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Yes, it is important to include the overflow tank or bottle as integral with the radiator and coolant system as a whole. They all intermix. Actually, the level in the overflow tank is a true measure of the correct amount to keep your coolant at. There are two marks on the overflow: full hot and full cold. The coolant system on all modern cars is a sealed system and therefore should never require adding, save a very small amount through evaporation within the overflow tank- the only part that is open to atmosphere.
So once you get all the air out of the system that is possible, both in the engine and in the radiator, you have a full level everywhere, including the overflow tank where it should always remain somewhere between the full hot and full cold marks.
You are right that the overflow collects the heated radiator coolant. But it is due to the expansive properties of coolant-or water- that it expands when heated, (but not boiling-that is very bad news of a different sort). Your radiator cap is designed to open at a specific pressure, just enough to allow coolant to flow into the overflow. As the engine and coolant cools, it contracts, the level drops in the radiator, and a natural vacuum there will siphon the overflow tank back into the radiator until it is full again. That is why you have the full hot and full cold marks.
I will shut off the lecture now. I hope you have liked my answer. If not, I give you permission to kill me now- if I may so jest.
Good job of tying the heater to the antifreeze overflow.
This is a guess. Replace the radiator cap and the hose connecting the radiator to the coolant reservoir. Then fill the radiator, engine, and heater hoses completely with antifreeze solution.
When the engine heats up, the coolant expands. Excess coolant is directed to the reservoir. When the engine cools, coolant is supposed to be sucked back into the coolant system. If either the radiator cap or the overflow hose has a tiny leak, air will be sucked in instead of the antifreeze returning
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.
REPLACE THERMOSTAT IF TOP COOLANT COOLANT HOSE GOING TO RADIATOR IS HOT TO TOUCH THERMOSTAT OPEN. TO BLEED COOLANT SYSTEM FIRST YOU NEED TO ADD COOLANT TO THE COOLANT OVER FLOW JUG UNTIL COOLANT LEVEL STOP DROPPING AND STAY AT FULL COLD MARK.WAIT 3 MINUTES IF COOLANT DROPS ADD MORE COOLANT UNTIL COOLANT STAY AT FULL COLD MARK.WITH RADIATOR OVER CAP OFF CRANK ENGINE FOR MINUTE WATCH COOLANT LEVEL AT OVERFLOW JUG.IF COOLANT DROPS ADD MORE COOLANT IN THE OVERFLOW JUG.WHEN COOLANT LEVEL STOP DROPPING IN OVERFLOW JUG.SCREW BACK ON THE RADIATOR CAP TO OVERFLOW JUG.WHILE ENGINE IDLING WATCH TEMPERATURE GAUGE WHEN TEMPERATURE START CLIMBING TURN OFF ENGINE WAIT A WHILE KEEP FROM GETTING SCALDED.WHEN COOLANT COOL DOWN SOME. PLACE A LARGE RAG OVER THE COOLANT OVERFLOW JUG OPEN CAP LITTLE AT A TIME UNTIL PRESSURE RELEASED, THEN REMOVE CAP ADD MORE COOLANT IN THE OVERFLOW JUG TO THE FULL COLD MARK.THEN REPEAT THE PROCESS SCREW BACK ON THE COOLANT OVERFLOW RADIATOR PRESSURE CAP.THEN START ENGINE WATCH TEMPERATURE GAUGE WATCH COOLANT TEMPERATURE GAUGE WHEN COOLANT TEMPERATURE START RISING TURN OFF ENGINE AGAIN WAIT UNTIL ENGINE COOL DOWN ENOUGH TO KEEP FROM GETTING SCALDED TAKE PLACE LARGE RAG OVER RADIATOR CAP WHICH IS THE COOLANT OVERFLOW JUG CAP OPEN CAP LITTLE AT A TIME UNTIL PRESSURE RELEASED ADD COOLANT UNTIL AT FULL COLD MARK. WHEN YOUR COOLANT LEVEL STOP DROPPING.AND TOP RADIATOR HOSE VERY HOT THERMOSTAT OPEN AND AIR IS OUT THE COOLANT SYSTEM. MAKE SURE YOUR COOLANT OVERFLOW JUG HAS COOLANT IN IT,WHEN ENGINE COOL DOWN CHECK COOLANT OVERFLOW JUG KEEP COOLANT LEVEL AT FULL COLD MARK.BECAUSE IF OVERFLOW JUG IS EMPTY THATS A SIGN RADIATOR COOLANT LEVEL LOW.WHEN OVERFLOW JUG EMPTY IT WILL ALLOW AIR GET IN THE COOLANT SYSTEM AND CAUSE CAR TO OVERHEAT.WHEN REPLACING THERMOSTAT ALSO REPLACE THE RADIATOR CAP ON THE COOLANT OVERFLOW JUG.
A tank used for storing excess coolant; connected to the cooling system with a small-diameter overflow hose.
The coolant reservoir is the bottle,under the hood, that holds the
radiator fluid. it is also known as a overflow bottle. When the car gets
hot,the overflow bottle, releases steam to relive the pressure in the
radiator. excess coolant is also stored here.
DID YOU BLEED AIR OUT THE COOLANT SYSTEM.TO BLEED COOLANT SYSTEM, FILL THE COOLANT SYSTEM THROUGH THE RESERVOIR TANK OR THE RADIATOR UNTIL THE FULL COLD MARK IS REACHED.BESURE TO USE 50/50 HALF WATER AND ANTIFREEZE.YOU CAN BUY ANTIFREEZE THAT IS ALREADY PREMIX 50/50.AFTER ADDING ANTIFREEZE TO RESERVOIR OR RADIATOR FILL RADIATOR TO FULL MARK OR IF YOU DONT HAVE RADIATOR CAP ON RADIATOR POUR ANTIFREEZE IN THE OVERFLOW JUG UNTIL COOLANT LEVEL STAY THE FULL COLD MARK.WAIT AWHILE UNTIL COOLANT LEVEL STOP DROPPING.NOW INSTALL THE RADIATOR OR OVER FLOW JUG CAP.START THE ENGINE AND ALLOW IT TO RUN UNTIL NORMAL OPERATING TEMPERATURE IS REACHED AND THE UPPER RADIATOR HOSE BECOME HOT.STOP THE ENGINE AND OBSERVE THE COOLANT LEVEL IN THE OVERFLOW JUG. THE COOLANT LEVEL SHOULD BE AT THE FULL HOT LINE.ALLOW THE ENGINE TO COOL UNTIL THE AMBIENT TEMPERATURE IS REACHED THEN CHECK THE COOLANT LEVEL IT SHOULD BE AT OR ABOVE THE FULL COLD LINE.ADD MORE COOLANT IF NECESSARY. WARNING BECAREFUL WHEN OPEN THE RADIATOR CAP OR JUG OVER FLOW CAP.USE A LARGE RAG OVER THE RADIATOR CAP TO KEEP FROM GETTING SCALDED.OPEN RADIATOR CAP A LITTLE AT A TIME TO KEEP FROM GETTING SCALDED.WAIT UNTIL ENGINE COOL DOWN BEFORE OPENING RADIATOR CAP OR OVERFLOW JUG CAP.WEAR SAFETY GLASSES.
It probably got overfilled at some point. There's a max line on the reservoir that you shouldn't fill it over. Coolant expands as it heats up so if there's too much in the system, it's normal for it to overflow.
TO CHANGE RADIATOR FIRST YOU TURN OFF RADIO FIRST TO KEEP FROM LOSING RADIO CODE.DISCONNECT NEGATIVE BATTERY CABLE.RAISE FRONT OF VECHICLE SUPPORT ON JACK STANDS.REMOVE THE LOWER SPLASH SHIELDS.NOW YOU NEED TO DRAIN THE COOLING SYSTEM.CATCH COOLANT IN A LARGE DRAIN PAN.REUSE COOLANT IF ITS FAIRLY NEW.IF COOLANT VERY OLD CHANGE IT.PUT OLD COOLANT IN SOME EMPTY CONTAINER TAKE TO A GARAGE OR WHOEVER DISPOSE IT.DONT POUR ON GROUND.HARMFUL TO THE ENVIRONMENT.MOVE THE AIR INTAKE DUCT PASSES OVER THE TOP RADIATOR HOSE.NOW WHEN ALL COOLANT DRAIN OUT.LOOSEN UPPER AND LOWER RADIATOR HOSE CLAMPS.THEN DETACH THE RADIATOR HOSES FROM THE FITTINGS.IF THEY ARE STUCK GRASP EACH HOSE NEAR THE END WITH A PAIR OF ADJUSTABLE PLIERS AND TWIST IT TO BREAK THE SEAL THEN PULL IT OFF REMOVE SMALL COOLANT SURGE LINES FROM TOP OF RADIATOR THAT GOES TO THE OVER FLOW RESERVOIR..DISCONNECT COOLING FAN ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR.THEN REMOVE THE COOLING FAN.REMOVE DISCONNECT AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION COOLER LINES GET READY TO CATCH TRANSMISSION FLUID THEN PLUG LINES. NOW UNSCREW THE FOUR BOLTS TWO ON EACH SIDE OF THE RADIATOR THAT ATTACH RADIATOR TO THE AIR CONDITIONER CONDENSOR CAREFULLY TIP TOP OF THE RADIATOR SLIGHTLY TOWARDS THE ENGINE.REMOVE THE UPPER RADIATOR SEAL AND LIFT RADIATOR FROM THE ENGINE.NOW IS THE TIME TO REPLACE THE UPPER AND LOWER RADIATOR HOSES WITH NEW ONES SINCE ALL COOLANT REMOVE I WOULD REPLACE THERMOSTAT AND RADIATOR PRESSURE CAP.NOW WHEN YOU GET READY TO INSTALL NEW RADIATOR USE SHEETS OF CARD BOARD PROTECT RADIATOR FINS AND CORES FROM DAMAGE WHILE SITTING RADIATOR BACK IN PLACE.ONCE YOU GET UPPER AND LOWER HOSES IN PLACE ALSO PLACE SMALL SURGE HOSES FROM THE OVER FLOW RESERVOIR TO RADIATOR NEW THERMOSTAT AND TRANSMISSION COOLER LINES ALL HOOK UP. START POURING ANTIFREEZE IN THE RADIATOR OR OVERFLOW RESERVOIR IF RADIATOR DONT HAVE RADIATOR CAP ON IT.POUR A FULL GALLON ANTIFREEZE AND A HALF MORE IF LONG AS THE COOLANT STAYS ON THE COLD LEVEL MARK ON OVERFLOW RESERVOIR DONT OVER FILL.IF YOU POUR ANTIFREEZE IN RADIATOR KEEP POURING ANTIFREEZE UNTIL LEVEL STOP DROPPING AND LEVEL OFF AT RADIATOR TOP.START ENGINE CHECK FOR LEAKS. LET ENGINE RUN UNTIL IT WARM UP TOP RADIATOR HOSE GET HOT.WATCH COOLANT LEVEL IN RADIATOR OR COOLANT OVERFLOW RESERVOIR WHEN THERMOSTAT OPENS COOLANT LEVEL WILL DROP.ONCE YOU HAVE ENOUGH COOLANT IN THE SYSTEM COOLANT LEVEL WILL STOP DROPPING.THEN YOU READY TO GO.LET ENGINE SIT A LITTLE WHILE CHECK COOLANT LEVEL AGAIN.COOLANT LEVEL IN THE OVER FLOW RESERVOIR SHOULD BE AT HOT MARK FOR HOT ENGINE AND WHEN ENGINE COLD COOLANT LEVEL SHOULD BE AT THE COLD MARK.IF POUR ANTIFREEZE IN THE RADIATOR COOLANT LEVEL SHOULD BE AT TOP OF RADIATOR BELOW PRESSURE CAP.
either a leaky head gasket or someone put oil in the overflow, it happens, clean it out drain the coolant from the entire system and refill with new long life antifreeze, also add a can of good radiator sealer.