This evening I went and bought almost four litres of engine coolant to top off the stuff that was already in my car. I poured a lot into the radiator and if I had to guess, almost half the jug went in. It was a pretty simple process and I hoped it would solve the overheating problems.
I started the car and let it idle for a few minutes. I kept my eye on the temperature gauge and everything seemed alright. It moved a bit but that was to be expected. I then decided to take a test drive. I was hoping the temperature gauge would move to about the mid-point and stay there as I drove. It takes about two or three minutes to drive down to the parkade exit and in that time, things remained ok. As I exited the parkade and drove along actual streets, the needle move closer to the mid-point as the engine got hotter. I then drove a few blocks up a hill. This is where it got bad. The needle shot past the middle and quickly approached the red zone. While my car definitely needed coolant, it was still overheating.
I had to turn on the heat full blast to get the engine temperature down before it got into the danger zone. With the heat on and the car coasting down the hill, the temperature rapidly dropped back to the mid-point. As I turned onto a flat street to drive the three blocks back to my apartment, I turned off the heat again. The temperatures zoomed up once more, so the heat had to come back on and I left it there until I could get my car parked again.
It was too dangerous to check the coolant levels after the drive but I’ll check it tomorrow evening. This problem feels like it’s beyond my capabilities at this point so I’ll have to bring it into the shop.