reservoir is part of the pressurized system. Rather than just holding overflow coolant and relying on the radiator pressure cap to draw from and expel to the reservoir, it is an active part of the cooling system. On these systems, there is a coolant level switch in the reservoir. This will activate if the level in the reservoir gets below a certain point. So it is possible to have a full radiator and still get a low coolant light. Be advised that as the reservoir ages and get stained, it is not uncommon for the low coolant sensor to give false indications of low coolant.
So the level keeps dropping in the reservoir? If you have to keep adding coolant to the reservoir, the system is leaking or losing coolant somewhere. Have the system pressure tested to find the leak. Is the reservoir itself leaking? When the level gets low enough, first the reservoir will go dry, then the radiator level will start to drop.
Here's how the reservoir works: coolant is under pressure from the radiator cap seal. As coolant heats up from hot engine, it expands, and pressure forces the radiator cap seal up, coolant is forced into the reservoir-remember the hot mark on the reservoir? When car is shut off, coolant contracts, creating a vacuum in top of radiator. This vacuum works to suction coolant back from reservoir into the radiator, keeping the radiator topped up, and coolant should now be at the lower cold mark on the reservoir. It is a closed, sealed system. The only loss of coolant will be a very small amount of evaporation from the reservoir. If coolant level keeps dropping, there is a leak somewhere.
Look at the area where you park. Is there any fluid under the car that is not oily but rather is slick and has a sweet smell - yes, you wil have to stick your finger in it to see. If you find this type of fluid, you have a leak from somewhere in the engine compartment. Judge by the amount of fluid whether this is a major and potential calamity. (Lots of antifreeze could mean a bad hose or a bad water pump.)
Once you've checked for leaks, check the plastic reservoir that holds the radiator coolant overflow - is there anything in it? If you found alot of fluid on the ground, odds are that the reservoir will be low. If it is much below the fill line, add some water and coolant (50/50 mix) until it is back to the fill line.and check it for awhile to see if it needs more after you have driven for a bit (keep the coolant with you in the car just in case.) When the engine is cold, and as you are checking the reservoir, remove the radiator cap by pushing down on it a bit and turning it in the direction shown on the cap itself. Look into the radiator with a flashlight to see where the fluid level is. If it is more than 2 inches from the top, add a bit of coolant/water but not up to the top. Replace the cap firmly and add coolant/water to the reservoir cold level mark. If that all looks fine, you may have a bad water pump, a plugged radiator, a week cooling fan or a bad thermostat.
If you are talking about the reservoir for the radiator, the radiator pulls coolant in from the tank when it is low. If you are adding coolant - water every week and there are no external leaks, the engine is burning the coolant out the exhaust pipe. Usually a leaking head gasket - intake gasket or cracked head.
WAIT UNTIL YOUR ENGINE IS COLD,YOUR RADIATOR PRESSURE CAP IS LOCATED ON THE COOLANT OVER FLOW RESERVOIR, THATS WHERE YOU ADD COOLANT WHEN COOLANT LOW,YOU POUR COOLANT IN THE OVER FLOW RESERVOIR UNTIL COOLANT LEVEL REMAIN AT FULL COLD MARK DONT OVER FILL OVER FLOW RESERVOIR, WHEN COOLANT LEVEL STOP DROPPING WHEN ADDING COOLANT AND COOLANT LEVEL STAY AT COLD MARK ON THE RESERVOIR YOU RADIATOR HAS THE CORRECT COOLANT LEVEL IF COOLANT LEVEL KEEP DROPPING CHECK FOR COOLANT LEAKS AROUND RADIATOR AND THE TOP AND BOTTOM RADIATOR HOSES, LOOK FOR COOLANT LEAK AT WATER PUMP GASKET OR SEAL OR LEAK AT WATER PUMP WEEP HOLE IF YES REPLACE WATER PUMP.
There are two hoses on an Antifreeze reservoir tank.
One is to allow escape in case of unexpected back pressure or overfill of the reservoir.
The other will be a hose that clamps on to the radiator right below the cap on a little spout coming off the fill neck of the radiator. This hose is the actual path the antifreeze takes when the radiator is low pressure pulls the antifreeze out of the reservoir to use.
You may be low on coolant - or have an air bubble in the heater core! Make sure you have the right antifreeze and mix 50/50 with water. Start car, turn heater on max heat full blast and fill reservoir with coolant. If you have access to the radiator cap I would fill from there. This is a pressurized system, so it may blow some coolant out at you. Squeeze upper radiator hose to ensure it is full, cap radiator and now recheck the reservoir. If this doesn't help, you'll need to raise the front of the vehicle so the radiator cap is above the heater core hoses. Remove cap, start engine with heater and blower on high and fill radiator. Cap radiator before you lower the car and you should be good. Keep an eye on the coolant reservoir as you may have a leak which would cause the low coolant symptom. You also have a sensor to tell you is you are low on coolant. If you are and it is not lighting up, you may want to have it ( the sensor) tested and replaced. Good luck!!
The radiator is that flat panel shaped object in the front-most center of the engine compartment. You don't add coolant and water directly into the radiator. On the right side of the engine compartment is a plastic overflow reservoir with a blue cap. That's where the coolant/water mix goes. Run the engine while adding coolant and water. There are fill marks on the reservoir indicating how much coolant/water mix is required. With the engine running, if the radiator is very low on coolant it will repeatedly draw fluid from the reservoir. Continue to add coolant/water mix until the situation stabilizes and the reservoir is filled to the high fill mark.
You have a leak. Look around on the driveway and try to determine if you have an external leak as opposed to an internal leak. If you see no coolant on the ground, suspect a blown head gasket. Do not continue to drive this car in this condition. If it does indeed have a blown head gasket, serious engine damage will occur.
Check your exhaust for white smoke. Chances are good you have a blown head gasket and coolant is leaking into the engines combustion chambers and is essentially burning off. Also check your oil, if it looks like caf mocha, this will confirm coolant is leaking into the oil via the blown head gasket
Your description may actually be your answer, so to speak. You mention 'generally as engine is cooling or if coolant is added too quickly'. It sounds to me like the reservoir is over-filled. When the engine is cooling, coolant tends to flow back to the reservoir (plastic 'jug' where you add coolant). A bad radiator cap or one that was replaced with too low a PSI rating can easily allow too much to fill the reservoir and and occasionally overflow it. Most reservoirs use a rubber tube to drain excess coolant so it may appear to 'leak' near the front left wheel or left side of engine. Replace your radiator cap. (did they pressure test the cap too?) Make sure you check your owner's manual for the proper PSI. My sources show 15-16psi, but that sounds a little high to me. Also, make sure you have the correct (50/50) anti-freeze/water mixture. After you replace the cap, make sure the reservoir has the right amount of coolant and isn't over-filled. (To 'fill cold' line) Drive the engine until hot, then park the truck and see if the problem is fixed. Good Luck!