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Old 09-22-2017, 01:02 AM   #1
Mister_Cee
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1996 SW2
Default Seems as if this happened a couple of years ago (coolant level light content)

I know that if the coolant light comes on and stays on, that's not good.

I've also read it the coolant light blinks, then one of a few things could be the culprit:

1) Low coolant
2) Bad/sticking float in the overflow tank
3) Bad/intermittent electrical connector

The dash light in my SW2, however, is neither solidly lit nor is it constantly blinking.

When it does (very infrequently) blink it will do so for about a dozen blinks and then quit on its own. It might recur on another day and it might, like last time, wait a couple of years to do it again.

The last time this happened, I put about 8 ounces of liquid in the overflow tank and that solved the problem for a good length of time.

Opinions on what an intermittent coolant light could mean?

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Old 09-22-2017, 05:42 AM   #2
Signmaster
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1995 SL1
Default Re: Seems as if this happened a couple of years ago (coolant level light content)

I don't think it's at all uncommon when the coolant level is just a little low. I have experienced the same when I had a nicked drain O-ring on my radiator. If I let the level drop without topping off, it would usually reach a point where the light might flash for a minute or less even as the car warmed up.

I'd just top it off and check the float.

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Old 09-22-2017, 10:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: Seems as if this happened a couple of years ago (coolant level light content)

Six months or so after I got my SC2 I had a similar issue, the coolant light flashing for a minute or two after startup, topping off a marginal amount would turn it off. Happened about once every couple weeks with increasing frequency. What it ended up being was the water pump was weeping just enough to lower the level but not enough for it to visibly drip when parked. Eventually it went completely out and vomited the coolant all over the ground. Later had the same issue with the radiator, although that leak was immediately visible after shining a light on it.

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Old 09-22-2017, 03:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: Seems as if this happened a couple of years ago (coolant level light content)

Thanks for the responses.

This has happened a couple of times over the past 4 years and, each time, I added a very minor amount to the reservoir.

Because it (the sudden and unexpected blinking of the red coolant light) had happened before, I didn't "freak" like the first time I ever saw that light come on. Instead, I anticipated doing what you recommended and, this morning, put a little coolant in the reservoir (whatever a medium sized funnel holds..8 ounces?). The light did not blink during driving around town running today's errands (fingers crossed lol).

Looking on the bright side, I now have a gallon of coolant (minus the 8 ounces or so) if/when it happens again.

When I next see my "Saturn guy" (tough to find someone who knows our cars inside and out and knows their idiosyncrasies, but I found a good one) I'll ask him to take a look for any pin hole leaks that aren't showing up on my driveway.

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Old 09-24-2017, 01:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: Seems as if this happened a couple of years ago (coolant level light content)

It's a closed system, so losing coolant means a leak or opening somewhere. In the meantime, rather than 8 oz, I'd fill it up to the MAX line. I outlined it in black Sharpie, so you can clearly see it in the pic here



But you can just use the seam where the top and bottom of the tank meet as a guide. Or right up to the plastic dividers you can see inside the tank


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Old 09-29-2017, 01:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Seems as if this happened a couple of years ago (coolant level light content)

Chaos is correct on the divider being a good spot to aim for when topping off, especially when doing it by the light of a gas station canopy at night. I've got a very, very minor leak and I have to do the top-off about once a month. It's not down very far--just enough to trigger the light until I get to the end of my neighborhood and the heat and pressure are building enough for the water to expand a bit.

I know I'll be swapping out a water pump at some point. While not all that difficult and I've done a bunch, I think I'd rather have a colonoscopy than do a water pump swap. However, the colonoscopy won't stop the coolant leak.

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