Low coolant - Chevy Malibu Forum: Chevrolet Malibu Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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Low coolant

We have a 2009 malibu 3.6L that I noticed the coolant was a little low in the resovior. The "cool" mark is about the middle of the tank and the coolant is towards the bottom, so about an inch to inch and a half lower than what it should be cold. I'm going to pick up some coolant(pretty sure it's dexcool) and bring it up to the right level.

But what might have caused this? Is there any common leaks on the 3.6L that I should look into? Anything else I should be concerned about or look into?

Thanks
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 01:13 PM
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Re: Low coolant

I'd have it pressure-tested & then you'll know for sure if there's a leak. Autozone may loan pressure testers for DIY. Or, they aren't very expensive to buy.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Low coolant

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Originally Posted by greenman View Post
I'd have it pressure-tested & then you'll know for sure if there's a leak. Autozone may loan pressure testers for DIY. Or, they aren't very expensive to buy.
I have a stant pressure tester but will have to buy the adapter for this car which is the 12032 and costs 45 bucks! I love my stant tester and have used it many times but the adapters cost an arm and leg. Guess I will have to bite the bullet and order the adapter and see what the deal is.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 07:21 PM
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Re: Low coolant

Stants are nice tools
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 03:03 PM
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Re: Low coolant

Im having the same problem. Three weeks ago I got a new water pump that was covered under the five year 100,000 mile warranty. Now all my coolant has ran out again. I have no idea where the leak could be coming from or if its covered under warranty.

09 2LT 3.6 V6/A6 Red Jewel Tintcoat W/Ebony Interior

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 07:55 AM
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Re: Low coolant

@91SHOPlus, most definitely contact the dealership that performed the water pump replacement about your coolant issues. Under normal circumstances this should be covered under the Powertrain warranty.

Please, let me know how things go after you’ve visited the dealership.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-17-2012, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Low coolant

I ordered the stant adapter for newer chevys, the 12032 http://www.amazon.com/Stant-12032-Threaded-Radiator-Cooling/dp/B000CKTJZU/ref=au_pf_pfg_s?ie=UTF8&Make=Chevrolet%7C47&Model=Malibu%7C468&Year=2009%7C2009&carId=001&n=15684181&newCar=1&s=automotive&vehicleType=automotive. It should be here tomorrow. I'll do some tests and see if I can find any leaks under pressure. I doubt that I will be able to see anything since if there is a leak it's really small but we'll see what happens.

I'm going to go ahead and change the coolant also. I'm a believer in fluid changes, they are fairly cheap and not really hard to do. I like to drain the radiator and then fill with distilled water and run up to operating temp and repeat a few times in order to do a DIY "flush". Then fill with the correct mix of dexcool to get it back to a 50/50 mix. I haven't looked at the capacities for this engine yet, just picked up 2 gallons of dexcool and some distilled water for now. I can usually get it pretty close and double check it with a snap on refractometer to make sure it's the right mix.

Also going to flush the brake fluid. I"m not sure what GM recomendations are as far as intervals but there are a few car manufacturers that recomend every two years so that's what I like to do. Brake fluid is cheap and I bought a mityvac brake bleeder a few years back, http://www.tooltopia.com/mityvac-mv6835.aspx which makes quick work of changing out the brake fluid. Anyone know the correct bleeding order for this car? I ordered a factory service manual but not sure when that will get here.

Also will do a trans drain and fill while I'm under there.

So that is my plans for the holiday vacation! Any advice is appreciated and if anyone would like pictures or even a little write up I would be glad to do that.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-18-2012, 04:43 AM
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Re: Low coolant

I wish I was allowed to do that kind of work here at my apartment complex.

Sounds like a good plan. If you'd like to share pics and tips that'd be perfect, since that is a lot of why we're here!


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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-18-2012, 06:43 AM
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Re: Low coolant

Probably stupid question but when you drain and flush the cooling system what do you use to catch the old antifreeze and what do you do with it? You would have to have a pretty big bucket or something to flush it a few times without letting it go on the ground.


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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-18-2012, 09:48 AM
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Re: Low coolant

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....Anyone know the correct bleeding order for this car?
With the advent of four wheel ABS there is no "incorrect" sequence. All four brake calipers are individually connected to the ABS module. The only shared plumbing is from the master cylinder to the ABS module.

Hook up your MityVac in whatever sequence is most convenient and have at it. FWIW, I also (try to) replace all the brake fluid every two years.

With some GM vehicles you can gain access to the front bleeder valves without removing the wheels.
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