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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Coolant being pushed into reservoir, not sucking back in

    1997 lumina, 3100, i had suspected a head gasket, but then found an external leak which i fixed, then put about 200 miles over the weekend in test runs, then today I took her out ran her for a good 2 hours, then she passed smogged, with very good results btw, but then on the way to work tonight, she heated up (there was air in the system so the gauge fluctuated constantly) and threw the low coolant light, when I stopped i opened the bleeder valve to relieve pressure, nothing but air, then popped the radiator cap, half empty, the reservoir was almost overflowing. when i popped the cap, it slowly drained back into the radiator, until it reached the bottom of the fill neck, then stopped. I ran it, bled some air out, went to drive, and it happened again. then at a stop light, steam briefly came out of my exhaust, i gave it some gas and it cleared up and the steam stopped, then i drove a good 4 miles back home to park the car and pick up the dually, and there was no steam the rest of the 4 miles, and the gauge bounced around but never reached as high as it had.

    Is it possible i cracked the head gasket at the water jacket, sending pressure up,pushing the coolant to the reservoir?

  2. #2
    BXX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Lorain, Ohio
    Thanked 373 Times in 309 Posts
    Bleed the system out properly and put on a new radiator cap.

    Remember, when adding coolant, open both bleeders and slowly add coolant until each one starts dribbling out coolant, close them, then keep adding coolant. Start engine with cap off. Open the bleeders and leave them open until coolant comes out, and make sure you keep adding coolant slowly to keep the level up. Once everything is good, cap the system with a new cap and let it warm up, make sure you have heat the entire time. Make sure temp stays still and you should be all good.

    I do recommend a new thermostat though..
    -08 Kia Spectra SX -2.0L BetaII/Auto
    -02 Buick Rendezvous CXL -3.5L LX9 Swap/4t65e

  3. #3
    3pt1lumina's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Ontario, NY
    Thanked 20 Times in 18 Posts
    Sounds like what my old Malibu did when the thermostat went bad.

    But I'd start with making sure that system is bled properly, as BXX said.

    ---The Cavalry---| 1975 Laguna | 1977 Chevelle | 1990 Lumina | 1996 Lumina | 1997 Lumina | 1999 Lumina LS | 1999 Monte Carlo Z34 | 1999 Regal GSE | 2008 Grand Prix | 2009 Malibu LT | 2015 Equinox LT | It's a sickness...

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