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Response: (archive)

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Posted by Benjamin Treynor on June 13, 2000 at 18:46:51:

In Reply to: Re: Is it normal for the coolant to drop 3-4 inche posted by Chet on June 13, 2000 at 18:05:13:

Several points:
(a) It's not normal for coolant to drop continuously unless you're overfilling the reserve tank. It should come up to the "full" line when hot, and should drop down when cool. I suggest adding any more coolant and monitoring the level for a few months to see if the level continues to drop.
(b) ... if the level continues to drop, then you have a leak. The leak may be external to the engine (in which case you should eventually see green pools under the car, and/or white telltales on the undercarriage where the leaking coolant has dried) or it may be internal, in which case your oil will change into something resembling chocolate mousse. Either way, you'll need to fix the problem.
(c) It's OK to run coolant mixtures between 40/60 and 60/40, so 1.5 cups of coolant isn't going to make a difference. It's NOT OK to run 100% water, primarily because you have no anticorrosion or lubrication in your cooling system, and secondarily because you could freeze the coolant in your heat exchanger with the A/C on. It's also NOT OK to run 80%+ straight coolant, as the coolant has inferior heat transfer properties and your car will run hot, especially around the cylinder head. If you live in warm climates, you could run 25% coolant/75% distilled water and add Water Wetter for optimal cooling. If you do so, you should change the coolant about twice as often as normal.


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