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Mysterious coolant leak. Pressure test?

 
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Old 18 Aug 2015, 05:22 pm
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Default Mysterious coolant leak. Pressure test?

Hi everybody,

I ask for your collective wisdom, as I am mainly an air cooled motorcycle guy

I had my car parked in the driveway for the last 3 days while I was "detailing" it. I noticed, out of the blue, a slow coolant drip at the front, left of center (as you are facing the car).

I looked in from the top. I could see that the spot where the filler neck attaches shows that some coolant leaks through there, although the bolts are tight. But that wasn't wet at all.

I couldn't see or feel any coolant on any of the hoses, and I stuck my head under the car as best I could (I've got a big head ) and didn't see or feel any coolant on the hoses there, either.

I did notice that the coolant that was leaking was collecting in the rail that is just under the radiator. I also noticed some spots of coolant on the battery (opposite side of the filler neck) and some in the battery tray. Weird.

I refilled the overflow container (this is the 6th time in 2 months, since buying the car). While refilling, some coolant was coming out of the overflow hose. Not much, but some. Then, I drove the car today, not too far. After being parked for 1 hour, no coolant leak.

Got home, parked. No coolant leak.

Is a pressure test the answer?

When doing a pressure test on a coolant system, is one of the reasons to determine if and where there are any leaks?

If so, after the pressure test is done, does the coolant then have to be flushed and replaced, or can you just top off what's already there.

I ask because am on a budget and found out today that my work load will decrease majorly in the next 2 weeks and I don't want to spend any more than I have to.

Thanks, in advance, for the help.
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Old 18 Aug 2015, 06:10 pm
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Default Re: Mysterious coolant leak. Pressure test?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gkon View Post
Hi everybody,

I ask for your collective wisdom, as I am mainly an air cooled motorcycle guy

I had my car parked in the driveway for the last 3 days while I was "detailing" it. I noticed, out of the blue, a slow coolant drip at the front, left of center (as you are facing the car).

I looked in from the top. I could see that the spot where the filler neck attaches shows that some coolant leaks through there, although the bolts are tight. But that wasn't wet at all.

I couldn't see or feel any coolant on any of the hoses, and I stuck my head under the car as best I could (I've got a big head ) and didn't see or feel any coolant on the hoses there, either.

I did notice that the coolant that was leaking was collecting in the rail that is just under the radiator. I also noticed some spots of coolant on the battery (opposite side of the filler neck) and some in the battery tray. Weird.

I refilled the overflow container (this is the 6th time in 2 months, since buying the car). While refilling, some coolant was coming out of the overflow hose. Not much, but some. Then, I drove the car today, not too far. After being parked for 1 hour, no coolant leak.

Got home, parked. No coolant leak.

Is a pressure test the answer?

When doing a pressure test on a coolant system, is one of the reasons to determine if and where there are any leaks?

If so, after the pressure test is done, does the coolant then have to be flushed and replaced, or can you just top off what's already there.

I ask because am on a budget and found out today that my work load will decrease majorly in the next 2 weeks and I don't want to spend any more than I have to.

Thanks, in advance, for the help.
Fix that leak above first.
You can do a pressure test...all it is is air...no reason to flush anything.

Most leaks happen after the car has reached temp & have been shut off. Start car & drive it for a few miles or let it idol for about 15 min... grab a flashlight, shut it off & crawl underneath to start looking for leaks.
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Old 18 Aug 2015, 08:07 pm
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Default Re: Mysterious coolant leak. Pressure test?

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Originally Posted by LionPT View Post
Fix that leak above first.
You can do a pressure test...all it is is air...no reason to flush anything.

Most leaks happen after the car has reached temp & have been shut off. Start car & drive it for a few miles or let it idol for about 15 min... grab a flashlight, shut it off & crawl underneath to start looking for leaks.
So, is a pressure test used not only to check that the system holds pressure, but to also see where it's leaking from?

The fluid coming out of the overflow tube from the overflow tank, I believe, is because I was using a short spouted funnel so, as I was filling the tank some of the coolant was going into the exit for the overflow tube. (See red circle in diagram). I'm pretty sure that's what happened, but am always open to other opinions.

Picture2.jpg

As I mentioned, the car leaked after sitting, unused, for 3 days. Now that I've been driving it, it's not leaking at all. Strange.

I will drive it again tomorrow and try to crawl under, but I just don't fit.
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Old 18 Aug 2015, 08:07 pm
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Default Re: Mysterious coolant leak. Pressure test?

I have had 2 radiators leak at the top
where the plastic is crimped to the metal
starts as a small leak..runs down the side
of the radiator
the 1 in there now is doing it also..
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Old 18 Aug 2015, 08:21 pm
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Default Re: Mysterious coolant leak. Pressure test?

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So, is a pressure test used not only to check that the system holds pressure, but to also see where it's leaking from?
Yep...
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Old 18 Aug 2015, 08:34 pm
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Default Re: Mysterious coolant leak. Pressure test?

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Originally Posted by MJKnight View Post
I have had 2 radiators leak at the top
where the plastic is crimped to the metal
starts as a small leak..runs down the side
of the radiator
the 1 in there now is doing it also..
Hmmmm, very interesting you should mention that because I noticed that the top, driver's side of the radiator looked a bit wet at the crimp! And, that's the side right next to the battery and it would make sense to have some coolant on the battery and in the battery tray.

Is there a way to repair that?
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Old 18 Aug 2015, 08:56 pm
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Default Re: Mysterious coolant leak. Pressure test?

nope..no fix I know of...drivers side that's where mine has leaked both times ,it was separated
.im on my 4 th one...
factory...(misaligned core)
1 spectra..{separated}
1 off brand..{separated}
1 used junkyard...(plugged up)
lol I dont know whats in it now...1 of the 3 top ones..its seeping lightly
I have a new one in my garage waiting on me..
Its from Autozone..
and supposedly...lifetime warranty..we will see...
(the manager assured me he would replace it if it ever leaked..)
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Old 18 Aug 2015, 09:09 pm
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Default Re: Mysterious coolant leak. Pressure test?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJKnight View Post
nope..no fix I know of...drivers side that's where mine has leaked both times ,it was separated
.im on my 4 th one...
factory...(misaligned core)
1 spectra..{separated}
1 off brand..{separated}
1 used junkyard...(plugged up)
lol I dont know whats in it now...1 of the 3 top ones..its seeping lightly
I have a new one in my garage waiting on me..
Its from Autozone..
and supposedly...lifetime warranty..we will see...
(the manager assured me he would replace it if it ever leaked..)
Thanks for the info MJKnight.

I'll take a look and see what they cost in these here parts. I'd like to just buy a new one. If I can get a lifetime warranty at my Autozone too, that would be great.
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Old 18 Aug 2015, 09:23 pm
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Default Re: Mysterious coolant leak. Pressure test?

I think it was about 129.00
most times they have a 20% off online orders
shipped to your home or store..
real pain getting the air out...when you refill
dont think it so bad now after ive done it several times
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Old 19 Aug 2015, 03:24 am
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Default Re: Mysterious coolant leak. Pressure test?

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Originally Posted by LionPT View Post
Yep...
Thank you.
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