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Last weekend, I was looking over my fluid levels, belt and hose conditions in my 97 Avalon and noticed that I didn't have any coolant in my reservoir. I topped it off to the Min mark.

On my way to work this morning, I noticed that my temp gauge was getting hotter than it's ever been so I pulled over and popped the hood. I must not have tightened the radiator cap during my inspection as it was on ****-eyed and coolant had sprayed all over the engine compartment. I left things alone, parked and walked to the remaining short distance to work. I ensured the radiator cap was secure before heading home and the temp gauge remained at its normal level but I noticed that I now have no heat?!

Before I pulled over this morning, there was what I figured was vaporized coolant coming through the ventilation system but nothing abnormal was observed on the drive home (other than the lack of heat). Can anyone think of what might be going on? I live in CO so heat is a pretty important thing to have!

Thanks for any suggestions!
 

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After you noticed it sprayed out did you top it up again? If not, it woud make sense you have no heat if you have no coolant. If you topped it up maybe you just have an air lock. Is the overflow bottle empty again?
 

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No, I didn't have any coolant with me so I didn't top it off again. I'll do that tonight so I can see how it is in the morning. Just to make sure, now that it's cold, I add to the radiator cap until full and then the reservoir until it's at the "low" mark, right?
 

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If the cap was off you probably lost quite a bit but yes, fill the rad and the overflow bottle. You can fill the overflow bottle to the max line. I would guess that once the car warms up you will see the overflow bottle empty out when the thermostat opens. It make take several top ups to get it back to normal levels. I would not recommend driving it too far without coolant. Sitting cold at night without coolant in the block may also be a problem so dont leave it too long. I am by no means a mechanic but you could possibly do some damage driving it without coolant even if it does not get really hot. Maybe someone with more knowledge can chime in about that.
 

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how many miles do you have? You said that there was coolant splatter over the engine. You may have a slight crack on the radiator or a hole on the radiator hose. The best way to find out is to pressure test the coolant system and look for leaks. If you don't have a tool fill her up and run the vehicle at about 1500 rpms and look for leaks. Definitely look at the upper portion of the radiator. The plastic radiators always crack overtime. I've replaced many.
 

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There is a tool that pulls a vacuum on the system to eliminate air pockets. Switch the valve and it uses the vacuum to pull coolant into the system. Some cars just need extra help evacuating air from the cooling system. (this tool requires a large air compressor)

Amazon.com: Mityvac (MITMV4535) Cooling System Air Evac and Refill Kit: Home Improvement
The way I purged the air out of my BMW bike was to crack open the radiator when it was warm (not hot) and squeezed the bottomradiator hose to "burp" the air out. It worked:tu:.
 
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