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Why do my engine coolant light keeps going on

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The overflow bottle is low. Their is a hot and cold fill line on the plastic holding container and the sensor is picking up a low fluid reading because it is located in the same container.............Hope this helps.

Posted on May 20, 2011

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Why is the temperature light keep coming on and the gauge keep going up and down?


Temperature Warning Light is on Inspection Service How this system works: With the exception of older, air-cooled vehicles, cars rely on a liquid called coolant (or antifreeze) to keep the engine at an optimal temperature. Coolant is a mixture of water and ethylene glycol, and it circulates around the engine block and absorbs excess heat, which keeps the engine from overheating. The coolant converts that heat to air in the radiator, and then the air is emitted, at which time the coolant is ready to absorb more heat. Without coolant, the engine would quickly ruin itself with its own heat production. Common reasons for this to happen:
  • Coolant is low or weak: The most common culprit when an engine overheats is low or weak coolant. If your car doesn't have enough coolant, then it can't absorb enough heat. While your car will naturally lose small amounts of coolant over the years, a leak is the most likely cause of low coolant levels.The proper ratio of coolant to water can also get distorted, resulting in a problem. Too little or even too much antifreeze can dramatically lower the boiling point of the coolant. A proper ratio of antifreeze to water is 50/50 to 60/40, depending on the vehicle.
  • Broken radiator fan shroud: The radiator fan shroud directs the airflow across the radiator so the air can absorb the coolant's heat. When the fan shroud breaks or becomes dislodged, air fails to enter the radiator, and the coolant will no longer have a place to direct the transfer of heat.
  • Broken or missing air dam: Along with the shroud, some vehicles have an air dam (or deflector) underneath the vehicle. If this is broken or missing then the air can pass underneath the vehicle but not also through the radiator, which will cause overheating. These air dams are essential in newer vehicles, as they force the air through the fan shroud.
  • Faulty coolant temperature sensor: The temperature sensor takes constant readings of the coolant temperature and sends that information to the engine control unit. Based on the temperature of the coolant, the engine control unit adjusts the ignition timing, the fuel injector pulse, and the operation of the electric cooling fan.
  • Bad water pump: The water pump is responsible for keeping the coolant cycling throughout the engine. After the coolant transfers its heat energy to the air, the water pump recirculates it around the engine so that it can absorb more heat. The most common water pump problems are a leaking pump, bad bearings, or an impeller that has rotted away due to a low coolant ratio.
  • Stuck thermostat: The thermostat acts as a dam for the coolant. When the engine first turns on, and it is still cold, the thermostat keeps the coolant from circulating, which allows the engine to warm up as quickly as possible. Once the engine has reached its operating temperature, the thermostat opens and allows the coolant to circulate. A stuck thermometer may stay permanently sealed and therefore keep the coolant from reaching the engine block.
  • The thermostat may also stick open. This will not usually result in overheating, but it will waste gas.
  • Broken engine cooling fan: The engine has a cooling fan that is deployed when the coolant needs some extra help. When the coolant temperature sensor notices that the coolant temperature is getting too high, the engine control unit (on newer vehicles) will initiate the cooling fan to reduce the temperature.
  • Broken thermostatic fan clutch: Older vehicles use a thermostatic fan clutch to engage the engine cooling fan, which is mounted to the fan blades. The fan clutch uses a bi-metallic spring that tightens when the temperature increases. This acts as a "high speed" option for the fan, and when engaged, it draws more air across the radiator.
  • Blown head gasket: The head gaskets sit between the engine block and the cylinder heads, and keep coolant from entering the engine's oil and combustion chamber. When a gasket blows and coolant seeps in, the issue is not only that the engine will overheat, but also that damage may be done to the catalytic converter and oxygen sensors due to contamination from the coolant. What to expect: A top-rated mobile mechanic will come to your home or office to determine the cause of the temperature warning light turning on and the source of the overheating, and will then provide a detailed inspection report that includes the scope and cost of the necessary repairs. How important is this service? An overheating engine is extremely dangerous. It is not safe to drive a vehicle with an overheating engine, or you may ruin the engine completely and put yourself at risk. As soon as you notice the light come on, pull over. If there is no place to safely pull over, turn off your radio and other electrical units, and turn your heat on high (this will funnel some of the hot engine air into the cabin). As soon as you can safely pull over, do so, and then book one of our mechanics to perform an inspection.

Sep 30, 2016 | 2008 Pontiac G6

1 Answer

Coolant light keeps coming on


I wouldnt worry. Maybe a level indicator thinks it is being depleted. Give it a while. If it becomes more frequent or your engine overheats check coolant levels in reservoir. Most people will tell you it is common to have an empty reservoir, but not i. Check for signs of leaks in your driveway and fluid on water pump. If those are fine keep in mind coolant will still leak from your head gasket! There are a million ways for your coolant system to go wrong and little time to prevent overheating. Watch temp gauge and low coolant display staying on for elongated periods. :)

Mar 29, 2014 | 2001 BMW 325

1 Answer

Renault scenic RX4 coolant problem


You have lost coolant in the engine and most likely will need a head gasket. the reason that the temp. gauge is lying is because it cannot read hot air. it has been mounted in a location where when you lose fluid it finds itself reading a pocket of air and cannot read the accurate temperature of the motor as it is designed to read the temperature of liquids. I am afraid that you will have to go the shop route. There are low budget alternatives with some specialized chemicals, but even those need to be carried out by a qualified mechanic so as to not create bigger problems.

Mar 03, 2013 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

My radiator light keeps coming on.. I have change water heater, thermal pump,all hoses, and radiator.. but keep have to fill up coolant


If there is no obvious external coolant leak, the coolant is being burned in the engine and going out the exhaust pipe.
You could have a leaking head gasket.

Sep 28, 2012 | 2002 Mazda Tribute

1 Answer

1996 gmc k1500 4x4 5.7 vortec motor no start keep


Replace the coolant sensor on the front of the intake manifold.The coolant sensors on this engine does go bad and wont set a check engine light. The sensor will read about -32 to 0 degrees when they do go bad. The computer thinks it is that cold and sends tons of fuel to the engine. If you try to start the engine with the throttle depressed to the floor it puts the fuel system in clear flood mode and wont fire the injectors. Engine will start then and run very rich. The coolant sensor has two wires on it and sometimes you need to replace the wiring pigtail going to it as the sensor can seep coolant into the connector and corrode the terminals. All the parts are available at pepboys and autozone or napa. Good luck

Jan 05, 2010 | 1996 GMC Sierra

2 Answers

The temp light on my volvo s70 keeps lighting up. the guage doesn't go any higher than midway up the guage, but the coolant reserve now has a crack and the excess coolant is steaming out of it.what can i...


the only reason coolant would be steaming in the reservoir is if it were steaming out of the radiator into the reservoir. consult local technician to see if your engine coolant temp sensor is operating properly; most likely a bad engine temp sensor.

Oct 06, 2009 | 1999 Volvo S70

1 Answer

Pontiac 2003 grand am low coolant light comes on


check if the engine is over heat,it it over heating ,definitely the coolant will dry,so check is,hope that clear your mind and help you

Sep 07, 2009 | 2003 Pontiac Grand Am

1 Answer

97 Cavalier engine coolant light.


have you changed the sensor on the coolant reservoir? try that.

Feb 17, 2009 | 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier

3 Answers

While driving last night my car noticed that a red light came on briefly and it displayed "Engine coolant is low." My question can I go to a non- Jaquar repair shop to replace/fill the coolant or must I go...


You Can go to a non jaguar automotive supply shop, But be carefull to put the right coolant in, there are two types of coolant lim green in color and red you will need the red type. Fill up to the stated level on the expansion bottle and your away.
Hope this helps

Jan 15, 2009 | Jaguar S-Type Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Temp gauge


The sensor you replaced was the ECT (engine coolant temp)? Check your coolant level and air in the lines. Do a coolant pressure test to make sure the cooling system holds pressure, If it doesn't, you may have a head gasket problem.

Jun 11, 2008 | 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier

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