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  1. #1
    Legend

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    River Ridge Louisiana-4 miles W of New Orleans-didn't flood-water stopped 800 yards away.
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    Default Coolant loss-BAD CAP.

    I've been puzzled about a slight/slow loss of coolant over the last 4-6 months. I can kinda smell coolant under the hood, and even immediately after shutting it down existing the driver's seat.

    I know this cap-the upper gasket-looks bad, I'm going to replace it no matter what- but I'm posting it as a heads up to check the obvious when your coolant level is dropping.

    I'm not 100% sure it is the cap, but since it is a $5 and 1 minute fix, it is a good place to start.It was kinda foolish to not have checked the obvious-guess I was looking for something harder-maybe I got lucky this time.

    Charlie
    Last edited by phoebeisis; 10-08-2009 at 03:55 PM.
    1998 suburban-
    1/2 ton

    199500 miles
    River
    Ridge,LA

  2. #2
    Master Mechanic Dr_Zero's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
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    Sunny Florida
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    706

    Default

    Very good point!

    When I went looking for my burb I looked in the rad to check the level and it was nuts how many were shredded and missing gasket and no one even thinks twice about it.
    My trucks!

    1996 GMC Suburban SLT
    1997 GMC Yukon SLT

  3. #3
    Legend

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    Aug 2008
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    East of Branson, Missouri
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    Default

    Let us know if you notice that your coolant level stops dropping - or drops not as fast. Thanks for the tip!
    Steven



    "The Sarge"
    1999 Chevy Suburban LT- K2500
    7.4 454 Vortec, 4WD
    305/70/16 on Eagle Alloy




  4. #4
    Legend

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    Default

    DR Zero,

    I have no idea why I missed the most obvious thing. I had an obvious radiator leak when I got it-could see where it was leaking, and then I developed an obvious water pump leak-could see it leaking.

    Maybe the obvious leaks-from slightly expensive parts ($155 and $60 + few hours each) kinda fixed my mind on hard to replace-hoses, heater core etc) parts.

    I just ignored the easiest, cheapest part despite having taken the cap off, and kinda looking at it-many times.
    I've been smelling that slight coolant odor for quite a while.

    Yep,I bet you are right-folks never bother really looking at the cap. We/I are biased to looking at hard to repair expensive fixes! Of course, with a Suburban hard to replace expensive is relative.Suburban parts are really cheap relative to foreign parts-you can get them almost anywhere at anytime.

    Springthing-I'll keep you guys posted.In about 10-14 days I'll have another 200+ miles on it-plenty enough to tell if it is "cured"

    We are going on a long trip soon-so it better be in shape,

    Thanks, Charlie

  5. #5
    Master Mechanic Dr_Zero's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    DR Zero,

    I have no idea why I missed the most obvious thing. I had an obvious radiator leak when I got it-could see where it was leaking, and then I developed an obvious water pump leak-could see it leaking.

    Maybe the obvious leaks-from slightly expensive parts ($155 and $60 + few hours each) kinda fixed my mind on hard to replace-hoses, heater core etc) parts.

    I just ignored the easiest, cheapest part despite having taken the cap off, and kinda looking at it-many times.
    I've been smelling that slight coolant odor for quite a while.

    Yep,I bet you are right-folks never bother really looking at the cap. We/I are biased to looking at hard to repair expensive fixes! Of course, with a Suburban hard to replace expensive is relative.Suburban parts are really cheap relative to foreign parts-you can get them almost anywhere at anytime.

    Springthing-I'll keep you guys posted.In about 10-14 days I'll have another 200+ miles on it-plenty enough to tell if it is "cured"

    We are going on a long trip soon-so it better be in shape,

    Thanks, Charlie
    Definitely keep us posted!

    I remember someone talking about the cooling system and they said that once you fix the cause of the obvious leak you will start to find others. The reasoning is the system is all about the same age and there is going to be wear so as this happens the small leaks let pressure off of the system so you don't notice them.
    When you replace say a cap that is now holding pressure or a water pump that is now pumping harder or fix the rad that was leaking the new stress will cause the other faults to show up or fail.

    This is one of the reasons when the wife's Yukon was in the shop getting a new rad we got a new water pump, thermostat, rad cap and intake gaskets. The labor was less since there was lots already apart and the overall cost is cheap insurance for another 100,000 miles.

    If I can find the old cap Ill take a pic I was shocked how bad it was looking but no more dexcool either so that will help alot.
    Last edited by Dr_Zero; 04-18-2009 at 03:27 PM.

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