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Thread: coolant leak ?

  1. #1

    Default coolant leak ?

    I have a 97 K1500 w/230K miles. My question is how often should I have to top off the coolant expansion tank? I don't have any obvious coolant leaks(oil looks OK, no drips, no white smoke in exhaust) but was wondering how much I would loose to evaporation in expansion tank. I seem to have read about a coolant system pressure check that Autozone would do, is that the best way to check for leak?

  2. #2

    Default

    You should never have to top off the coolant. If it's using coolant you have a leak. The best way to check it is a pressure test cold. You can borrow the tester from Auto Zone and test it cold. If you test it hot it may not leak. If you can't find a leak cold you may have a combustion leak which can be sniffed out with by someone who has a smog station tester.
    Jim

    2004 SILVERADO 2500HD LS
    Pro Comp Leveling Kit
    285-75-16 Cooper ST All Terrains
    Pro Comp Programmer
    Bilstein Shocks
    Linux Bed Liner
    Tinted Windows



    Other rides:

    1967 Landcruiser <350 Chevy>
    1970 Camaro
    1990 Geo Metro Convertible
    2007 FJ Cruiser

  3. #3

    Default

    If there is a intake manifold leak then it could get into the oil or the combustion chamber correct ? If in the oil there would be some evidence by looking at the dipstick am I right ? If in the combustion chamber could it be small enough to not produce any white smoke ?

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dsquared View Post
    If there is a intake manifold leak then it could get into the oil or the combustion chamber correct ? If in the oil there would be some evidence by looking at the dipstick am I right ? If in the combustion chamber could it be small enough to not produce any white smoke ?
    Correct. If it were leaking into the oil you would see moisture on the dipstick and cloudy looking oil. In the combuston chamber it would burn up and be hard to see in the exhaust.
    Jim

    2004 SILVERADO 2500HD LS
    Pro Comp Leveling Kit
    285-75-16 Cooper ST All Terrains
    Pro Comp Programmer
    Bilstein Shocks
    Linux Bed Liner
    Tinted Windows



    Other rides:

    1967 Landcruiser <350 Chevy>
    1970 Camaro
    1990 Geo Metro Convertible
    2007 FJ Cruiser

  5. #5

    Default

    Back to the original question, would you not have to top off the expansion tank due to evaporation, especially in the summer ? Even in the winter with the hood closed all the engine compartment heat would tak e a while to dissipate leading to evaporation or am I off base ?

  6. #6

    Default

    Everything evaporates to a degree, even your engine oil!

    My coolant probably evaporates about 1/8" a year.
    Jim

    2004 SILVERADO 2500HD LS
    Pro Comp Leveling Kit
    285-75-16 Cooper ST All Terrains
    Pro Comp Programmer
    Bilstein Shocks
    Linux Bed Liner
    Tinted Windows



    Other rides:

    1967 Landcruiser <350 Chevy>
    1970 Camaro
    1990 Geo Metro Convertible
    2007 FJ Cruiser

  7. #7

    Default

    That's very little indeed. My coolant "loss" is probably an inch or so in one month. Need to watch it more carefully such as park in the same place and check with engine cold and really monitor more precisely. Obviously Ii have a leak somewhere in the system. I'll pick up a pressure tester this weekend. How much pressure should I use and would this accelerate the leak permanently forcing a possible IM gasket repair sooner than later ?

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dsquared View Post
    That's very little indeed. My coolant "loss" is probably an inch or so in one month. Need to watch it more carefully such as park in the same place and check with engine cold and really monitor more precisely. Obviously Ii have a leak somewhere in the system. I'll pick up a pressure tester this weekend. How much pressure should I use and would this accelerate the leak permanently forcing a possible IM gasket repair sooner than later ?
    The pressure will be less than what your truck is running hot right now so the test can't hurt anything. Just pump it up to 15 ibs. That should be plenty of pressure to find the leak cold.
    Jim

    2004 SILVERADO 2500HD LS
    Pro Comp Leveling Kit
    285-75-16 Cooper ST All Terrains
    Pro Comp Programmer
    Bilstein Shocks
    Linux Bed Liner
    Tinted Windows



    Other rides:

    1967 Landcruiser <350 Chevy>
    1970 Camaro
    1990 Geo Metro Convertible
    2007 FJ Cruiser

  9. #9

    Default

    The first thing to do is isolate the problem. Is it coming from the radiator, one of the radiator hoses, one of the heater hoses, the engine, or out from under the dashboard? Once you have answered those questions, you can move to the next step. If it's a hose, replace it (now would be a good time to replace all of them). If it's coming from the radiator, take it out and have it fixed. If it's coming from the engine, pour in some Bars Leak and sell the car. If it's coming from under the dash and your carpet smells like antifreeze, your heater core is shot. This one can be really easy to fix, or really difficult, depends on the car.

    The best thing is to isolate the problem and fix it. If your lucky it may just be a hose. Avoid stopleaks - they can gum up your radiator and especially your heater core.

    __________________________________________________ _____________________________________________
    MR GASKET COOLANT OVERFLOW TANK -- 2 in. x 17 in., 1/4 in. inlet size, 1 pint capacity; Made from polished stainless steel to resist rust and corrosion; Its dimensions allow it to fit anywhere in the engine bay area;

    The Mr Gasket Expansion Tank is all about toughness. Crafted from heavy-duty stainless steel, this tank is strong and durable and no other expansion tank can outperform it[/COLOR]

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