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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a 2011 1.4L Cruze a few months back with roughly 100k miles. A few days ago, I noticed that the heater was struggling to keep up, but I assumed that it was just the cold weather we'd been having.. About 10 degrees F or so. So yesterday and today the heater has not been working at all, but the engine temp was staying normal (one tick to the cold side of 50%). I checked the fluid resevoir and it was almost completely empty, so I filled it up with 50/50 DEX-COOL. Heater is working fine now, although it's a lot warmer outside, I'm sure it was because it was low on coolant.. So I had been driving about a month with little or no coolant, and to my surprise, the engine temp did not change, which in all the other cars I've driven it would have.. I am going to take it into the dealer this week to see what the issue is, and maybe they'll replace the water pump under the extended warranty.. Oh, and when I was driving to work today after letting my car warm up for about 10 minutes, and the heater blowing cold air, the engine temp "normal" I got to work and the check engine light came on(about 10 miles) and is staying on after adding more coolant and heater working, etc..

I guess I'm worried that I screwed my car up from driving it with low coolant, it really seems to me like the temp gauge is lying to me.. What do you guys think? According to the temp gauge it never got hot, and the heater has been blowing cold air for maybe a week or so when it's extremely cold, but I fixed that when I added coolant. Also, yesterday and today the radiator fan has been blowing super loud after my car warms up.

Sorry for the rant, I'm just kind of freaking out right now since this is my first "new-ish" car, that I only got a few months ago.. I'd hate to do serious damage to the engine in less than a year of having it.
 

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The coolant tank is a surge tank.......since you indicate it had a bit of coolant remaining, the engine was never actually low.....just the tank.
Odds are nothing is harmed.......but keep checking it to see if the level stabilizes.....add as required.

I suspect, though, there is some air in the system......that would line up with poor heat and the fans going to high speed.

The service engine light may be related to the coolant temp sensor (for the fan control).

It seems the coolant temp gauge will only show hot when the engine is actually overheating.

Keep in touch,

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks Rob.. I just wanted some assurance that I didn't just cause my car to hit the crapper... Will take it into the dealership this week hopefully, need my oil changed anyhow. There was only about a tablespoon of coolant in the tank, in the little dips below the lower hose that runs to the firewall, so even if it was out, I don't really see how it could get that bit of coolant out of the bottom of the tank, since the bigger hose at the bottom is above the small puddle of coolant that was still in it.

:)
 

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it really seems to me like the temp gauge is lying to me.
It kinda is. It's a computer readout - not a real gauge. As long as the computer considers the temperature "normal" it will park the needle one tick "cold" from the mid-point. This might be because the car's designed to have different operating temperatures depending one what's being asked of it - but GM didn't want a bunch of people upset that the operating temperature is managed instead of fixed.
 
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