View Full Version : Check engine light
10-21-2012, 06:03 PM
So today my check engine light came on. Went to autozone they pulled up low coolant. Now how low does it need to be to trip that sensor? I was about a 1.5" down from the cold fill line. Thats my first question
Next is it has dex cool and have about 130k miles on it. After reading around i heard dex cause intake gasket damage. So should i flush it? If yes how do i go about doing a full flush?
I also read it could gunk up, now ive had the car for almost 4 years and ive never changed the coolant nor do i know the person before me did. So is gunk a possibility. Thanks! :angel
10-22-2012, 10:46 PM
The coolant isn't what really causes the damage. The problem was the material the original gaskets were made of. They have long since redesigned the gaskets, and they are on newer version of the long life coolant as well. With the age of your car, chances are good that it came with the new style gaskets already (they came out in '03 iirc), or they have gone bad and been replaced already at some point.
Any of the long life coolants are designed to last for 5 years or 100,000 miles. If yours has over 100k on it and has never been changed, it's time to change it. If you do a search on here there are plenty of threads with directions for coolant flush and fill. Easiest thing to do is buy a bottle of Prestone cooling system flush and follow the directions on the back. Fill it up with a 50/50 mix of Prestone or other comparable long life coolant (that are dex compatible) and water. Bleed the air out of the system and top off.
As for the coolant level, the sensor is in the overflow tank, so you should be able to see it. If it gets lower than that it will set the code. The real question is, how long did it take to get low? You should check the coolant level regularly so that you know if any coolant loss is gradual or sudden. Hopefully it doesn't have a leak. If it leaks internally into the engine and coolant gets into the oil, you have a major problem. Check the outside of the engine and under the car, and also check the dipstick and under the oil cap for any signs of milky brown/orange looking oil.
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