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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Does the enigne coolant level drop in cold weather?

Hi. I've had a 13 Volt for about a year, I live in S Florida, this is the first "real" cold front we've gotten since I've owned it. I noticed that the engine coolant tank on the LEFT hand side seems to be way down. The one in the center-front seems to be full.

I pre-conditioned car unplugged, went to 7-11, happened to notice this when I was filling windshield washer fluid. Has this happened to anyone else and also, can I refill this myself?

EDIT figures I find the handy FAQ after posting. Guess the left container is engine coolant, not battery coolant. I can just top it off, apparently.

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?119089-Battery-Coolant-and-other-Fluid-Levels-FAQ
 

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Not in my experience. There could be some coolant boil-off over the course of years, but that's really slow. A big drop either means you've had some trapped air bubbles (but there shouldn't be any) float lose, or you are leaking fluid to the ground or inside the battery case. Do you check the coolant level once a month like you are supposed to?

The left of center (passenger side) part of the double tank is the battery coolant. It should be at the top of the black sticker. Where was it when you bought the car?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well the FAQ is super informative, so thank you for that. I don't check them religiously "monthly" maybe about every 6-8 weeks. Guess I should revise my habits.
 

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At least when you add fluid to the wiper tank which is about every 4 weeks here in BUG country :)
 

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FYI, your 2013 is most likely due for the 5yr/100k mile coolant flush and fill. I would take it into the dealer to have that done asap and while you're there tell them about the low coolant level. They can check for leaks while they're doing the flush and fill. Make sure they flush and fill all three tanks and not just the engine reserve tank.
 

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Yes, the level must drop in cold weather. How much is a question for someone with all the data: volume in the system, difference in temperature, coefficient of expansion, volume of the reservoir that is visible, etc.

I'll have to leave that calculation to one of the engineers out there. I wouldn't think it is significant in Florida-style 'cold' weather.
 

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I wouldn't think it is significant in Florida-style 'cold' weather.
This. Your temp swing alone wouldn't be enough to cause a significant change.
 

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Yes, the level must drop in cold weather. How much is a question for someone with all the data: volume in the system, difference in temperature, coefficient of expansion, volume of the reservoir that is visible, etc.

I'll have to leave that calculation to one of the engineers out there. I wouldn't think it is significant in Florida-style 'cold' weather.
It doesn't seem significant here in Chicago winter cold either. I'd say the effect is negligible. However, if you don't check under the hood on a regular basis, it's a moot point anyway as you have nothing to compare to, and you certainly won't see any sudden vs. slow trend.
 
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