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Water gurggling sound from my Impala

I have a 2003 Impala with about 124,000 miles on it. A few weeks back I started to hear what can best be described as a “water gurgling” sound coming from my dashboard area or where the vents are. It happens especially when make a tight turn or something, it only last a couple of seconds and doesn’t happen all the time. What am I hearing and what was the cause of this and is there any fixes for it?

Sounds like you are getting air into the cooling system and it is boiling when you shut the engine off. Does the engine show overheating? Are you losing coolant?

You might want to run a pressure test. You might have an intake manifold or head gasket going away.

Only time you hear this sound is when the car is running and usually when you are making a sharp turn, especially a right turn. Car is not running hot and I make sure my fluid is kept full. No sounds at all when car is not running and there is no consistency to when you will hear it. It’s not a long sound just a couple of seconds. I check the oil weekly and there is no sign of any contamination on the dip stick and oil is changed around every 3-4,000 miles and never been told the oil that was removed was discolored or anything.

Sounds like a plugged A/C drain then. Look for a smallish plastic hose coming down on the passenger side, close to the firewall area. Fish some plastic weed whacker line up that drain and keep your head back…


When the cooling system is low you will hear gurgling in the heater core. The heater hoses are usually the highest point in the cooling system, air will collect there but coolant will begin to flow though when you accelerate. Check your coolant level again.

Well I believe I found out the issue, it appears that the hose that runs from the resevior/overflow container to the radiator came off, not sure how, but it was not attached so that was how I was losing fluid and getting air in the system, got that reconnected and hope it’s all good now. Engine never got hot and there wasn’t much fluid missing from radiator when I added in some to top it off.


If the gurgling returns you may still have some air in the cooling system. It can result in a sound as the air bubble partially blocks the circulation through the passenger compartment heating system. You could prove that by bypassing that part of the cooling system where it goes into the passenger compartment through the fire wall, but it is probably too much work to do for what it would help. Unless you are a scientific type and like to do experiments that prove you are on the right track.

On most vehicles it is possible to get most of the air out of the cooling system by raising the front end enough (like drive it up some ramps) so the top of the radiator is the highest point of the cooling system. Remove the radiator cap and idle the engine until the thermostat opens. After a couple minutes the air should all be gone.

Edit: Turn on the heater control to max too.