Edmunds Answers



  • karjunkie 04/29/10 10:28 am PST

    The coolant level might be fine, but the engine may still be overheating because of a bad thermostat or a plugged radiator. Warm up the car and carefully run your hand from the top of the radiator to the bottom. If the bottom feels substantially cooler than the top, your radiator is plugged.

  • zaken1 04/29/10 3:24 pm PST

    Sometimes the coolant level in the reservoir will be OK, while the level in the radiator has gone down. That's why it is necessary to check the level directly in the radiator; even if the reservoir is full. The radiator must be filled to overflowing, in order for the siphon between the radiator and reservoir to work properly. If the radiator level keeps dropping while the reservoir remains full; then air is leaking into the cooling system. This often is caused by a head gasket leak or cracked head. If the sensor light comes on as soon as the motor is started, and the radiator level is found to be completely full; the sensor may be defective.


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