Coolant level

Bill Collector

Well-Known Member
Prior to Ubering, never once checked the level in three or so years. Just few days ago, I popped the hood open and checked the coolant level. It was low. I typed it off with about half a gallon or so. After two days, I checked the level again. It was low! I topped it off. Is it normal? Why is it disappearing? Any ideas? Thanks.
 

observer

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Prior to Ubering, never once checked the level in three or so years. Just few days ago, I popped the hood open and checked the coolant level. It was low. I typed it off with about half a gallon or so. After two days, I checked the level again. It was low! I topped it off. Is it normal? Why is it disappearing? Any ideas? Thanks.
Did you check it cold or warmed up? If it was cold the thermostat probably hadn't opened up yet and you only filled it to that point.
 

tohunt4me

Well-Known Member
Prior to Ubering, never once checked the level in three or so years. Just few days ago, I popped the hood open and checked the coolant level. It was low. I typed it off with about half a gallon or so. After two days, I checked the level again. It was low! I topped it off. Is it normal? Why is it disappearing? Any ideas? Thanks.
As I recall,you have a mini van with 300,000 miles on it nearly ?

I would consider HEAD GASKET !
Coolant can be leaking from a hose,check water pump for ' weeping' small hole at bottom of water pump indicates wear.
Check radiator cap.could even be a pin hole in radiator near the top.

In your situation and mileage,I would consider replacing motor or vehicle. If you are mechanically inclined,you can change head gasket for $70.oo or so. Mini vans are often v-6 so ,2 gaskets to change.

If you change the head gasket,do the timing belt too.

When I have to take a head off ,I have it bead blasted,replace all rubber,black light for fractures,and buy the " head gasket kit,"intake,exhaust,head gasket(s), and valve guide rubber.
 
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observer

Well-Known Member
Moderator
As I recall,you have a mini van with 300,000 miles on it nearly ?

I would consider HEAD GASKET !
Coolant can be leaking from a hose,check water pump for ' weeping' small hole at bottom of water pump indicates wear.
Check radiator cap.

In your situation and mileage,I would consider replacing motor or vehicle. If you areechanically inclined,you van change head gasket for $70.oo or so. Mini vans are often v-6 so ,2 gaskets to change.

If you change the head gasket,do the timing belt too.
I don't think it's a hose, that would be to obvious and the water would leak out very quickly.

Good suggestion on timing belt. Add new thermostat, hoses, belts and water pump. Do it once, do it right.
 

tohunt4me

Well-Known Member
I don't think it's a hose, that would be to obvious and the water would leak out very quickly.

Good suggestion on timing belt. Add new thermostat, hoses, belts and water pump. Do it once, do it right.
At his mileage, and the money head gasket would cost,I would consider engine rebuild NOW.
Eliminate most future problems,or just replace motor or vehicle.
Rings and bearings must be close to limits.
At a certain point ,you end up throwing money at problems,or you rebuild.knock the problems out at once.
 

Bill Collector

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
Thanks for all the pointers.. I am sad to report there indeed is some leakage right under the radiator that might have caused this. Not drop drop but drip.. I remember taking bunch on a XL 20 miles ride when the temperature was in 90s.. Considering the van has 200+k miles, I'm just gonna keep refilling the coolant as needed.. Can't even think on buying new vehicle for Ubering. I'll take Uber and bus for daily needs and rent one for longer trips once she finally gives up. Since the van is 2001 model, I can't Uber next year anyway.
 

tohunt4me

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all the pointers.. I am sad to report there indeed is some leakage right under the radiator that might have caused this. Not drop drop but drip.. I remember taking bunch on a XL 20 miles ride when the temperature was in 90s.. Considering the van has 200+k miles, I'm just gonna keep refilling the coolant as needed.. Can't even think on buying new vehicle for Ubering. I'll take Uber and bus for daily needs and rent one for longer trips once she finally gives up. Since the van is 2001 model, I can't Uber next year anyway.
Stop leak or even black pepper can stop a coolant system leak.
Carry an extra gallon of water or two with you.

Advice for others,never flush an older vehicle coolant system.

It will remove debris and cause leaks.

Look for the powder in the little cylindrical tubes.
Might buy you a year or more.
 

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observer

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Couple years ago I was near San Francisco in my V10 Dodge pick up visiting my brother in law.
I got a leak in the radiator on a Saturday afternoon, no shops open, no places that sold radiators open.
I went to the .99 store bought a little jar of ground cayenne pepper, poured about a quarter of it into my radiator.
Drove home 350+ miles, drove the truck for over a year then sold it.
Never had another leak.
 

tohunt4me

Well-Known Member
Couple years ago I was near San Francisco in my V10 Dodge pick up visiting my brother in law.
I got a leak in the radiator on a Saturday afternoon, no shops open, no places that sold radiators open.
I went to the .99 store bought a little jar of ground cayenne pepper, poured about a quarter of it into my radiator.
Drove home 350+ miles, drove the truck for over a year then sold it.
Never had another leak.
They say ginger,grits eggs all work.

I have actually used stop leak with success.

Had cooling fan fly off and cause about 7 punctures in radiator once.
Stop leak.
Sounds like he has a pin hole.
I would buy 3 tubes put one or 2 in while hot and watch.keep 3rd for a spare.
Pin holes are hard to find because they release steam not liquid.
 

EcoboostMKS

Well-Known Member
Find the leak and replace whatever it is. Not a big deal. If it's a radiator, change the radiator. If it's a rotted hose, replace the hose. At least it's probably not a head gasket if you're seeing that it's leaking from somewhere.

And make sure to use the correct coolant when refilling. Some coolants can not be mixed.
 

observer

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Find the leak and replace whatever it is. Not a big deal. If it's a radiator, change the radiator. If it's a rotted hose, replace the hose. At least it's probably not a head gasket if you're seeing that it's leaking from somewhere.

And make sure to use the correct coolant when refilling. Some coolants can not be mixed.
Very true, a radiator or a hose is way cheaper than another car.

Yes, also use the correct coolant and not just water. Coolant contains chemicals to prevent the corrosion of your engine parts.
 

wk1102

Well-Known Member
A lot of radiators are made half plastic these days. All kinds of problems as they age. Small cracks, big cracks, some cracks only leak when its cold, otjers only wken its hot...

Im willing to lay odds its the radiator. If you search online you can find one pretty cheap. I think tje one for my 96 chevy pickup was 40.
 

LAuberX

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Just spent $4.21 on these.. Hopefully they will buy me some time..
View attachment 48372
I was a tech at a multi line dealer in the early 90's, Cadillac aluminum engines of the era (4.1/4.5 V8) needed stop leak added any time the coolant was drained/refilled! the blocks would leak otherwise..... Factory AC Delco stop leak tablets... I could not believe it. From premier auto to junk.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/151887134687?lpid=82&chn=ps&ul_noapp=true
 

observer

Well-Known Member
Moderator
I was a tech at a multi line dealer in the early 90's, Cadillac aluminum engines of the era (4.1/4.5 V8) needed stop leak added any time the coolant was drained/refilled! the blocks would leak otherwise..... Factory AC Delco stop leak tablets... I could not believe it. From premier auto to junk.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/151887134687?lpid=82&chn=ps&ul_noapp=true
Bout the same time Ford waa having problems with 3.8 V6 engines. The headgaskets kept going out.
 
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