Question about 1999 Saturn SL
Yep, you have to burp the radiator. Jack up the car so that the radiator cap is elevated. With the coolant topped off, start the car and let it run until it's about 3/4 of the way to overheating. Then shut it down and go have a beer. When it cools off enough to safely open the radiator cap, do so, and any air trapped in the system will bleed out.
What you're doing is circulating the coolant and the air bubbles inside. The bubbles get lodged behind the thermostat and stay there, keeping it from opening (this causes the car to heat up). When you later pop the cap off the radiator, the pressure is vented from the system, the thermostat opens, and the bubbles pass through. They'll work their way to the radiator (since you've got it elevated) and pop out the open cap opening.
Your coolant level will likely drop somewhat after doing this, as the air bubbles will be gone and the space they took up in the system is now available. You may need to add a little more coolant, so top if off (with the car back on the ground) and recap the radiator, fill the overflow to the marked point on the tank, and you're good to go.
Posted on Aug 08, 2008
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