Being that engine coolant is a mixture of water and antifreeze. I
suppose it is normal for some to evaporate off even when you have the
cap on the reservoir tank fully closed (it evaporate through some
small opening in the cap). My only concern is what is considered
normal evaporation versus coolant loss due to some other underlying
conditions in the car. Last time I fill up that reservoir tank (the
one hooked up to the rad by a small hose) was back in February. Well
last weekend (end of June) when I checked, the tank is completely
emptied on cold engine. I have refilled it with a mixture of
Dexcool/Water and now keep a close eye on it. What is your experience
with coolant evaporation. When do you draw the line between what is
normal evaporation versus "something is wrong!!"??
No, a correct cooling system is completely sealed except for the overflow
reservoir. With a hot engine, some coolant should flow into the reservoir, and
then when it cools, it should be sucked back into the radiator. If my car lost
one cup per month, I would be looking for the problem. There is no normal
evaporation from such a closed system. The most normal way it is lost is with
an over-pressure release, like from a radiator cap. Also, you could have lost
coolant within the engine, but this leads to allegations about intake
On my 2001 Malibu, when new, a perfectly cool engine (overnight)
would leave the coolant right at the Full mark, so just fine and
After one and half years, this was no longer the case.
I told the dealer and they checked for leaks (none, they said)
and told me that "some" that evaporate, more so with the pink
than with the earlier green.
But the temperature needle was getting up higher than when new
(never above the center mark).
After two and half years, overnight, the coolant level had dipped
even lower. Curiously, though, when I took it to the dealer
for an oil change (two blocks away) and I showed it to him,
the level was already at the Full mark...
After a later overnight check, I found that even just a little
bit of driving would raise it.
So I got a can of premixed PetroCanada coolant (adheres to GM
standards such and such), and, while completely cool, added
just enough to bring it again to the Full mark.
It took maybe only about as much as one and a half cups of coffee.
Result: the temperature needle no longer goes much above the
center mark, and now, when fully cooled, the coolant is AT
the Full mark.
So, 2 1/2 years caused a loss like that.
Is that too much? The answer is I don't know.
But those are my numbers, anyway...
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