Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: No coolant in fill bottle

asked by on

I just drove my daughters Holden Astra (in australia) and I noticed the temperate gauge go a little over half. I drove about 4 minutes to get home and it stayed on a little over half but when I checked water flll bottle at home it was empty. There is not radiator cap only fills up from fill bottle. Could I have done any damage to the motor if there was no water in system at all? I am waiting on it to cool down then will put coolant in.


Also my daughter said that gauge normally sits on half. Car has only been driven twice in last 5 weeks.

My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello, thank you for writing in. You are right in that your vehicle’s cooling system is a "closed system". The overflow tank you are referring to is known on this system as being more of an "expansion tank" for when the coolant heats up and needs a place to expand. To check the coolant level, you will want to poor in water (or coolant/antifreeze if in an area that will freeze) up until it hits the "cold" mark on the expansion tank. If filling it when the car is warm, you will want to fill it up until the "hot" mark. The engine can become damaged if it over heats. Without coolant in the system, the thermostat will likely not give you accurate readings on your dash board. With that being said, you will want to fill it up and observe how empty it was. If you add a gallon or more, there is some kind of leak (internal or external) in the system. At that point, more diagnostics needs to be done. For more help with any further testing, contact our service department to schedule an appointment.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: fan working but no heating

Common causes of no cabin heat include malfunctioning blend door(s) (part of the in-dash ventilation network), a faulty or stuck heater control valve, a plugged heater core, collapsed hoses, and low coolant level. The cost to resolve the problem depends...

Q: Before work today my car turned on and off in 10 seconds. After work I turned it on and it started leaking green liquid & smoking

The green fluid is probably coolant and the smoke is probably steam. You may have a serious coolant leak that is causing your car to overheat. If the car was driven very far while overheating, it may have caused some...

Q: I have no heat in my Jeep 2014 compass. I beleive I need a new thermostat, but I am not sure. What do you think ?

Hey there. There are small vent doors within the ducting of the of the A/C and heater vents. Sometimes these doors will get stuck open or closed at times depending on how they are controlled. Your model year should have...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...