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Where should Coolant be filled in 2002 Dodge Caravan

I went to a garage last week. They said if my 2002 Dodge Caravan is overheated then I should stop driving it. He said something (I forgot) leakage. I have the radiator flushed at another garage on 10-25-13 at 161,279 miles. Now my van has about 175,800 miles. I tried to open the radiator cap. There’s full of “green” coolant, but the coolant (?) in the white plastic coolant reservoirs is below Minimum level.
Where should the coolant be poured in 2002 Dodge Caravan? Did the garage pour the coolant into radiator directly wrongly instead of pouring the coolant into the white plastic coolant reservoir correctly? Please help.

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Did your Caravan overheat?
Did you stop driving it?
Was it leaking?

Not if he was trying to refill a system that had lost coolant due to overheating or leaking. For the system to work properly it needs to be full right into the reservoir.

If s system is full and operating properly, the place to add fluid to replace normal loss is the plastic reservoir. If the system is low due to overheating or a leak, it needs to be (1) repaired, and (2) filled into the radiator fill hole first… and only then into the reservoir.

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[quote=“KittyToo, post:1, topic:107532”]

I went to a garage last week. They said if my 2002 Dodge Caravan is overheated then I should stop driving it.

[Kitty, why did you go to the garage? Was it showing over-heating symptoms?

Did the garage pour the coolant into radiator directly wrongly instead of pouring the coolant into the white plastic coolant reservoir correctly? Please help.
[/quote]

Cooling systems function as a closed loop system (air is kept out).

In a vehicle with a properly functioning cooling system the coolant heats up as you drive and then expands and some is forced under pressure into the reservoir. As the engine cools, a vacuum is created, drawing coolant back into the system and that keeps the radiator filled to the top. Ordinarily the coolant is only added to the reservoir when needed.

In a vehicle with a cooling system leak the vacuum action can be lost and as the engine cools coolant may not be drawn back into the radiator to keep it full. So, in a faulty system (open loop) coolant must be added directly to the radiator to keep it full.

I don’t know why it went to the shop or what the shop did or notice about your system and possible over-heating.]

Did the garage pour the coolant into radiator directly wrongly instead of pouring the coolant into the white plastic coolant reservoir correctly?

[It’s difficult to say. Do you have any more information that will help determine this?

Based on what they saw or found they could be correct advising you not to drive until a proper diagnosis is obtained. Over-heating can kill an engine.]
CSA

The coolant in the radiator can be low or even empty while the plastic bottle shows full if there’s a leak in the cooling system. For example that could happen if the radiator sprung a leak during the night and all the coolant slowly leaked out. The plastic bottle might still appear full. In a properly working cooling system with no leaks that won’t happen, but it can happen if there’s a leak. When I replace the coolant in my Corolla I drain the radiator, and then I have to fill the radiator first with fresh coolant, only after that do I fill the plastic bottle.