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Old 12th September 2006, 00:49   #1
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Default Coolant/oil query.

Hi guys,

I noticed that my coolant reservoir was totally empty, so filled it up between low and high permissible values, but today again it's empty. I am assuming my cooling system had much bigger void for the coolant than what i filled in there, so i am going to fill it in from the radiator cap today. If it vanishes again, will have the system check for leaks.

I have certain question/assumptions that you can clarify

1. I need not worry about engines health (in terms of heating) if temperature gauge does not go close to red zone (normally it stays in middle for me)

2. heated engine seizes and destroys itself, it's taken care of by the point above. but also, starting in cold also damages an engine. My assumtions is this is a problem only for first 2-5 minutes, and once it's running, I need not worry about it.

3. even in freezing temperatures, while running for long time, car is under threat from overheating, and radiator needs to be working constantly.

About the oil, my oil indicator blinks often when I brake. and goes off when I accelerate. I checked the level and it seems to be fine (it's close to high level of good range). Is this normal? I am hoping I am measuring it right. It clearly tell me not to overstuff with the oil.
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Old 12th September 2006, 01:34   #2
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It would help if you tell us the make and model of your car.

1. Yes, you are right that you dont have to worry till the temp. gauge
goes up into the red zone.. But, this can happen in a matter of minutes
without any warning.

If you have to keep adding coolant -- it means a leak either in the
hoses, or the radiator or in the engine head gasket. If you really
think its a leak, you can also look at additives to coolants, which will
seal small leaks.

2. didn't quite understand your question.

3. Yes, even in freezing temperatures, there is a threat from overheated
engine. The radiator maintains the temperature based on an input from
a thermostat and it wont take long for the thermostat to kick in, even
in freezing temps.
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Old 12th September 2006, 03:33   #3
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your radiator has a leak. fill up coolant only before taking to the repair shop, else it'll just be a waste.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekiny2k
1. I need not worry about engines health (in terms of heating) if temperature gauge does not go close to red zone (normally it stays in middle for me)
you do need to worry about your engine health. don't trust the temperature gauge. it doesn't detect leaks properly. i've had similar issues with our 750 earlier.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekiny2k
2. heated engine seizes and destroys itself, it's taken care of by the point above. but also, starting in cold also damages an engine. My assumtions is this is a problem only for first 2-5 minutes, and once it's running, I need not worry about it.
starting in cold temperatures won't be a problem as long you've had your regular oil changes, and your oil level is OK.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekiny2k
3. even in freezing temperatures, while running for long time, car is under threat from overheating, and radiator needs to be working constantly.
an automobile engine runs at higher temperatures than ambient temperatures. the cooling system helps regulate this temperature within certain limits. even though the outside temperature might be freezing, you shouldn't entirely depend on it to control your engine temperature.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekiny2k
About the oil, my oil indicator blinks often when I brake. and goes off when I accelerate. I checked the level and it seems to be fine (it's close to high level of good range). Is this normal? I am hoping I am measuring it right. It clearly tell me not to overstuff with the oil.
have you checked the level of brake oil or engine oil? this 'may' be due to some fault in the electric system or an indication of low brake-oil. it also might be an indication of worn brake-pads.

rather than speculating, get your car checked at a repair shop, just in case - better to get the problem fixed as it's detected, or else you may end up paying more for a damaged engine. you have a Mitsubishi Galant if i remember correctly, so your repair cost will be reasonable.

Last edited by aah78 : 12th September 2006 at 03:35.
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Old 12th September 2006, 08:24   #4
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thanks guys, yes, i have a 2002 mits galant. I checked the coolant first tine after buying it (close to 6 months) And I don't trust the dealer (now) that he had topped it properly, so i am going to top it up and see for once myself.

by no. 2, What I wanted to confirm was the danger of cold starting only exists for first few mins.

have to get a checkup and oil changes etc before the winter anyway. will get it checked up at a garage.

Another Q, Shud I get snow tires, or all weather tires will be fine? I know pennsylvania winter can be nasty, and this is the first time I will be driving in northeast USA ( earlier in NYC it was only MTA ). If I knew i had to relocate to PA, I would have bought an AWD
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Old 12th September 2006, 08:41   #5
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IMO - you wouldnt need snow tires. Just be sensible with your driving style, and you should be fine.

If it snows real bad, then you wouldnt be stepping out atall. When you drive in snowy conditions, the roads would already be cleared and salted.
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Old 12th September 2006, 17:36   #6
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thanks condor, but apart from lack of traction, there are temperature issues with normal tire. I have read that winter temperatures are not good for ordinary tires.

any comments?
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Old 12th September 2006, 18:49   #7
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I have done a couple of winters with M+S tires, hence my prev msg. Even with these regular tires, I havent seen any situations that called for panic.

I have not come across the points you have mentioned, so all I can add at this time is atleast wait till it starts snowing. You will know how exactly your car handles in snow, and you can decide after that. I will also check with a friend who had a Mitsubishi, and pm you if I get any addnl info.
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Old 12th September 2006, 19:00   #8
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I want to add my question withoput distracting the original one. Just not to create a new thread on the same topic.
Today, I went to my friends house upon his request. He has a Palio 1.2 (2002). He had a battery of problems, and the car was not used for a week or so, when the problem cropped up.

One of them was, that the coolant tank was empty. He did not notice that. But he did notice that the car is overtly getting heated. He managed to drive home about 10 mins after this snag developped with three stops to let the engine cool down. Since then it was idle.

Today I went to his place, noticed the coolant was empty and topped it up with water. The heating problem sorted out for a minute. the temp was under control. we drove to Javali, again 5kms, and left the car for the necessary actions. Few minutes ago Javali guys called and said the thermostat plug is the culprit, the coolant is leaking from there, and it needs replacement. damage 2.6K.
Could this be such an expensive affair to replace a thermostat? can this be fixed?
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Old 13th September 2006, 20:09   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekiny2k
apart from lack of traction, there are temperature issues with normal tire. I have read that winter temperatures are not good for ordinary tires.
you have a FWD car so overall your winter should pass OK with regular all-season tires. normally, the streets will be cleaned up immediately after a snowfall, so it isn't such a big issue, especially if you're living in/around a relatively big city.

regular tires can withstand winter temperatures but you'll have to keep checking pressure at higher intervals than usual, because as temperature drops, the air pressure drops too - hence, your pressure gauge will read back a lower PSI value.

in case you do get stuck on a snowed-on road and find your tires losing traction, pull over and deflate your tires to a lower PSI setting (-3/4 PSI than recommended, sometimes more maybe required). lower PSI will help you gain traction.

snow/ice covered roads can be a dangerous place to drive on but drive carefully and you should be OK!
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Old 13th September 2006, 23:02   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aah78

in case you do get stuck on a snowed-on road and find your tires losing traction, pull over and deflate your tires to a lower PSI setting (-3/4 PSI than recommended, sometimes more maybe required). lower PSI will help you gain traction.
That was a good piece of advice. thanks.
BTW, my coolant is fine now. I guess it was low from beginning. I am going to watch it for a week though.
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Old 14th September 2006, 08:10   #11
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Vivek, I dont think the owners manual of any car says anything on the lines of winter temperatures not being good for ordinay tires. If that was true, the manual would have asked you to switch to snow tires during winter.
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Old 14th September 2006, 19:38   #12
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I found this info here (stiffening at zero celsius), while researching on snow tires.could be a marketing gimmick though.

http://www.safety-council.org/info/t...snowtires.html

I know for sure that before goodyear invented sulphurized rubber, tires used to crack in winter

Last edited by vivekiny2k : 14th September 2006 at 19:40.
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Old 14th September 2006, 20:42   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekiny2k
I found this info here (stiffening at zero celsius), while researching on snow tires.could be a marketing gimmick though.

http://www.safety-council.org/info/t...snowtires.html

I know for sure that before goodyear invented sulphurized rubber, tires used to crack in winter

Hey Vivek i saw you are in York PA, i have driven around 78 and 81 in the3 winter that is pretty clean but the city roads can be dicy, awd definately has an advantage in the snow BUT when you hit black ice .. god is your best friend, take a course on winter driving , ask your local dmv for institutes they really help and spending ~$80 -100 a tire for winter tires which will last you a min of 2 seasons is a good investment also make sure that you change your insurance policy and go to $0 or $250 deductible that is god forbid you meet with an accident this will help reduce your out of pocket expenses and when spring - summer comes you can change back to your regular deductibel. i have driven a RWD car in upstate NY winters with winter/ snow tires and it wa amazing.. i would recommend you go with "BLIZZAKS"
Tirerack.com should give you a good deal or your local searss / jcp
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Old 1st January 2007, 19:49   #14
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Sorry to bring this thread alive..!

I need to have the Coolant replaced for my lancer, and was wondering whats the best available in the Market.

I checked out with HP Pump and found they have two types available, One which is Undiluted and needs water to be added along with around 200 rupees and the other Which is already premixed for 180 rupees.

Could someone suggest which is the best Coolant I can put in the lancer..!

Lancer SFX-i Petrol
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Old 1st January 2007, 20:12   #15
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@wolfinstein: Methinks the undiluted coolant mixed with distilled (battery) water in the recommened proportion should be your best bet.

Last edited by elf : 1st January 2007 at 20:14.
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