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Is it normal for there to be a suction sound when opening the coolant reservoir? I'm used to old style vehicles where the coolant reservoir is open to the air and is a very low tech thing. The van is using coolant, and I'm wondering if this could be related.
 

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Is it normal for there to be a suction sound when opening the coolant reservoir? I'm used to old style vehicles where the coolant reservoir is open to the air and is a very low tech thing. The van is using coolant, and I'm wondering if this could be related.
Yes, the suction sound is normal. The reservoir is pressurized like the rest of the cooling system. There will be more pressure when the engine is warm compared to when it is cold after sitting overnight.

Virtually all newer vehicles use this type of cooling system because all of the coolant is circulated and isn't subject to contamination by outside elements. This is important for the long life coolants that most vehicles use which are expected to last 5-10 years. They wouldn't last that long if they were constantly exposed to outside air.

Are you sure the engine is using coolant and not just low to begin with? Many owners including myself have observed the latter and had the dealership top it off under warranty. Ours was a solid inch or so below the MIN line with the cap removed (see pic below) after the engine sat overnight. Some owners have also reported a radiator leak which was repaired under warranty.

 

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Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I have filled my reservoir several times and it keeps getting low again. My guess is a slow seep in a seam on the radiator, or something like that. Our schedules are such that taking it to the dealer for a long repair job is an extreme hassle, but we might have to.
 

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Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I have filled my reservoir several times and it keeps getting low again. My guess is a slow seep in a seam on the radiator, or something like that. Our schedules are such that taking it to the dealer for a long repair job is an extreme hassle, but we might have to.
Yes, I would try to get it to the dealer soon as it might be something serious, such as a bad head gasket. Hopefully, it is still covered under warranty.
 
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