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HELP! i need car advice ... smoking/steaming from coolant resevior but NOT overheated

Nocturnal_LadyNocturnal_Lady Registered User
edited July 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
Hi... i need help ... i went out to do errands and notice when i was almost home that there was either smoke or steam (not sure which since it's dark out) coming from the front passanger side corner under the hood of my car... i popped the hood to check and it's coming from the area of the coolant overflow resevior ... the guage on the car was not showing it as even half way to overheating and after i turned off the car there was a LOT of gurgling noises ...also in the last few months have replaced the radiator and the timing belt and the water pump and the thermostat and the fan that blows to the radiator AND the serpentine belt... it is a 1995 mercury tracer by the way...

Nocturnal_Lady on

Posts

  • lifeincognitolifeincognito Registered User regular
    Given all the work the car has had and that the engine isn't overheating it could be a leak or a crack or who knows what!

    Find a mechanic and get it looked at before it gets any worse. It will be hard to determine the problem as this is something you generally need to see to help diagnosis.

    losers weepers. jawas keepers.
  • Nocturnal_LadyNocturnal_Lady Registered User
    yeah i figure i'm gonna try to get into my mechanic before going anywhere else since he diagnoses for free and only charges for actual work done ... unfortunately several of those things i had too have done elsewhere earlier this month because he was on vacation and my car started overheating and NEEDED parts replaced immediately... i'm wondering if the other place may have given me faulty parts or made a mistake...

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Could be the heater core. Did it blow through the vents too?

  • TheCapnTheCapn Registered User regular
    Sounds like air trapped in the cooling system, which given all your recent repairs is a definite possibility.

    Tacopants - a tasty comfortable combination.
  • pacbowlpacbowl Los AngelesRegistered User regular
    edited August 2012
    That's actually what its supposed to do. As your engine heats up it draws extra coolant from the overflow reservoir if need be. Then as it cools it dumps the excess coolant back into the reservoir. That could be the gurgling noises, but if the coolant is actually boiling then there's not enough antifreeze and too much water. Also, when it's cool check the reservoir level. There should be a mark on the tank showing the optimum fill level, but if your temp gauge isn't showing any overheating I wouldn't worry about it.

    pacbowl on
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  • wmelonwmelon Registered User regular
    pacbowl wrote: »
    That's actually what its supposed to do. As your engine heats up it draws extra coolant from the overflow reservoir if need be. Then as it cools it dumps the excess coolant back into the reservoir. That could be the gurgling noises, but if the coolant is actually boiling then there's not enough antifreeze and too much water. Also, when it's cool check the reservoir level. There should be a mark on the tank showing the optimum fill level, but if your temp gauge isn't showing any overheating I wouldn't worry about it.

    That's actually backwards. When the engine heats up, the coolant expands and pushes out of the coolant system into the overflow tank. When it cools down the pressure reduction pulls it back into the engine.

    I would check the level on the tank when it's cold over a few consecutive days. If it's staying level that's good and the system could just be overfilled.

    If it's going up or you consistently get steam or coolant coming out of the overflow tank, then it's possible there are other issues like a leaky head gasket that could be causing exhaust gasses to over pressurize your cooling system.

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