Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Chevrolet Cavalier Coolant System Issues

xcrossroadsxxcrossroadsx Posts: 5
edited July 2015 in Chevrolet
2000 Cavalier 2.0 Liter . Started loosing coolant. Pressure tesed no leaks. Found system pushing coolant out of overflow hose like a garden hose. Replaced thermostat, same problem. Fan runs @ 190 OK. I can only think there is a restricition in the system causing the backup. Before replacing hoses (upper and lower over $100 and special order wanted to see if anyone else has had this problem.

See also: How To Maintain Your Vehicle's Cooling System


  • spr0utspr0ut Posts: 1
    my 97 cavilers' water light remains on now that I've added water. I have just bought the car, when I bought the car both engine & water lights were on. The car runs fine except when u first start it up. It sounds like the car is only firing on 2 instead of 4. When taken down to the local parts store we put it on a code reading devise, it read no code were on then the engine light went off. The water light remains, I only added water instead of antifreeze. Could this be the problem, is this a common problem and, is there an easy fix to this problem??????
  • I have a 2002 Chevy Cavalier with 105,000 miles on it. I've had the coolant replaced at around 75,000 (which I later discovered was a mistake on my part, but the dealership suggested it and was happy with the $$$)

    Ever since then, my engine has been running hotter than before, and at 105,000 miles, I had a tuneup and requested the coolant strength tested. After I did that, the engine now runs even hotter without the fan turning on. I decided to let the engine idle for awhile to see when the fan kicks in and it starts at about 215 degrees, runs for 10 seconds and the temperature falls to around 205-210 and doesn't take long to go back to 215.

    It makes me nervous with any car, where the temperature raises above the half-way mark on the dial. I called where I had it serviced in the first place, and then I contacted the Chevy Dealer. Both places ask "Is it in the red zone? Does the fan turn on? Does the engine start to cool?" and as long as I say the engine is not in the red zone, they're like "Don't worry about it, then." It doesn't help that the "red zone" is about 260 and the max temp on the gauge is 265. And when I try to say "Well, the temperature didn't used to get that hot" and I have to answer that the fan kicks in and cools the engine back to 210, I get treated like an idiot again.

    All I know is that for 5 years, my car has been running around 180-190 with the fan not letting it get above 195 and I want it to run the same as before. How do I get the dealership to do anything for me, or how can I fix the problem myself?
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Actually the fan comes on at about 228 deg F, this is normal. I know of no fix for factory programing. With the A/C on the fan will run all the time under 40 MPH.
  • bobsubobsu Posts: 1
    I returned home after a 200 mile trip and had to add a half gallon of coolant. My mechanic says that this is caused by a faulty thermostat. How is a faulty thermostat a cause of this coolant loss? Driving around town does not cause coolant loss.
  • First thing, did your mechanic pressure test your cooling system ? If not, request it.
    If you are having to add a half gallon of coolant after a trip then you have a leak. A pressure test can help determine where the leak is coming from. The most common places for a leak is around the head gasket and around the water pump or through the water pump seep hole. Also, another suggestion would be to check your oil. If it looks milky, you have an internal coolant leak. If you have an internal coolant leak, get it fixed ASAP before serious engine damage occurs. Also, white smoke & a sweet smell are a good indication you have a coolant leak. On another note, your mechanic is wrong. Your thermostat is not causing the coolant loss. :shades:
  • Sounds like a plugged radiator. Same thing happened to me last year in my 1994 cavalier. :shades:
  • I had the same issue with a 2000 Cavailier. Mount a small plastic container and run the overflow hose into it. If coolant is coming out of the hose before buying another radiator cap do a compression test. If all cylinders are not up to pressure it could be the head gasket. Unfortuntely that is what was causing my coolant loss
  • ive recently had my thermostat replaced and my radiator flushed, i have a 2001 cavalier, instead of dex cool they put in the green type of coolant after the flush, but instead of my tempurature staying at 195 (exactly half), it goes up to 3/4 about 230 degrees, is this because of the different coolant (doubtful), the aftermarket thermstat, or the summer heat, it never done this in all these years since ive had the car i am the only owner..a mechanic said it WAS NOT a head gasket problem, please help
  • My 2000 cavalier is loosing some serious coolant. There is no sign of external leakage and I've checked the oil and it's normal. There isn't any smoke either. Where is it going. I'm also loosing power and it's getting hard to start. The heater blows hot on and off, the thermostat has been replaced and the temp. gauge is on red and fluctuates. Please give me a clue! :confuse:
  • Disconnect the radiator hoses, run water through the hoses and ensure no blockagein radiator or hoses. If blocked flush or remove and boil. Take the overflow hose from plastic resivoir & duct tape a soda bottle to it and wedge in engine compartment. If soda bottle fills up after driving car after enssuring radiator is not blocked run compression test. Most likely head gasket.
  • Mine has been loosing coolant too. I suspected the head gasket, because my oil was smoking when I removed the cap, but it was still the same color. Also I couldn't smell any coolant burning in my oil. There wasn't any leaks on the ground, but I went and had it pressure tested, and it turns out that it was my water pump that has a small leak on it. I would have it pressure tested before you throw away tons of money to get a new head gasket, because that may not be what is wrong.
  • It sounds like you may have air trapped in the cooling system. The Cavalier has a bleed screw located on the high part of the metal coolant pipe in the front of the engine.

    From: forum...

    "Always bleed air from cooling system after replacing coolant. Set heater for maximum heat. Remove radiator cap. Loosen drain plug and remove drain bolt (if equipped) from engine block. Drain coolant reservoir. Fill coolant reservoir to MAX mark with 50/50 water-coolant mixture. Loosen bleed bolt and fill radiator up to base of filler neck. Close bleed bolt when coolant flows out without bubbles. Tighten bleed bolt. With radiator cap removed, start and operate engine to normal operating temperature. Add coolant if necessary and check for leaks "
  • How can you test a relay so you know if it is bad or not?
  • My low coolant light has came on too with my 2000 cavalier. I keep on putting in anti-freeze, and have recently put it in 3 times within the past month and a half. I checked my oil and nothing is wrong with my oil, and my engine seems to be running fine; its not over heating on bit. What possibly could be wrong with it? Its leaking somewhere, but I'm not sure
  • Tape a small plastic container to your overflow hose and see if the water is boiling out your overflow hose while you are driving. If so I would do a compression test, sounds like a head gasket.
  • Try replacing your water pump they are only $20 dollars! I have a 2001 cavalier and When I was driving it I dint notice coolant leaking! BUT when the car was idle It leaked by the gallon! I replaced the water pump and the car runs better then ever!!! also if you installed the thermostat the wrong way that would cause loosing coolant!
  • There is a leak due to corrosion in an elbow in the coolant system in my son's 2002 Cavalier 2.2. The upper radiator hose connects to the elbow, which goes into the engine (block?). How is this elbow replaced? Does it simply pull out from the engine? Is a new elbow reinserted with a high temperature sealer? Thanks for any help.
  • Where are the coolant temp sensor and fan relay located on a 2004 2.2L Cavalier?
    Mine runs continuously, even from a cold start.
  • dixieman82dixieman82 Posts: 1
    i was wondering if anyone had a 2003 chevy cavalier and what the idle speed was when just sitting mine is at like just below 500 rpms i think thats low
  • edro911edro911 Posts: 2
    my 1992 chevy cavalier 2.2l 4 cylinder starts making a gurgling sound when i turn off the engine i checked the coolant in the radiator and it is low and i refill it it does this every time i drive the car and i keep adding coolant and the coolant bottle gets full i drain it each time and some times while driving the car i can smell the anti freeze it while the windows are downit has over 98,000 miles any suggestions
  • supermexsupermex Posts: 2
    my son has a 2004 cavalier that is blowing white smoke in the morning and fades away as the car warms up. it is also using coolant as he has to add some periodically. there is no sign of a coolant leak on the pavement. my guess is its leaking internally and after talking with a mechanic on the phone he seemed to think that it may be a blown head gasket. my question is could it be something else? or if is is indeed the head gasket i know that there is some products made for this problem but its recommend that all the coolant be drained before using it. my 2nd question is how do you completely drain the system? also there is no radiator cap. please help
  • White smoke can be a transmission problem also, but if your losing coolant it is most likely a head gaske, especially if it's a Cavilier. Adding products to a cooling system with a leaky head gasket will only make the problem worse. The head has to be pulled and the gasket replaced before you end up with a cracked head or worse.
  • supermexsupermex Posts: 2
    you maybe right but at this point im willing to try anything that might help. ive heard from a mechanic and also a friend that talks from expirience that a product called liquid glass is very good and also alot cheaper than the 900 dollar job of getting a new gasket put on. what do you think? are you a mechanic? thanks for the advice and i hope to hear from you soon.
  • son just had a steering box just replaced- $274.49- work and everything- works great
    now for the problem- it seems to over heat- just replaced thermostat- still is staying up in the high zone. does it need to be flushed? mechanic said low compression- does it need and oil change? car is great- don't want to leave him stranded- help??
  • son has another problem- engine shakes 3 times at light or stop sign then the oil light comers on-- what is up?
  • My daughters 1998 Cavalier has had the heater core replaced 4-5 times in the last 2 years, the latest one only lasted about 2 months. She is now driving it without heat as the core keeps failing. Part is cheap, replacing it is tough. What would cause this. (I've had it replaced by a mechanic each time) He thinks it could be the head gasket and the car isn't worth that repair.

  • i have never heard of a "band aid" fix for this problem but im sure it exists. However, it is best to get the head gasket replaced because if u temporarily fix this it will just do the same thing in a few months also, coolant entering the combustion chamber WILL damage the vehicle so the problem should be remedied ASAP
  • my 2000 cavalier 2.2l is leak coolant on the back side of the engine on the passenger side but theres no smoke coming out the exhaust or milky oil. Is this a blown head gasket?
  • I have a 1992 Cavalier with 159,000 miles. Recently I've been getting a faint to moderate scent of anti freeze in the car via the vents. There is no coolant leak and the vehicle runs and drives fine. I was advised by a co-worker that it could be the heater core. Does that sound accurate?
  • I have a 1992 Cavalier with 159,000 miles. Of late the bettery light has been coming on during normal driving, but It tends to shut off after a few moments. Does anyone here know what could be causing this? It's been happening a bit more often and I am a little concerned.
Sign In or Register to comment.