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no coolant left

Posted by emailby (My Page) on
Mon, May 23, 05 at 9:33

I was driving my 87 toyota van and the engine light came on a couple times
over a 3 week period. I drove it over the weekend and when I stopped I heard some
gurgling, like boiling. I let it cool checked the water in the radiator, there seemed to be none.
I went to a auto parts store, got coolant put a little in radiator with water and some in the
extra drain bottle with water. I drove home about six miles it was empty of water again or took alot to fill it.

The heat thermostat on the dash never went in the red zone( but it was headed there)even when I heard boiling or gurgling. I did smell that hot smell. What do you think I looking at in repairs (money and what's wrong) as I never know if the mechanics are telling me the truth.
Thank you, Margaret


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: no coolant left

Odds are there is just a small leak somewhere. Could be something as serious as a head gasket. You might not have gotten it very full when you refilled it the first time. A shop will start with making sure the system is full then pressure testing it. If there's an external leak somewhere they'll find it real fast. If you have your system full you can sometimes see a head gasket problem yourself buy looking in the radiator with the engine running. If you see a steady stream of bubbles that's a pretty good indicator of a problem. Sometimes checking this way doesn't work very well depending on how the cooling system is configured.

BTW, it sounds like you're waiting too long to investigate problems if I read your post right. When an idiot light comes on it's time to look around right then, not wait till a needle pegs or you hear boiling water. That's how you start with a small problem and end up with a big one. Best of luck to you.


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RE: no coolant left

Check to see how much oil you have and the condition. If it's milky you probably have a bad head gasket. If not not a clue except what Gary said. I just did my 94 Dodge Shadows' head gasket a few months ago. All said and done with replacing thermostat, timing belt, other belts, new head since the old one was cracked beyond repair...$700 and I did the labor.


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RE: no coolant left

You saved $700 by owning/repairing an American car, lamguy and a possible $1,400 by DIY.
Margaret, try to find mechanics you can trust - there are many around, but they are not easy to find...


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RE: no coolant left

If you have a temperature guage and the coolant level
gets below the sending unit then the guage won't show
the correct temperature. I used to have this problem
in my old ford F350 dump truck.
If you are low on or out of coolant you can't trust the guage.

Pooh Bear


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RE: no coolant left

If you have a temperature guage and the coolant level
gets below the sending unit then the guage won't show
the correct temperature. I used to have this problem
in my old ford F350 dump truck.
If you are low on or out of coolant you can't trust the guage.
Pooh Bear
Which is why many (SAAB, VW, others ?) use a coolant level sensor on the reservoir , but this does not always work, either.
It is far better to open the hood now and again and monitor the fluid levels, regardless of the vehicle...


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RE: no coolant left but fixable ??

How about a response, emailby ??


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