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I was driving to work the other day and noticed that I was steaming pretty badly. I pulled over and saw that the upper radiator hose had a leak. I replaced that hose and added coolant. I'm not sure I replaced the coolant properly. Here's what I did.

* Filled coolant reservoir
* Removed radiator cap
* Ran engine and kept an eye on coolant levels.

The coolant levels didn't go down at all, so I figured I did it properly. After I took my car out for a quick drive, it overheated. The next day, I checked the coolant levels and it was down below the Min line in the reservoir. I figured the coolant worked itself out. I topped it off and let the car warm up. No heat coming from the heaters... just cold air. I let the car run again today and the temperature gauge went above what it normally is at. I didn't let it run long enough to overheat.

I'd like to replace the thermostat to try that as it's less expensive than taking it to the shop and having them look it over. The images in the sticky thread have disappeared, otherwise I'd have used those as a guide.

My car is a 2002 Sentra GXE. Any help in fixing this problem would be greatly appreciated.
 

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this is from the nissan service manual, the air relief plug should be just above the thermostat housing, just try this procedure out and see if it helps.

1. Install reservoir tank, radiator drain plug, and cylinder block
drain plug.
2. Fill radiator slowly with coolant until coolant spills from the air
relief plug, then install air relief plug.
3. Fill radiator and reservoir tank to specified level as soon as
coolant spills out without bubbles.
 Use Genuine NISSAN anti-freeze coolant or equivalent
mixed with water (demineralized water or distilled water).
 Pour coolant through coolant filler neck slowly to allow air
in system to escape.
Coolant capacity (Without reservoir tank):
M/T 6.0  (6-3/8 US qt, 5-1/4 Imp qt)
A/T 5.9  (6-1/4 US qt, 5-1/4 Imp qt)
Reservoir tank capacity (for MAX level):
0.7  (3/4 US qt, 5/8 Imp qt)
4. Warm up engine to normal operating temperature without
radiator cap installed.
 If coolant overflows radiator filler neck, install filler cap.
5. Run engine at 2,500 rpm for 10 seconds and return to idle
speed with radiator cap installed. Repeat two or three times.
 Watch coolant temperature gauge so as not to overheat
the engine.
6. Stop engine and cool it down.
 Cool down using a fan to reduce the time.
 If necessary, refill radiator up to filler neck with coolant.
7. Refill reservoir tank to Max line with coolant.
8. Repeat step 4 through step 7 two or more times with radiator
cap installed until coolant level no longer drops.
9. Check cooling system for leaks with engine running.
10. Warm up engine, and check for sound of coolant flow while
running engine from idle up to 3,000 rpm with heater temperature
control set at several positions between Cool and Hot.
11. If sound is heard, bleed air from cooling system by repeating
steps 4 through 7 until coolant level no longer drops.
 Clean excess coolant from engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you. I'll give that a try before I pick up a thermostat.

I picked up the Haynes repair manual this morning, so hopefully that will be of some use. I didn't realize they could be found easily at my local Advanced Auto Parts store.
 

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you should have checked on some of the other fourums because you could have gotten the nissan factory service manual from PhatG20 thats where i got the manual for my car its free and all in adobe pdf files
 
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