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Hi everyone. I'm glad I found this site. I'm hoping to NEVER have to take my Equinox to the dealer for servicing so maybe this site will assist me with this endeavor. :thumb:

So I'm slowly doing all of the 100k service on the car myself. It's an '06 Nox with a little over 95k miles. Yesterday, I went to flush the coolant and replace the Dex Cool with Prestone Extended Life. I opened the radiator petcock and nothing came out. At all. Dry as a bone. So I went to the other end of the radiator and removed the big hose and it all drained out. I repeated this until the cleaning stuff was gone and then I put the coolant in.

Now, my issue is this: I ONLY needed to use 1 gallon of 50/50 mix. Shouldn't it take a LOT more. Instead of the almost 4 liters, shouldn't it take nearly 10?

I am not currently nor have I EVER experience overheating but it seems that the radiator isn't accepting all the fluids. Is there a different spot, other than the plastic reservoir, to fill the vehicle with coolant? I didn't see a radiator cap anywhere...It's supposed to take 9.9 liters, isn't it? I did make sure to purge the system of air using the little bleeder valve from the water pump, but this didn't make a difference in the coolant level very much. ???

I did want to mention that when I got home today from work, a 30 minute highway drive, I popped the hood and noticed the entire reservoir was empty. When I opened the cap to add more, it filled right back up to the proper level. I'm thinking that's normal behavior for it. Also, I think I might be noticing that the radiator fans are turning on more frequently. Maybe it's the difference in coolant? :-\

Any advice and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!
 

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The fact that you opened the petcock and NO fluid came out, AND that the fans are coming on more frequently points to a low fluid level in your system (most likely).

As for the radiator cap, it may be like my Taurus where there is no cap on the radiator ... you fill at the plastic recovery tank which has a pressurized cap on it (it'll say this on cap ... X lbs pressure). I think the reason Ford did it this way with the Taurus is because they buried the radiator too far into the nose of the car to make the cap accessible. But it might also be considered safer to have the pressurized cap away from the radiator, as some people have been known to remove the cap while the system is still hot (SOMETHING YOU SHOULD NEVER DO) - which sprays hot coolant in their face!

I'd have to double-check, but I believe both my Impala and Taurus have a max capacity of something like 11 Quarts of coolant, so I would think your Equinox would be similar. But unless you pull the block drain plugs, you're not going to get all the fluid out. There's still going to be a about 2-3 quarts left inside. And if you're flushing the system with water, you should assume that's what remains inside the block and factor that into your 50/50 mix.

Make sure you purge all the air out of the system after refilling. My Taurus is "self-purging", but on my Impala I have to loosen a brass screw near the thermostat housing. Air comes out initially, then you close/tighten the screw once you see a steady stream of fluid coming out. If you don't get all the air out, you're going to see your temperature gauge floating all over the place (and probably your fans coming on more often).

If your reservoir was empty after driving, the fluid got sucked into the system. You're probably just low on fluid, but you could also have a leak. Sometimes fluid can bleed out slowly while driving and fall onto something hot and vaporize, leaving no indication of a leak ... but the fluid keeps dropping. You could also have a gasket leak where fluid is escaping into the engine (instead of circulating around it) and being vaporized out the tailpipe. Again, there would be no indication of a leak (except white exhaust smoke) ... but the fluid keeps dropping.

I'd keep track of how much fluid you're putting into that reservoir. You may have already exceeded the max amount, meaning you have a leak somewhere. My '02 Impala had the famous "intake gasket" leak where coolant was disappearing through the engine. Started at about 70,000. Your '06 may have the same problem.
 
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