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Coolant evaporating?

 
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Old 07 Jul 2011, 08:46 am
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Default Coolant evaporating?

New to the forum although we've had our PT since new (2001) It's my wife's car and about 4 years ago she had a stroke, so the car doesn't get driven much except to the store and such. I drive another car.

Anyway, the car has about 75,000 miles on it. A few years ago, I noticed the smell of coolant after driving it. I kept an eye on it and it didn't seem to be leaking it. I'd have to add some about every 6 months. We took the car on a 125 mile drive last weekend and I had to add about a pint to a quart of water afterwards. There is no evidence of leakage (nothing on the ground) and I've checked the hoses, which when hot, don't seem to be spewing anything (like there would be if there was a pin hole or tear.) They feel like they are holding pressure. I don't smell it inside the car, only in front of the car.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

David
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Old 07 Jul 2011, 08:54 am
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Default Re: Coolant evaporating?

David,

Welcome to the forum. From what your saying, it sounds like a small head gasket leak if you've done a proper inspection everywhere and not see any leaks.

From PT Do-It-Yourself.net:

A Cylinder Combustion Pressure Leakage Test provides an accurate means for determining engine condition. Combustion pressure leakage testing will detect: exhaust and intake valve leaks (improper seating), leaks between adjacent cylinders or into water jacket, and causes for combustion / compression pressure loss
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Old 07 Jul 2011, 09:21 am
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Default Re: Coolant evaporating?

Wow! Thanks for the quick response. Would that be the case even if there doesn't appear to be water in the oil?
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Old 07 Jul 2011, 09:50 am
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Default Re: Coolant evaporating?

If it's a very small break in the gasket and your positive you don't see any leaks anywhere else, the best way to tell is with a compression test. A real small leak of coolant into the combustion chamber with burn up and go out the exhaust pipe.
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Old 07 Jul 2011, 10:02 am
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Default Re: Coolant evaporating?

Thanks. I haven't lived where I am very long, so finding somebody to look at it might be difficult. I don't do dealers anymore!
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Old 07 Jul 2011, 11:47 am
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Default Re: Coolant evaporating?

also start with the more simple and change the radiator cap,sometime the you are loosing coolant but in gas form,the hose look like are holding pressure but the system not,get the old cap and test with a pressure tester
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Old 07 Jul 2011, 12:27 pm
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Default Re: Coolant evaporating?

like RAKY0311 said start with the rad cap.
I would also suspect the thermostat gasket. I had a leak from mine that took me a long time to track down because there were no clearly visible signs of a leak. As the coolant would drip out it would be evaporated from the heat of the engine, I would occasionally smell the coolant but never saw it dripping anywhere... Change the t-stat and gasket and the rad cap and see what happens. I doubt the head gasket is bad unless the car overheated badly.
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Old 07 Jul 2011, 09:43 pm
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Default Re: Coolant evaporating?

When my thermostat seal was leaking, it wasn't a lot--just a few drops every once in a while on the garage floor. But when I looked down below the thermostat cover housing, I could clearly see an orange (Mopar HOAT Coolant) crust on the areas below. I finally just got a thermostat from the dealer and replaced the leaky-sealed one.

Look at the base of the coolant filler neck, and shine a light down there and look for a dried crust (if your car has the right coolant, it will be orange-whitish/brown in color).

I hope this is your problem because the fix is not too difficult.

Tim
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Old 14 Jul 2011, 11:46 pm
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Default Re: Coolant evaporating?

You may have a small radiator leak. See my recent post.

Running Hot After 100K

There were no drips on the ground, but there was the smell and residue at the bottom of mine.
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Old 15 Jul 2011, 08:47 am
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Default Re: Coolant evaporating?

You could also have slight leakage at the water pump. Best to eliminate all other possibilities first and keep your fingers crossed because the pump is driven by the timing belt (just like the VW TDI's with which I am intimately familiar) and is not easily checked or changed.
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