Question about 2005 Chevrolet Impala

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While I was sitting at a red light on my way to work this morning, my HOT COOLANT TEMP light came on along with a rather nerve-wracking beeping alarm. When the light turned green and I started driving again, it cooled down again. At the next red light, the temp gauge inched up slowly to the red line, then slowly started backing down again. (strange, right?) At the final red light, it inched up and over the red line and started all the clanging again. When I got to school I checked my coolant reservoir which was 95% dry. There was a little moisture in the bottom, but only enough so that I could see that there was some liquid there. I'd love to think that this is a slow leak, but wouldn't the LOW COOLANT light have come on instead of HOT COOLANT? Any advice any of you can offer would be much appreciated!

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OK, on some cars the low coolant light may not go on if not equipped or if the switch is defective.

It probably is a slow leak if you do not smell or see the fluid on the ground when you park it.

Also, immediately fill the reservoir and the system with coolant and observe if the coolant fan goes on. If the coolant fan does not go on when hot, this could be causing the overheating problem at traffic lights.

The cooling fan is nick named the 'traffic fan' because it is used when you come to a stop at a traffic light.

Maybe have the system pressure tested to see if the leak is coming out of the water pump, for example, which is a common place for slow leaks to occur.

Good luck on diagnosing and repairing this cooling system leak/overheat problem.

Have a good day.

Posted on Oct 12, 2010

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