Having problems with your 1996 Volvo 850 ?
Low coolant light comes on in 1996 Volvo when coolant level is OK
\015 Low coolant light comes on in 1996 Volvo. This used to happen, months ago, and I refilled the coolant tank and it didn't come on. Now it had started coming on periodically again, at the same times as it had months ago, like when I started up the car when the engine was cold, or when I pulled out at an intersection when the light turned green. Then it came on & stayed on, yesterday. I checked the tank and it was pretty empty. All I had available in the car at that time was a bottle of water (no antifreeze), so I filled up the tank with water, up to the max line. The light stopped coming on, for a day. Then it started coming on again today, so I checked the tank and some water had been lost from the tank. So this time I bought a premixed antifreeze+water bottle and filled it up to the max line. The light unfortunately keeps coming on, staying on most of the time now. What is causing this? I don't think the sensor is completely broken since it has several times correctly indicated an actual loss of fluid in the tank. But why is it staying on now that the tank is full? What would cause that? It's a bit unnerving to look at the dashboard and constantly see that warning light. I fully realize that there is probably a leak somewhere, which I know is quite a problem! But I can't afford repairs (or a new car), so all I can do now is try to nurse this old car along. I'm guessing the best thing I can do (without $ to get it fixed) is just to keep checking the tank level every day and adding more antifreeze + water as needed, to keep it up to the max line - is that right? Or is there something else I should be doing?\015
There is definitely a problem here. You have one of 2 problems as the switch looks to be in good working order. Are you noticing coolant on the ground at all when stopped/driving? With that much coolant loss you have a serious problem and leading on the lines of just coolant line somewhere but should be very noticible if external leak. If you don;t see any leaking you have an internal leak on the lines of a blown head gasket or cracked head/block causing the coolant to mix in the combustin chamber with your gas and blow out the exhaust and will only get worse. The other issue is when the head gasket seeps coolant is it goes past the pistons and falls into the oil pan and mixing with oil (check your oil level for over filled level) this is bad because the coolant/water breaks down your viscosity or oils ability to lubricate the motor and causes extreme wear very fast. This will eventually lead to a mechanical breakdown in a relitively short period of time so I would definitely recommend trying to locate the leak ASAP to avoid being stranded. Possibly some coolant stop leak (not guaranteed to work) is worth a try. If your in a cold/freezing climate I would not recommend filling up with just water (it freezes) as it will just kill the motor if you have it freeze while in the engine. I've had it happen and trust me you'd wish you spent the extra and mixed with coolant.
Repair Help & Product Troubleshooting for 1996 Volvo 850
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