Question about 1999 Chevrolet Malibu

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I may have added too much coolant. After adding it, I drove for about 15 minutes. A few hours later, the tempurature gauge light came on. I check the coolant level again and there was nothing in the tank! What happened?

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No, you can't add too much coolant. Rather, it does not hurt anything if you do. Did you add it to the radiator, or to the overflow tank?

Let it cool, then remove the radiator cap, and if needed, add coolant to the radiator. Put the cap back on, and fill the overflow tank to the "full - cold" line. Start it and run it a few minutes and look for leaks. If you find no leaks, drive it for a day or two, then let it cool and check it again. If it is down a lot (without overheating), you have a leak somewhere. If you lose enough coolant, that will make it overheat. However, if it overheats, that can cause loss of coolant, when you stop the car, you will see steam and smell coolant, and often hear it boiling.

If it overheats again, make note of when it happens: driving on the highway, or stop-and-go around town. Overheating on the highway usually indicates a clogged radiator, while in-town overheating usually indicates a bad cooling fan (you don't need the fan above about 30 MPH). A bad fan is usually the fan relay, but it can be the fan thermostat (different from the engine thermostat), or a bad fan motor.

Posted on Oct 10, 2010

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