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 Coolant Level, Quick question.
Really
Posted: Aug 4 2013, 03:11 PM


Altezza RS200 6MT


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Hey there guys,
Just went out to do a random check on my fluid levels, opened up the Radiator Cap the coolant was near the top, I then went ahead to check the coolant reservoir/overflow tank and it was near empty.

Is it suppose to be empty like that?

The car is not overheating, it normally gets about half way on the temperature gauge on the dash.

I'm pretty sure there is no leak, waterpump is not a culprit either as it was just replaced.

Should I be topping it up? If so, is it ok to mix coolants, currently have Toyota's Red Coolant in the car
If I were to mix would this be ok http://www.supercheapauto.co.nz/online-sto...id=106645#Cross
Or should I just add demineralised/ destilled water?

Oh yeah, engine was cold when I did the check.

Sorry for the noob questions tongue.gif

Cheers
Pnut
Posted: Aug 4 2013, 06:18 PM


Torqueing up my JZ


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Like most things water expands when it heats up, so while it may be full when it's hot it can shrink when it cools again.

So if you fill your radiator and your reservoir then drive it the coolant heats and expands and pushes out into the reservoir which is already full, pushing it out of the overflow pipe onto the road. Then as it cools again it contacts and sucks the reservoir back out. So when you check your radiator should be full but the reservoir may not be that full.

It pays to keep it topped up and make sure it doesn't run out wink.gif


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Really
Posted: Aug 4 2013, 06:19 PM


Altezza RS200 6MT


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Cheers thanks for that Pnut! Did a bit more reading and everything you said comes up wink.gif

From a Forum

"You people do realize it's an OVERFLOW tank for the coolant when it gets hot, don't you? It's not supposed to be full all the time....if it was, there would be nowhere for the excess pressure to go when it starts getting hot. If it's empty, and you're not actually LOSING coolant, it's not necessarily a bad thing.

I never drive my cars hard enough to make the radiator work that hard.... and because of this, my tanks are never full. I never lose any coolant from the radiator, so nothing ever overflows into the overflow tank.

It's not a bad thing if there's nothing's in it. Just make sure your actual radiator level is okay. "

Makes sense haha
Pnut
Posted: Aug 4 2013, 06:26 PM


Torqueing up my JZ


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"Back in the day" with old school cars never had overflow tanks but they would hardly need topping up either. Yes you would check the levels and top up as it would always have a gap at the top with no tank to suck fluid from, but they wouldn't overheat (normally wink.gif ) as the radiator was full when it was warm and working efficiently.

Modern cars have the overflow tank to ensure they never run dry if the engine gets hotter than normal or if the interior heater is turned off or on smile.gif


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H1Vltg3NZ
Posted: Aug 4 2013, 06:30 PM


Lowered


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You need to have some fluid in the overflow tank as it acts as a seal to keep air out of your cooling system.


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1999 Toyota Altezza RS200 in White
Pnut
Posted: Aug 4 2013, 06:32 PM


Torqueing up my JZ


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As for fluids, if the Toyota fluid is a glycol type then you should top up with another glycol based fluid. If not then top up with one that's not. Personally I haven't seen or heard of any reactions from mixing fluids but I guess it's possible.

You can top up a little with water, but you are watering down the antifreeze and other additives which help stop corrosion between the different metals.

Probably not an issue in Auckland but if you take it to the snow it could cause other issues there wink.gif


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Pnut
Posted: Aug 4 2013, 06:34 PM


Torqueing up my JZ


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QUOTE (H1Vltg3NZ @ Aug 4 2013, 06:30 PM)
You need to have some fluid in the overflow tank as it acts as a seal to keep air out of your cooling system.

Isn't that what the radiator cap is for, hence the pressure rating? huh.gif


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Really
Posted: Aug 4 2013, 07:02 PM


Altezza RS200 6MT


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Thanks for all that info guys, really appreciate it smile.gif
There is a small amount of coolant still in the overflow tank which is good, I thought the same as Pnut regarding the radiator cap.

Cheers
Tezz-Winnie
Posted: Aug 4 2013, 07:10 PM


Unregistered









Actually there is a very good reason why you need coolant in your overflow bottle. When your car cools down, coolant returns back to your radiator. if there is no coolant then it HAS to suck in air to equalize the pressure difference. If during the time you were driving you lost some coolant (on a hot day you almost certainly will) then there will be no buffer and thats why you need some coolant in your overflow when cold.
Really
Posted: Aug 4 2013, 07:17 PM


Altezza RS200 6MT


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The overflow reservoir has a very small amount of coolant in it - you cant really see in on the measuring scale on the side of the bottle, would that be considered as 'some' coolant?
jeremyflower
Posted: Aug 4 2013, 07:46 PM


Anything but soccer mom...


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QUOTE (Really @ Aug 4 2013, 07:17 PM)
The overflow reservoir has a very small amount of coolant in it - you cant really see in on the measuring scale on the side of the bottle, would that be considered as 'some' coolant?

There's a line on the window, top it up to there. It's the "right" amount, like having your oil between the marks on your dipstick.


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