PT Cruiser Forum  
Advertisements
       

Go Back   PT Cruiser Forum > General Forums > General PT Cruiser Discussions

PT Cruiser Forum

Advertisements
Mystery coolant leak in an '01

 
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 17 Mar 2016, 09:53 pm
JonN's Avatar
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 321
Default Mystery coolant leak in an '01

Hello all,

I am looking to receive help with a mystery coolant leak in my '01 limited edition with 138,000 miles. The mystery isn't where the leak is coming from, but why.

The coolant is leaking from the radiator cap when the car is at an idle and I do not know why. The coolant will leak out of the radiator cap even if the engine and coolant have not reached a normal operating temperature. I've literally seen the coolant come out at the cap right after the engine was started a minute ago on a 10 degree New England winter day after sitting all night. As of right now, I am putting about 16 oz of antifreeze back into the overflow tank every week to put it to the "full hot" mark.

Interestingly enough, if I do not idle the car long, the coolant will not come out through the radiator cap. I've driven 100+ miles straight on the highway without losing any coolant.

As for the cooling system, in the last 20,000 miles this PT has seen a new water pump, thermostat, thermostat housing (the black plastic piece and the metal part underneath along with their gaskets, radiator and radiator cap. I've had the engine checked with a vacuum gauge to check for head gasket issues and did not see any (17.2 In Hg at idle). If I take the radiator cap off and let it idle I don't see any bubbles in the coolant that would suggest that exhaust gases are escaping into there. The heat works great and I do not smell any coolant in the heat so I do not suspect any problems with the heater core.

The radiator cap I am using right now is the 16 lb stant one. I tried using a dayco 16 lb but that only made more coolant come out of the cap, so I put the 16 lb stant one back on.

Also, the car has never overheated as a result of this because I check the coolant constantly and add as needed.

Any help or suggestions to help me are greatly appreciated!!

Thank you,

Jon N.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 18 Mar 2016, 01:22 am
Obsessed Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 27,744
Default Re: Mystery coolant leak in an '01

Maybe you have a problem with the Radiator Outlet Connector. It's only plastic and could have warped or become out of shape where the cap doesn't fit right.

__________________
Rules of the forum have been updated as of *07/07/2019* Please read them over.

- All decisions by the Moderator are semi-permanent, can and may be changed at his discretion but definitely will be the final word. Any action performed by the Administrator or Moderators are not to be discussed on the forum.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 18 Mar 2016, 08:18 am
Obsessed Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
Posts: 7,339
Default Re: Mystery coolant leak in an '01

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonN View Post
Hello all,

I am looking to receive help with a mystery coolant leak in my '01 limited edition with 138,000 miles. The mystery isn't where the leak is coming from, but why.

The coolant is leaking from the radiator cap when the car is at an idle and I do not know why. The coolant will leak out of the radiator cap even if the engine and coolant have not reached a normal operating temperature. I've literally seen the coolant come out at the cap right after the engine was started a minute ago on a 10 degree New England winter day after sitting all night. As of right now, I am putting about 16 oz of antifreeze back into the overflow tank every week to put it to the "full hot" mark.

Interestingly enough, if I do not idle the car long, the coolant will not come out through the radiator cap. I've driven 100+ miles straight on the highway without losing any coolant.

As for the cooling system, in the last 20,000 miles this PT has seen a new water pump, thermostat, thermostat housing (the black plastic piece and the metal part underneath along with their gaskets, radiator and radiator cap. I've had the engine checked with a vacuum gauge to check for head gasket issues and did not see any (17.2 In Hg at idle). If I take the radiator cap off and let it idle I don't see any bubbles in the coolant that would suggest that exhaust gases are escaping into there. The heat works great and I do not smell any coolant in the heat so I do not suspect any problems with the heater core.

The radiator cap I am using right now is the 16 lb stant one. I tried using a dayco 16 lb but that only made more coolant come out of the cap, so I put the 16 lb stant one back on.

Also, the car has never overheated as a result of this because I check the coolant constantly and add as needed.

Any help or suggestions to help me are greatly appreciated!!

Thank you,

Jon N.
I would suggest making sure you are getting a good seal at where the radiator cap goes on and at the thermostat housing as Crewzin posted.

If the radiator cap is sealed I would suggest verifying that your engine temperature is normal with an external thermal gun.

If the above is okay then I would suggest a block test for exhaust getting into the coolant system. You might be on the start of a head gasket leak. Has the head gasket been replaced yet?
__________________
If at First You Don't Succeed - Try, Try Again

Last edited by ptcruisersteve; 18 Mar 2016 at 08:22 am.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 18 Mar 2016, 08:50 am
Handy_Cruiser's Avatar
Obsessed Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 10,434
Default Re: Mystery coolant leak in an '01

Coolant should not be coming from around the radiator cap.

The radiator cap has a rubber gasket that seals it to the thermostat housing. If the pressure gets to great, the cap releases pressure and coolant through the overflow hose to the reservoir. The only reason coolant would come out around the radiator cap is if the radiator cap and/or thermostat housing was damaged or failing.

If it was me, I would inspect the thermostat housing as already suggested. If I found no problems I would purchase a new radiator cap. A good thermostat housing and cap should not leak.

That said, you may still have other issue as noted above. But fix the cap issue first.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 18 Mar 2016, 09:18 am
Fk5 Fk5 is offline
Senior Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Colesville, MD
Posts: 1,850
Default Re: Mystery coolant leak in an '01

You mentioned all the work that you did in the last 20,000 miles. Has this leak been going on the entire time? You said that you tried multiple caps, did you try changing the thermostat housing (excuse me *radiator extension housing*) since you noticed the leak? It seems like the leak is obviously the cap or the housing. If multiple caps did it, it is likely one or the other.

You say there is no problem with the head gasket and pressure, so what else could it be? Did you check the hose to the overflow? Those get brittle and I would swap it out, or cut the end off and clamp it down (don't go crazy, it's all plastic). It could just be leaking from there and seem like the cap. The overflow really should just go into the recovery tank to get sucked back in later.

I've just been keeping mine full of water for ages with a bunch of leaks. Car doesn't seem to mind as much as my wife.
__________________
2003 GT 5 speed
162,000 miles
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 18 Mar 2016, 02:43 pm
Veteran Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Lake Wales, FL
Posts: 4,868
Default Re: Mystery coolant leak in an '01

I'm inclined to agree with Handy. It sure sounds to me like you've got the wrong radiator cap or one that isn't up to snuff. The first thing I'd do is either replace it or borrow a pressure tester at your friendly Autovanriley store and test the cap. OR maybe the new filler neck has a slight crack in it. I've seen that happen too.
__________________


Aspire to inspire before you expire.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
2001 limited edition, coolant leak


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mystery coolant leak Gorto Tech & Performance Forum 19 14 Jan 2018 12:23 am
Okay about that mystery leak denab General PT Cruiser Discussions 2 11 Apr 2015 07:58 am
Coolant Mystery Zigeris General PT Cruiser Discussions 8 21 Sep 2014 01:45 pm
Troubleshoot coolant leak: Photo of Coolant on top of engine radiator cap MarcusO Tech & Performance Forum 7 27 Apr 2013 09:16 am
2001 coolant loss mystery zip Tech & Performance Forum 40 29 Jan 2013 01:17 pm


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:59 pm.




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2 © 2011, Crawlability, Inc.
vB.Sponsors