So I've been fiddling with the heater hoses and now when I start the car, after about 3 minutes the motor's passenger side starts smoking. Not a huge amount of white smoke, but enough to notice.
None of the heater hoses are leaking so I think this smoke may just be from the spilled coolant burning off. It's kind of an anti-freezy smell. Does this sound about right?
I thought that the motor may be overheating, but the radiator cap gauge says it's about 160 deg (after about 10 minutes running idle) and the inside gauge says somewhere near 200. The upper radiator hose is HOT.
If this was an overheating issue, what would be the symptoms? Would the gauge(s) shoot in to the red or slowly climb into the red? If it's just the coolant burning off, I wouldn't care but if it's really overheating, I don't want to keep running it to risk the damage.
And finally, the coolant reservoir stays at the cold level. Does this mean the radiator is low on coolant? Isn't it supposed to dump coolant back into the reservoir up to the Full Hot line once it's hot?