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Coolant smell-mist on passengers side valve cover(maybe)

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by phoebeisis, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Been a while

    Got a question-will also post it as new.
    Smelling coolant again-but not losing much judging from radiator level-which is slowly dropping.
    I have noticed the front half of the passenger's side valve cover-is "wet" looking-certainly different-clear demarcation-than back half-like maybe some liquid has been misting on it-
    Now it isn't actually wet-but it definitely has had something wet-misting or spraying on it.
    Never actually wet-but you know what I mean.
    I put paper around that cheezy heater hose to mainfold fitting-thinking it might be spraying leaking-but it wasn't wet after short ride?
    There are other hoses fittings there-any ideas?
    PS 221,800 98 Suburban bought 6 years back 195,000 miles-it has been a winner-only good thing that has happened to us-$$ wise-in the last 10 years.
    Going to do 3000 mile round trip-New Orleans to Flagstaff AZ in 2 months-so got some repairs to do-
    luckily 25 days-first SS payment(still work-took early 62-need the $$-it will be a HUGE help) 1998 suburban-

    Bunch of things-brake shoes 3 tires oil leak(looks like upper ft of oil pan or cam cover) drain trans fluid-probably change coolant-runs well-still gets good mpg-probably should do plugs wires-old owner cheaped out-aftermarket wires-he rarely cheaped out-took excellent care of it.
    Thanks again(yeah-entirely possible intake gaskets again-idiot did work 2-3 years ago-screwed up 3 screws bolts that I know of-so probably many more)
  2. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 3 Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I would rent a pressure tester from a parts store and pressurize the system. If it is leaking you should find it rather quickly under pressure.
  3. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Maybe Autozone?
    Now if it is leaking-how will I know-since plenty of the tubing-and top part of radiator-might not be filled with coolant-
    will there be an obvious shhhhhhhh noise-little spluttering of slightly wet stuff?? ?
  4. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 3 Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Yep, they along with any other big chain store will have them under their "free loaner tool program". You will hear it leaking out.
  5. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Hey charlie good to see ya again.
    I think Pikey hit the nail on the head.
    A pressure testor is the easiest way to check cooling systems without having to deal with a hot engine.
  6. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Pikey TB thanks.
    AZ it is.
    Hey-does a pressure tester work if it is a intake manifold gasket-again?
    No reason to think it is-other than I have no faith in the work the guy who replaced mine did-
    and they leak commonly.
    Seems like it would be tough to hear see it if it was leaking there.

    Hey love the kitten-probably said that before!!(we have 4 cats one greyhound-lotta pets)
    Nice to be back!
  7. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Yes itll work on the whole system. The directions should tell you to turn on the heater so you can check that portion also. The only problem checking the heater coil might be if your system is vacume or electric operated vice cable.
    I stole the kitty somewhere off the net. I like dogs and cats but since my best buddy my cat Jack Sparrow died last fall I havent had the heart to invite a new cat to live with us. All we have here now is my grandaughters cat that thinks shes a diva. The Kiss Kitty expresses Jacks personality which is why I chose it as an avatar.
  8. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Yep- cats have some diva in them
    But some much more than others!
    Tough to lose a pet.

    So Auto Zone tool-and that is that!!
    Annoying since that darned coolant odor had been gone for 2-3 years.
    It was more or less constant the first 3 years of ownership.
    These GMs are amazingly ownerproof.
    We drove it to AZ TWICE-with leaking radiator+intake manifold leak + who knows what else
    3000 miles per trip-and 12 hrs of pure idling per trip-while we slept at a rest stop in TX with the AC on($$) 11pm to 5 am-both ways
    I didn't actually know what was leaking-radiator would drop to a certain level-and just quit dropping(or drop so slowly it didn't matter)
    But I sure don't want to try that again.
    And we will probably sleep at the cheapest dog allowing motel we can find-
    wife makes me unload Suburban if we stop at motels-so I kinda hate to stop at a motel-adds 1/2 of work after long day driving-and 1/2 hr in the am too.
    When you sleep in it enroute-at rest stop-you wake up-visit rest room-and hit the road-guzzling coffee you stuck in cooler the night before(or making instant until you stop for gas)
    Arty-greyhound-will be a great road trip dog.She will raise hell if anyone approaches it while we're sleeping-and loves people so she is a rest stop greeter.
  9. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Charlie just an FYI check your route through DFW when you come out. Theres a lot of construction on 635 right now along with 121/183. Traffic has been real bad the last few months.
  10. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts


    TB- so I mentioned my route before-thanks for the heads up.
    We will be hitting I635E about 6-7pm Sat June 8-if we get a decent 9am start.
    We hit it about entrance 1-coming from Shreveport-I-20-and get off-heading to Denton-on exit 25 or so??
    Been 5 years-but that is roughly where we get on off.
    Road work on that part??

    It is kinda a pit butt anyway-folks drive like idiots
    Rest of Texas-pretty polite-I-635- idiots.

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