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Ron, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Volvo
Satisfied Customers: 33018
Experience:  35 years as a Automotive tech
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I just purchased a used 2002 Volvo S40. It drove well at the

Customer Question

I just purchased a used 2002 Volvo S40. It drove well at the dealer, and my son and I brought it home on Monday, 10/10. My son took it out for a drive this evening, and I received a call that it was smoking badly. I drove out to see him, and he had opened the hood to see steam/water coming from a reservoir on the left side of the engine at the back (close to the windshield). It appears that coolant goes in the reservoir, and it appeared to be completely empty. I drove my son to an Auto Zone and asked for the type of coolant for the Volvo. They gave me a 1/5 liter container of Petrofrost, specifically for Volvos. I returned to the car and put in the coolant, not diluted. We started it, and it seemed to be fine, wasn't running hot and idled for about 10 minutes of so. We then started to drive it home, and within about 10 minutes or so, the temperature went way up, and the car began to smoke a bit. My son pulled over, and I noticed that the reservoir of coolant was empty again. What do you think this could be? I have heard maybe a thermostat could be stuck? it may be a leak around the cap? I have read about many other things as well. What do you think?
JA: Have you checked the coolant? Have you noticed any leaking?
Customer: See my question...
JA: Are you fixing your S40 yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: See my question...
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: We have only owned it for a few days, so look at my question and explanation.
Submitted: 7 days ago.
Category: Volvo
Expert:  Ron replied 6 days ago.

Hello. My name is ***** ***** I am happy to assist you today. Give me just a moment to review your post, and I'll be right back with the help you need.

Expert:  Ron replied 6 days ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am a professional here at Just Answer. I have noticed that your question was not getting a response and thought I would see if you still need help with this.I apologize for the delay and I hope I can still assist you with this here. The problem you your are having with the overheating could very well be caused by a stuck thermostat or even a leak in the system or worse case a blown head gasket. I would suggest you start with performing a cooling system pressure test to make sure there are no external leaks and if that checks okay have a block test performed to check for any signs of hydro-carbons in the cooling system due to a leaking head gasket. If both test past then the next step would be to replace the thermostat and perform a cooling system flush adding new coolant and see if the problem is resolved.