Question about 1995 Chevrolet Camaro
I have seen several solutions and comments offered for these often asked questions here that say it is SAFE to open the cap when the engine is cool and add coolant or even to drain coolant and refill just like you would on most older and even many newer cars. While they are partially correct in saying it is SAFE to open the radiator cap when the engine is cool such as when it has not been started for the day or at least a few hours, they are absolutely not correct in saying that this is why the warning is there. On most older and even many newer cars this IS the reason for the warning on the radiator cap and it usually says specifically "do not open when HOT" as the coolant can be under a great deal of pressure causing potentially very hot coolant to shoot up and out of the filler neck as soon as you get the cap loose enough to release the pressure. This can cause serious burns to your hands, arms, face and eyes. This can also happen on your 1993 Camaro Z28 if you open that cap when hot however that is not the main reason they do not want you to open that cap to add coolant, hence the warning to "NEVER OPEN" and to check and add coolant to the reservoir bottle. The 1993 Camaro Z28 has the 5.7ltr (350 C.I.D.) small block v8 LT1 engine. The cooling system on this engine is what is referred to as a reverse flow closed system. Due to the way the coolant flows through ports in the air intake throttle body and from one head to the other through a long metal line connected between the heads at the back of the engine before entering the block, where the coolant picks up most of the heat of the engine, and then returns to the radiator to be cooled (the reverse off most GM V8 smallblock motors) it has far more areas for significantly more air to get trapped and unlike normal flow cooling systems can be very hard if not impossible to work itself out as the engine runs. This can stop the coolant from flowing and cause serious overheating. The reason for this design is to allow the coolant to warm the air entering the throttle body in very cold winter start up and cool the throttle body and heads more efficiently in warm or hot weather conditions allowing incoming air to remain colder and therefore denser for better fuel/air intake and mixture delivering more power and better performance. Although this type of cooling system was quickly abandoned in the later models with the LS type motors. These reverse flow systems must be "BLED" through several bleed valves much like bleeding the hydraulic braking system. Most LT1 engines in the 1993 Camaro have at least two bleed valves and often they have three or four. Many people use throttle body bypass aftermarket kits to re-route coolant directly to the heads cutting out one or two of the bleed valves that are for the throttle body, so you may only have the one at the thermastat housing and in the heater hose . There is typically one located on the "goose neck" /thermastat housing / water inlet (which ever term is used for it in your area), a second one is inline as a metal fitting that looks like it has a screw on top of it located about halfway up the small water line that branches off the top radiator hose. The third one is located on the bottom of the throttle body in the plate that houses the IAC motor, on the right hand side just next to small coolant line that comes off that side off the IAC motor housing. Then there is usually a fourth bleed valve inline the heater core hose, again this will be a metal fitting with the rubber heater core hose connected to each side. This metal fitting will have the screw coming out of it but it will also have a small metal tube where another small cooling line attaches. You must look carefully to make sure you find ALL of these bleed valves, there are usually the four but as I said you may only find two or three if the throttle body has been bypassed. You can minimize the amount of air that gets trapped by opening all of these valves before you start filling the radiator with coolant. You should place a shop rag or small towel under each valve to keep coolant from leaking onto the engine and other parts especially the valves on the thermastat housing, throttle body and small coolant line that goes to the throttle body as these valves are above the Optispark distributor on the front of the engine just below the water pump. You must fill the radiator with a mixture of fresh coolant and clean water (typically a 50/50 mix of each) and watch the bleed valves for any coolant that may start to flow out as the system fills with coolant up to those points and close each valve as soon as coolant starts to flow. If you are also replacing the water pump you should add a good anti corrosion and water pump lubricant additive mixed in with the 50/50 coolant / water mix as you fill the radiator (most auto parts stores carry this and can show you what to buy if you are not familiar with this additive). Replace the cap and make sure all the bleed valves are CLOSED by turning the screw head clockwise until it is fully seated (do not over tighten them, finger tight should suffice at this point). Fill the coolant reservoir with fresh coolant only, not a coolant/water mix, to just above the "FULL COLD" line as some coolant will be sucked out of the reservoir to fill the radiator as air is bled from the system. It usually will not take much out of the reservoir bottle but it will depend on how much air is trapped in the sealed cooling system that has to be bled out. It is a good idea to check the coolant level in the reservoir bottle before you open and bleed each valve and top it off with fresh coolant as needed. If the reservoir bottle is allowed to empty it will **** more air into the cooling system as it tries to fill. Start the engine and immediately bleed each one of these valves before the engine has an opportunity to overheat. These valves need to be bled in the proper order to insure you get all the air out of those areas. Start with the one located on the thermostat housing (this will immediately get coolant in contact with the thermastat allowing it to open as the engine warms up). Then do the one in the hose leading to the throttle body. Next do the bleed valve located on the IAC motor plate on the bottom of the throttle body. Last turn on the heater in the car and set the temperature control all the way to the hot side and turn the heater fan on high. Now you are ready to bleed the valve in the heater hose. Once all valves have been bled until no air comes out and you get a good steady stream of coolant with the engine running make sure all valves are tightened until there is no more coolant escaping then turn off the engine. As the engine cools off the cooling system will pull any coolant needed from the reservoir bottle so double check the coolant level in the bottle after shutting off the engine and before the engine cools. Once this procedure has been done the coolant level should not get low in the radiator as long as the reservoir bottle doesn't run dry. Anytime you open the radiator cap air will get into the system and should be bled. If you have performed this procedure and you still have the low coolant light on when you start your car, the problem is not low coolant but the coolant sensor in the radiator or the wiring from the sensor to the dash instrument cluster. This sensor is not monitored by the cars OBD I computer so a faulty sensor or wiring issue are the only possible causes for a malfunctioning low coolant light. I hope this information helps.
Cpl Gibson Med.Ret. USArmy 82nd P.I.R.
Posted on Mar 20, 2012
Switching to a toy??? nah, I'd rather have a real car. lol. My 96 z28 did the same thing. I think the sensor is just messed up. I just disconnected the wire to turn off the light and check it occasionally, just like you would a car without all the dummy lights. My 68 eL Camino doesn't have a light for that, why does my Camaro need one.
Posted on May 22, 2009
Time to switch to a Toyota pal
Posted on Jul 14, 2008
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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