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Cooling system pressure test - 1psi drop in 15 minutes.

 
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Old 27 Sep 2020, 11:18 am
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Default Cooling system pressure test - 1psi drop in 15 minutes.

Hello!!

Yesterday I've done a major TLC on my 2008 Touring. The main problem was a leak at Thermostat housing/coolant filler neck base. With a pressure tester, when applied pressure was somewhere above 10PSI, a river of coolant was coming out of it.

So, I got the chance and replaced thermostat, thermostat gasket and thermostat housing, upper radiator hose, intake manifold gasket, new Denso spark plugs wires and new double-platinum spark plugs. all good for the next thousands of miles

After job finished, I tested the pressure again. I could apply 16PSI and it was holding. But I saw a pressure drop of 1PSI in 15 minutes. Is that normal and expected ?

Thanks!
lrbbs
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Old 27 Sep 2020, 05:51 pm
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Default Re: Cooling system pressure test - 1psi drop in 15 minutes.

I don't believe 16 PSI is high enough. check to what your cap says is the level and use that. 1 psi in 15 minutes is acceptable.

better to perform your coolant test with the engine COLD, and running. this will give you the opportunity to observe any leaks from a malfunctioning water pump.
there's no need to test your coolant pressure for longer than 5 minutes

second option is to perform a test drive with wide open throttle in second gear, keep the brakes on enough to hold 5000 rpm to build up engine heat and coolant pressure and cycle 30 seconds of load with 30 seconds of no loaded driving. if there's no leaks or over heating your system by this point i would say you can expect long term stability in the operation of your coolant system.

i have had before with chrysler's brilliant plastic pipes and radiator plastic side tanks contain tiny pin hole leaks that only start to stream out at the maximum limits of the coolant system.

When performing cooling system tests, I usually use a vacuum and fill procedure and then test the pressure to the manufacturers specifications with the engine running. Often times there can be mystery coolant leaks and drips that won't show up on a coolant pressure test on a cold engine. I have a LN0 GM 5.3 vortec on my service vehicle and there was a coolant drip coming from the frost plug on the engine block, dripping onto the ground and exhaust, the only cure was a coolant stop leak additive.
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Last edited by _PTGT03; 27 Sep 2020 at 05:56 pm.
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Old 28 Sep 2020, 09:18 am
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Default Re: Cooling system pressure test - 1psi drop in 15 minutes.

Hi _PTGT03:

Quote:
Originally Posted by _PTGT03 View Post
I don't believe 16 PSI is high enough. check to what your cap says is the level and use that. 1 psi in 15 minutes is acceptable.
My cap is 16psi rated.... OEM cap too. I read somewhere PT Cruiser (non-turbo) cooling system pressure should go up to 18psi... so I didn't go any further 16psi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by _PTGT03 View Post
better to perform your coolant test with the engine COLD, and running. this will give you the opportunity to observe any leaks from a malfunctioning water pump.
there's no need to test your coolant pressure for longer than 5 minutes
Nice! That's a great info. I'll do it for sure. The second option sounds a little difficult for me DIY, so I'll stick to the first option

Thanks for the help!
lrrbs.
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