Low Coolant Light

Asked by Apr 26, 2016 at 10:45 PM about the 2002 Buick Century Limited

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Rebuilt engine at 84,000 miles in March. New intake and other gaskets,
plugs, wires, radiator, hoses, etc.

Driven about 1,500 miles since rebuild. Today "low coolant light" came on
briefly. After letting engine cool, checked and it was a little low in radiator.
Added a cup to a cup-and-a-half. Drove it home from work (about 20
miles). Light came on again. After letting engine cool, checked again. Had
to add maybe a half cup or less.

My boss (much wiser on cars than myself) said that little coolant needed
should not have triggered the light. He also said a newly rebuilt engine
uses some coolant and that seemed well within range for that. Having to
add a little again this evening - is that cause for concern? Checked other
fluids - everything seems fine, no mixed fluids or anything.

Thanks.

2 Answers

Back to basics: First, pressure test the cooling system. A leak will show as pressure drop, even if liquid isn't visible. Visually inspect for any signs of coolant on exterior of engine, heater core, and hose connections. A small leak of 180 degree coolant may evaporate away rather than leak to the ground, but leaking gaskets should be visually detected. Look around intake manifold to cylinder head seals. Electronically test the sensor for proper calculation. place a clean cloth or paper sheet under the engine compartment after driving the car up to operating temperature, and parking the car. leave it overnight, inspect for fresh drips in the morning. If found, "look up"! Good luck.

60

If all the above is good, then try checking the sensor.

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