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cooling mixture disappearing

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 22 Sep 2016, 02:46 am
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Default cooling mixture disappearing

Hi, my wife's cruiser, 2003, 2.0l is loosing coolant, very little but still, say a quart a week. I haven't seen any leaks but I park on gravel so not really easy to see, put a board below but still can't see the leak. Did a compression test when cold and all 4 cylinders showed about the same value. Is there any special weak spot in the cooling system on these cars that I should check first?
Thanks!
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Old 22 Sep 2016, 06:21 am
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Default Re: cooling mixture disappearing

The side tanks are composite and are crimped to the aluminum cooling core, I've see leaks there, check the crimps.
Also check the radiator cap filler tube where it is mounted.
IF your windows are steaming up or you hav a sweet smell inside the car it could be the heater core which will show up on the passenger side floor.
Check you overflow tank for cracks and the black tubing connected to the radiator filler tube for cracks.
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Old 22 Sep 2016, 06:27 am
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Default Re: cooling mixture disappearing

Thanks JoeX!
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Old 22 Sep 2016, 06:29 am
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Default Re: cooling mixture disappearing

Pressure test the cooling system...

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Old 22 Sep 2016, 07:53 am
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Default Re: cooling mixture disappearing

I would check the overflow reservoir as well. From my experience i had a radiator cap with a bad spring/seal (releasing pressure too soon) allowing coolant to fill the over flow reservoir to the point of completely draining the radiator. Replaced the cap for $8 and I haven't lost coolant.... until recently but that's a different issue.

I've also heard of the filler neck or hoses developing small cracks that would not leak until under higher pressure. (so no overnight leaks in the driveway but would leak on the highway)
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Old 22 Sep 2016, 08:01 am
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Default Re: cooling mixture disappearing

Thanks for all replies so far!

If the overflow reservoir is the one behind the engine in front of the cabin with a yellow plastic cap that snaps in place, then that's where I see that the coolant is missing, going below "min" but definitely not going over "max". Is there a schema somewhere with the whole cooling system for tracing purposes?
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Old 22 Sep 2016, 08:04 am
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Default Re: cooling mixture disappearing

PS any idea how common it is that the cooling mixture disappears because of a broken head gasket?
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Old 22 Sep 2016, 08:07 am
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Default Re: cooling mixture disappearing

Quote:
Originally Posted by ed9msi View Post
Thanks for all replies so far!

If the overflow reservoir is the one behind the engine in front of the cabin with a yellow plastic cap that snaps in place, then that's where I see that the coolant is missing, going below "min" but definitely not going over "max". Is there a schema somewhere with the whole cooling system for tracing purposes?
Yes, that is what we call the overflow. Sometimes the clamps on the radiator or heater hoses can lose their tension and you can get a seeping leak from one of them. I'd suggest checking the hose clamps too. As Cr1msonmyst mentioned, the radiator cap could be worn out too. And if the hose running from the radiator cap to the overflow has a crack or hole in it, you can experience the same thing. As far as a schematic, I can't help you with that, but other than the radiator, and other items mentioned, the only other thing to mention would be the water pump and that is a MAJOR project on the PT.
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Old 22 Sep 2016, 08:08 am
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Default Re: cooling mixture disappearing

Quote:
Originally Posted by ed9msi View Post
PS any idea how common it is that the cooling mixture disappears because of a broken head gasket?

If the head gasket is bad, the car will over heat...you will hear water bubbling when you shut the car off & water will shoot out of the bottom of the overflow tank.
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Old 22 Sep 2016, 08:12 am
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Default Re: cooling mixture disappearing

Quote:
Originally Posted by LionPT View Post
If the head gasket is bad, the car will over heat...you will hear water bubbling when you shut the car off & water will shoot out of the bottom of the overflow tank.
Thanks again, but mostly for this one as I don't have any of these symptoms which really made my day. I've already purchased a new waterpump, timing belt, tensioner etc but decided to do it next year as I really don't have the time due to another car project.
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