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Flashing red light on temp gauge


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While driving in to work this morning the red light at the top end of the temp gauge started flashing. The temp seems fine -  around 190 - 200 (I think)... same as it's been since I drove it out from Illinois last week. There are no noises (squealing like a bad wp bearing or anything like that) the engine is running great... I did "top off" the coolant on Saturday  - it wasn't way low, but it wasn't sitting between the "min and max" arrows. I used the Pink Porsche stuff and added probably around 8 -16 oz. 50/50 mix. I did get a little over-flow, but I figured it would find it's level when it got up to temp. I've driven it about 40 miles since the "top-off" (20 mi. to work this morning) and just started getting the light... I don't want to hurt it by driving with the light on, and I need to take it to get inspected today (that's actually why I drove it to work)Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by dporto
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Thanks for the quick replies. So, I just took a closer look at things. A) no signs of obvious drips/leaks near/around/under water pump. There is some coolant around the top of the reservoir/tank - as though maybe I didn't tighten the cap enough and under pressure some coolant pushed out... Is this plausible? It is a new(er) cap - not original. It was kind of tight going on and I didn't want to stress/over-tighten anything, so I may have under-tightened it...

Edited by dporto
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Ok, so what I found was that I had installed the coolant cap onto the tank crooked so it wasn't sealing. Obviously, it's a little embarrassing to pull such a rookie move, but I don't think I hurt anything (besides my nerves, and my pride perhaps...What a dope!). I guess because the cap was very tight (but on properly) when I took it off, it didn't surprise me when it went back on kind of tight, and as I said earlier I didn't want to really crank on it for fear of breaking something. When threaded on at the proper angle it spins right on and seats properly - there is no damage to the threads on the tank or cap that I can see. After filling the tank back up cold, when it reached temp. the level dropped (Thermostat opening) and the light came back on (flashing - low coolant level) at which point I shut the engine down again. Filling it again when cold should fix it at this point, no?

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Also check your coolant cap. The updated blue cap ends in part number "04". Check your oil cap for tell tale signs of intermix. Stop driving the car until you get this sorted out.

Also, definitely no intermix...everything (coolant and oil) is clean and tidy...just low coolant

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Does the cluster give you an warning in words that mentioned coolant level? Per the owner manual, the flashing light can also mean the engine compartment fan is not working so that may also be something to look at after you exhausted other possibilities.

 

Frequency of blinking also gives you more info http://www.renntech.org/forums/topic/35785-986-coolant-light-blinking-temp-at-bottom-of-scale/?p=189666

Edited by Ahsai
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No warning words - slow flash, so I think just "low coolant". Light is off now (hopefully for good). The temp gauge is sitting still right around 190 deg.(F) and the coolant level in the tank is stable between the "min & max" lines . It took me two cool down & refill to get it there . It looks like all told, I was down close to a gallon of coolant when all was said and done. :eek:  Thanks to everyone who chimed in for all your help/ideas :cheers:

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Touche' ! :blush:  I deserved it! It did take one more top off last night after driving home (light started to flash after driving 23 mi. - about a 1/2 mi. from home). After topping it off I took it out for another 20 mi. drive, with no light - ran great and the temp gauge sat right around 190 deg. I checked it this morning before leaving for work and it was down just a little below the "min" arrow (exactly where it was before I decided to mess with it in the first place :lightbulb: ). I topped it up to between the min & max lines, and carefully replaced the cap... :thumbup:

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