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Coolant level question

 
Old 06-24-17, 08:35 PM
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cvt
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Default Coolant level question

So I've noticed that when the car is cold the coolant level is a little above the low indicator in the resivoir. Even when I had the dealer install a new water pump and replace with new coolant it's been a little above the low indicator when cold. So I asked the dealer to top it off today during an oil change so that it's on high. I didn't get to check it cold but got home and saw it was on the high level. Now that it's cold I check again and it's sitting right above the low line again.

Is this normal? Am I just being paranoid? I had the ELF recall done and there was no mention of Valley plate issue so...any comments are welcome.

thanks.
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Old 06-24-17, 09:17 PM
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It goes up and down with engine temp just keep an eye on it.
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Old 06-24-17, 09:39 PM
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Most dealerships have no clue about the valley leak plate. In their defense, not all ISF's are plaugued with this issue. It's certainly not something they'll look for. If you haven't read through the valley leak plate threads, I highly recommend you do. One of our members illustrates how his dealership tech utilized a flashlight and a mirror to visually find the leak. It definitely came handy, along with all the posts members shared to state my case.
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Old 06-24-17, 09:43 PM
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Keep an eye on the levels, you can add when cold to the full mark.
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Old 06-24-17, 10:21 PM
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Sounds like Valley plate to me. The level should not fluctuate to the extent of high then low.

When was ELF done? I suspect your leak started sometime after the recall was completed.
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Old 06-24-17, 11:02 PM
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I'm just thinking if they did the ELF they'd find the Valley plate issue as there would be pink everywhere. I don't see any pink in the fire wall either.

Here's the thing though. In the past it stays a little above low level when hot AND when cold.

I'm definitely keeping an eye on it but so far, no pink in the engine bay and temps seem fine.
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Old 06-25-17, 03:55 PM
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Next time after a 20 min drive, check the coolant level right after you turn off the engine, the coolant level will be much than little above the low mark. Top it off with a distilled water if needed when the engine is cold/overnight. Before I had my radiator and the reservoir changed, the coolant level never changed during 7 years when the engine is cold.

Originally Posted by cvt View Post
I'm just thinking if they did the ELF they'd find the Valley plate issue as there would be pink everywhere. I don't see any pink in the fire wall either.

Here's the thing though. In the past it stays a little above low level when hot AND when cold.

I'm definitely keeping an eye on it but so far, no pink in the engine bay and temps seem fine.
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Old 06-25-17, 05:39 PM
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The coolant reservoir will automatically purge excess fluid so that it always ends up right on the low mark when level and cold in my experience. I've tried to top it off while running just to have it end up pouring out of the overflow tube onto my garage floor. I think that's normal for this car.
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Old 06-25-17, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by STLblueF View Post
The coolant reservoir will automatically purge excess fluid so that it always ends up right on the low mark when level and cold in my experience. I've tried to top it off while running just to have it end up pouring out of the overflow tube onto my garage floor. I think that's normal for this car.
No, not at all. If you run the engine with the cap removed, you're inviting disaster. The "reservoir" is not a reservoir at all, it is a pressurized container and the cap on it is no different than any other radiator cap. This is not your typical 1990's cooling system.

I fill mine to full when cold. It stays there all the time. If it does not, you are losing coolant somewhere - usually the valley plate, but could be a bad headgasket (not at all common with this engine) or something else causing fluid loss. Like any other modern vehicle, if the system integrity is good, there should be little change in the level between checks as long as those checks are made under the same conditions.
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Old 06-26-17, 09:10 AM
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Ditto^^^^^^After I had my valley plate leak fixed I have had not any fluctuations in my coolant level since it was fixed last year, whereas before my level was always dropping to the low mark when cold and would rise to the high mark when running before the fix.
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Old 06-26-17, 09:12 AM
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Ok. So I snapped photos of the coolant level. It looks like it's on the high level when hot (consistent) and low level when cold (consistent). I'll keep an eye on it.

Cold
After driving (hot)
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Old 06-26-17, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by cvt View Post
Ok. So I snapped photos of the coolant level. It looks like it's on the high level when hot (consistent) and low level when cold (consistent). I'll keep an eye on it.

Cold
After driving (hot)
Yeah mine is consistently like this as well, no fluctuations really. I always try and stay on top of that since in this vegas summer climate we see temps of 105-115 all summer long(which summer is like May-October here). Coolant system I always like to stay on top of out here
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Old 06-26-17, 09:17 AM
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Exactly^^what mine looked like cold vs hot
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Old 06-26-17, 10:08 AM
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I'm going to fill it to full when cold to make sure it's done. If it drops to low when cold I'll take it in.
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Old 06-26-17, 11:33 AM
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I fill mine to full per the factory service manual. Low means just that - low, not normal cold. Normal cold is at the full mark.
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