I just bought a 02 olds alero. I had some issues with the coolant leaking and making the car overheat. they told me i had a crack in the radiator cap so they replaced it. It stopped overheating. I checked the coolant just yesterday and it was where it was supposed to be. then when I checked it again this morning it was low, but it isn't overheating?? what does this mean? also, I ran out of gas, but it said there was gas in my car. Sometimes the low fuel light comes on and sometimes it doesnt. Is my fuel pump going out? What can I do to fix these problems! Help!
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Look for oil in the coolant, it will make a murky paint like floating substance in the coolant overflow and radiator. If this is the case you may have a leaking head gasket or intake gasket allowing the cooling system water and oil to mix. You may also notice a bluish white smoke from the exhaust when accelerating if the headgasket has failed.
if there is no coolant in the vehicle it will overheat quickly also. it you added coolant its possible the thermostat is not opening causing an overheat. worst case scenerio the head gasket is the problem
Your cooling system needs to be pressure checked to see where the leak is. certain auto parts stores rent out a pressure checker. make sure you have the cooling system full before doing the pressure test. check to see if you have a radiator cap and fill the system that way instead of using the resevoir
Have you had any codes pulled?
A cold start issue may be related to a coolant sensor problem. When the engine is cold the engine control module will enrich the fuel mixture for start based on the reading it receives from the coolant sensor.
You can have it checked when cold and the temperature reading should match the out door temp. A scan tool will be required. Or replace the sensor, I believe the cost is less than $20.
Good luck, let me know.
in my experience it sounds like a head gasket problem it maybe leaking into the cylinders or could be a small leak from one of the hoses I would do a compression test just to make sure and then pressurize the entire system using radiator and coolant tester if pressure holds then its not a leak as far as the fans go just have the car running when it reaches the middle of the temp gauge it should come one if not you may need to run check on temp sensor or fan switch and fans them selves I would follow repair manual troubleshooting section on heating and cooling haynes or chiltons will do.
When you say not leaking antifreeze has your coolant level gone down at all? and is it that you have seen no leaks where you park it? What worries me is you can smell it when warming up, have you felt the interior floors to see if damp and do you get any condensation if put blower onto screen, if so then heater matrix is leaking if not could be down to headgasket and/or cylinder head leak.
check the entire engine freeze plugs hoses radiator . check engine oil .if look like milk shake you got a blown head gasket. if it dont burn oil dont smoke . fix the leak . if it got 150000 or more . cost to much to fix buy another engine.