A little backstory first.
A few weeks ago, after seafoaming my intake via the vacuum tube under the SC snout, I took my car out for a "spirited" drive to blow the intake clean. I never had any smoke show. Guess it'* clean? During said spirited drive, I ended up overheating, and losing all of my coolant. I drove the car around 4 miles after it first overheated, pulling over and letting it cool down about every mile or so. Each time it got hot, I didn't let it get into the red before I pulled over and shut it off, until the very last time. I was going up a slight hill, and the car stumbled a little bit, just once, until I got to the top and swung into a parking lot of a gas station. As I was pulling into the parking spot, the needle hit the red and the "LOW COOLANT" light came on and was on for about a second or two before I shut the car off, since it did this immediately when I pulled into a parking spot. I then had the car towed home, let it cool, and added about 4 liters of water to the radiator before I started seeing coolant spilling out of the coolant elbow in the intake. Aha, I thought, the infamous coolant elbow blowing out.
$4 and 3 hours later, I topped off the radiator with another liter or two of water, and went for a drive. Things went fine, no more overheating, etc. Over the next two weeks, I added about a 1/2 gallon of 50/50 dexcool to the radiator and the overflow as it circulated through the system and got the air out and stuff. Still no overheating problems.
Last weekend, knowing I had a system that was about 90% water and 10% coolant, I drained my radiator, and filled it with 100% dexcool thinking that the radiator is right about 1/2 the total cooling system capacity, and that should have given me close to a 50/50 mix. At the time I was planning on draining again and refilling with 50/50....essentially a weeklong flush.
On Thursday and Friday, I added coolant again, and it was 95 degrees out with high humidity. On my way home, my coolant temp stayed right around the middle of the gauge, until I slowed down, and got into traffic. It dipped up to the second mark beyond the middle a couple of times.
This was both at idle, and while following a driver with their thumb up there you know what going 30 in a 50 zone, up and down hills. The air conditioner being on or off didn't seem to affect it either way, but it never got past that second mark.
Which brings me to today. I drained my radiator, and got about a gallon out. I then refilled with fresh 50/50 dexcool, bled the system, topped off, topped off, topped off, while the engine was running.
This first video is while the engine was first warming up, before the thermostat opened up.
See the bubbles? Here'* another -
This was after a rev of the engine -
This is after topping off again, and shows the fluid during some revs -
This is after the thermostat opened, with the heater on, and after bleeding the thermostat bleed screw -
and one more with a couple of revs
So, when starting, the fluid doesn't get forced out of the radiator neck, it gets sucked down. Is that normal? After I turned the heater off, the fluid started coming out of the radiator neck and outrunning what the overflow tube could handle. I had to put the cap on to prevent making a mess.
So this is making me worry about my head gasket. A combination of the bubbles, the coolant sucking behavior, the high coolant temps on thursday and friday, the little stumble during my overheating driving period. I do not have coolant on the dipstick that I can tell, no ring around the oil cap, no oil in the coolant, no white smoke. My oil level did look a LITTLE higher than normal after about 20 minutes of driving and about an hour of cooling, but by a little I mean it was covering half the top hole on the dipstick and now it covers the entire hole. There is some clear liquid dripping from the tailpipe after the car is warmed up. I think this is condensation. I hope.
I bought 2 gallons of 100% coolant and 2 gallons of distilled water today. Plan on flushing again next weekend to make sure i have a 50/50 mix and to get all that tap water out of there.
The LIM gaskets have already been replaced on this car by the dealer under warranty in February of 2009 I think it was.