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Randall C
Randall C, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 12803
Experience:  32 years Foreign / Domestic Cars All aspects of Diag and Repair
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The check coolant level light come on, stopped..drove..park

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2004 Range Rover HSE
Had the check coolant level light come on, stopped where my oil is changed (free top offs), they added the coolant, I drove off.
30 Miles later (15 to work 15 back from work), I park and my presurized overflow box split on the one corner and was spewing coolant. The box split where there was no seam, pretty high pressure.

I could still drive the car, but the check coolant light would come on. Eventually, every time I stopped, more fluid would spew out, eventually, nothing was left.

The last time I drove it, the temp gauge went all the way up, and I had no heat, then the temp gaguge litterely popped back to the normal range, and still no heat. About 10 mins later, the heat kicked on really fast

I went on line and checked a bunch of forums, and called a good friend of mine who does all of his own work, and based on theno heat, the fast reduction in heat, and the temp gauge, we narrowed it down to the theromsatat.

I replaced the thermostat, and filled up the coolant, but the check coolant level light continues, AND the temp gauge goes all the way to the red immediately upon starting.

This is an interesting issue, becasue each time I stopped and started the car, the temp gauge would pause where it should sit, and then popped right to red. As I continued the running and stopping, the pauses were appropriate for how the car would normally be warming up, until it sat right in the middle, paused, and then popped back to the red again.

At this point, I think it might be the sensor, but I cant for the life of me find any information on teh location of the item anywhere, plus I dont want to spend more money on the issue, until I am more certain..leading me here.

Your help is greatly appreciated.
Hello, I am Randall. I have reviewed your question and working on it now.

You sent alot of information but left out eh resevoir bottole info. Did you put a new one in?

Also,, when you say needle shoots right up at startup, are you saying anytime you start the truck cold or hot, the needle jumps that quick to the top/?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Randall, I used JB Weld on the tank, fixed it great


Yes, when I start the car, hot or cold, it goes to where it would normally go for about a second or two (pauses) then pops to the red. If the car was cold, the temp gauge would pause just above the blue, and then pop up to red. If the car is warm, it will pause at the middle, or running temp for a second or two, and then pop to the red.

Ok, 2 different problems Unsure as to why original overheat and rupture of the tank,.that much pressure is alot and not to alrm you but headgasket is possible. maybe t stat was it as well. the abrupt to red is not normal nor can an engine heat that quick no matter what cooling system problem. The ECT is a bi element sensor so one element goes to computer, the other to dash. I am thinking bad sensor. Click HERE for that info. Per the low coolant. Here is some info that could? be root cause other than low coolant sensor

No: 26/02/05/NAS
Issue: 1
Date: 17 February 2005

False Coolant Level Warning


New Range Rover (LM) All



The vehicle may display the "Check Coolant Level" warning message even when the coolant level is visually within the correct range in the expansion tank. Incorrect specific gravity of the coolant mix can result in the "check coolant level" warning message being displayed.



If the customer complains of the above symptom, the specific gravity of the coolant MUST be checked prior to any other investigations or repair, such as the replacement of the expansion tank assembly or low coolant level sensor. The low coolant sensing system will not work correctly if the specific gravity of the coolant mixture is incorrect.

The specific gravity of a 50% anti-freeze solution at 20°C (68°F) is 1.075 (using a coolant specific gravity tester) and protects against freezing down to -36°C (-33°F).



NOTE :A 50% mix of water and coolant is required for a refill. Topping up with either blue coolant is permitted for recent vehicles with factory fill BASF G48 coolant (blue). The 50% mix is required to obtain the correct specific gravity.


CAUTION : Mixing of the BASF G48 (blue) with Texaco XLC (orange) coolant can result in premature erosion of the cylinder heads or other cooling system deterioration. Unapproved blending of coolants is to be avoided.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I think that the original issue may have been becasue the guys at the lube place filled my tank too full, and the expansion of teh fluid had nowhere to go. PLEASE CONFIRM OR DENY MY THOUGHTS ON THIS.


As far as the sensor, I will take a look at that, but when I was trying to figure this out, I added coolant, but ran out, so I added water. At this point, do I need a full draining of the system and re-fill becasue I have water in there?



It is real important that the mix is correct as this could be the low coolant message or the sensor for that is bad,. yes,, they could have added too much with no expansion room. very possible but.. I cant be 100% cwertain on this as not there and can only give my thoughts etc.. Knowing the sender for guage and computer are 2 in one,, you could have a bad dash temp guage sender circuit bad and still not get check engine light for sensor as that portion is working
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Does it sound like I should, or could be able to drive it to the garage to be looked at, or should I have it towed?


Good question. All I can say without seeing the vehicle and probing with infrared the actual temp or viewing on scanner, I can only say for a needle to pop to full top of gauge in the red on cold start with a few seconds tell me its a false reading. never seen one or any car/truck do that , that fast. Thus why I feel sensor issue but.. I hate to 100% guarantee and you could have another problem. If you want to drive it? I would stop every so often, feel upper and lower hoses and you should get a good sense if running hot then you want to shut down and tow. if sounds/feels normal , then proceeed as easy as you can and stay alert .
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok, my final question - The upper hose, which is on the engine side of teh thermostat was hot, but the lower that connects directly to the thermostat and the bottom of the radiator, had little to no heat. This was after the car was running off and on for awhile. Is that what should have happend?
no, both hose should be around same temp or at least close . not one cool, one hot. there may? be a circulation issue. back to why? you did new T stat. rules that out, Coolant is full? rules that out. may be air poscket so remove the fill cap once youc an safely after you ahve run engine till full warm/ Once cap off? let sit say 30 minutes to see if it will burp air. if not? then I get a little more concerned and to menation again? headgasket possibe as was not uncommon on this engine./ I have to mention everyhting good or bad
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