First coolant flush

2003 chevy monte carlo, 21k, recently took to the chevy dealer for it’s first machine coolant flush. upon completion, have noticed the odor of coolant after parking car in garage. In addition, have noticed the coolant resevoir is filled considerably higher than the hot/cold level indicators. Have found no leaks or odors in driving compartment while driving. any comments appreciated.

Not to worry. It may have been overfilled a little, but unlike oil, it is OK to overfill coolant as it will not damage the car. Overfilling the oil can do serious damage to the engine.

Overfilling or spilling some coolant could cause the odor. In either case it will go away. If you like you could have the engine cleaned, but sometimes that can cause problems. Don’t use harsh chemicals or high pressure if you choose that option.

The smell is probably just some residual coolant that was spilled during the service. It will evaporate and go away. A little extra coolant in the overflow won’t hurt anything. Don’t worry about it.

Joe you post this warning a lot and I believe you can be causing alarm when there is no need to, so I ask you to put a number on it. Are you saying that 6 quarts in a engine that is designed for 5 quarts will cause engine damage? It is very common to be 1 quart over. It happens when you let a attendant check your oil while you are on a trip. Knowing they will never see you again they tell you you are a quart low when really you are not just to sell you some oil.

So I ask you put a number on it (either percentage or volume) saying “overfilling is just a bad as underfilling” makes people think that the least little amount above the line causes disaster.

I have seen 5 quart systems survive more than 2 qts. low and 2qts high, judged not just by how they ran but by disasembly and inspection.

Somebody just overfilled it; I would park the car outside until the stuff dries up.

So I ask you put a number on it (either percentage or volume) saying “overfilling is just a bad as underfilling” makes people think that the least little amount above the line causes disaster.

You are right. To make things a little more clear,

Having too much oil can cause the loose of oil pressure by causing foaming. This may or may not be accompanied by additional noise from the engine. The car can’t pump compressible foam.

In a like way too little oil also results in too low oil pressure and damage to the engine.

It is difficult to put any specific number of how little or how much over will cause damage. A few oz either way will not put a car out of commission. Outside of a really serious leak, anyone who checks their oil at every fill up making sure the level is between the two marks, should be fine.

Most people know it is bad to have too little oil, but not all that many know it can be equally bad to have too much. There is a problem knowing just how much is too little or too much, so my advice is to keep it between the marks.

Since “there is a problem knowing just how much is to little or to much” do you default into a position that no engine that shows outside the upper or lower marks shoul be operated until this situation is corrected?

When I change my coolant, I usually overfill the reservoir some. I do this because as the air makes its way out of the system it takes some of the coolant from the tank. No biggie.

I agree with Joe. However, modern engines may be designed to be more resistant to problems caused by overfilling. Usually when a problem occurred, it was at high RPM, usually during a race. Probably not as big of a problem for normal street driving, but why take chances.

BTW, Several of the 50’s and 60’s model cars I owned had warnings on the dipstick and in the owner’s manual cautioning against overfilling.