Parking at home yesterday, I glimpsed at the controls and to my unpleasant surprise, temperature is at 130 and the corresponding warning light on!
Looking under the bonnet, the cause was immediately clear: the little bit on the coolant tank that the return hose connects into has broken off and all my coolant has run out! (Yes, all - the tank is empty.)
The solution seems pretty straight-forward: short-term, glue it together, long-term get a replacement coolant tank (I already had to glue this part together a few months back, obviously it doesn't hold as well as I've been hoping to).
Still I have two questions for the people here who know these cars better than I do. First thing is, could this overheating have permanently damaged the engine, and if so, whats the best way to check it? If I remember correctly, the last time before parking that I checked the controls was at a red light about 1300 meters from home, at which point the temperature was still normal (90 degrees). This would translate into at most about two to three minutes of driving with overheating engine.
Second question, are there any precautions that I need to take into account when re-filling the coolant (after I fix the hose connection, of course), or can I just pour new coolant in and be done with it? E.g. could the evaporation of the coolant have left some deposits (for lack of a better term - sorry, English isn't my first language) in the cooling circuit that would need to be taken care of somehow?
Any help will be much appreciated