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For some unknown reason I opened the radiator cap and there was a spring there. It's just shy of an inch long. I assume this was part of the cap that broke off, but i'm not 100% certain of that. It looks sort of like a valve spring.

So, I'm wondering if anyone here could guess what it could be?

The engine isn't overheating, and the only oddity I notice is that when I shut the car off there is bubbling noises coming from the overflow tank, and sometimes the hoses squeeze together almost flat. I added fluid once, thinking it was low, but then the overflow tank overflowed, so I dumped it. And so far as I can tell there are no leaks.
 

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It's the radiator cap. You got the same issue as what I had when mines also failed -- gurgling noises behind dash/coolant system and a piece of spring and the top half of the cap in radiator neck.

Should just replace it as soon as possible, but if you gotta make trips with the car, should be OK.
 

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It's a lost piston return spring! Get it back into the combustion chamber asap!

All jokes aside, check the radiator cap, does it have a spring? If not, that spring is probably what was meant to be in the cap. Replace it as soon as you can.
 
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