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Coolant issue

How often should a 2014 Chevrolet Cruze reservoir be topped off

Usually, it should never need to be topped off. Practically, a very small amount when the weather changes from hot to cold.

If you are having to add coolant weekly or more, you have a problem that needs fixing.

Has the car ever overheated and boiled over?

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Agree! On my wife’s 2012 Mazda 3 we have yet to add any coolant. On my 2007 Corolla I have added coolant twice in 11 years.

If you have to add coolant frequently you have a leak somewhere. A good shop can find it easily.

You add a 50/50 mixture of Dexcool and drinking water to the overflow tank. The overflow tank is at the back of the engine compartment, next to the shock tower. The pressure cap is on top. See page 10-22 of your owner’s manual for an illustration. Do not remove the cap if the coolant is still hot. You might do this first thing on Saturday. If the coolant level is below the mark, then add the 50/50 mixture until the level inside the reservoir reaches the mark. If liquid flows into the cooling system, repeat until it is stable at the mark. The arrow in the illustration on page 10-22 shows you the mark on the reservoir. BTW, you can likely buy premixed Dexcool, and if the coolant hasn’t been changed since 2004, it is due for a change. Have your mechanic change the coolant for you. It hasn’t to be disposed of properly anyway.

I would use distilled water instead of tap water. You don’t want the minerals from the tap water mixed into the coolant.

GM says drinking water is OK in the owner’s manual, and around me, it is. I suppose someone might have highly mineralized well water, and in that case, demineralized water would be a good idea.

It actually says drinkable water (page 282), which is odd considering how many manuals specify distilled. Trust me, around here where our water is very hard with a ton of limestone (and clay if it comes out of my well) you don’t want to use that stuff in the cooling system…

Some coolant loss is normal. The water pump has a dynamic seal and isn’t perfectly leak-free. But If you need to add much more than a cup of coolant every 6 months/5000 miles, there’s probably a cooling system problem brewing, and it would be a good idea to take your car to a shop for an assessment.