Losing/Adding Coolant - Defender Source
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Old August 26th, 2013, 09:14 AM
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Losing/Adding Coolant

Need some help or advice here. I know this subject has been covered many times over, as I have been reading through previous posts for the past couple days. When I got my D90 back in January, it had been sitting for an extended period of time by the previous owner, I would guess 3-4 months between drives.

Upon my first inspection when it arrived to me, I noticed that the coolant overflow was almost bone dry...so I added some coolant and everything ran fine. I checked it a few more times after driving some, and it was almost dry again. I figured that the radiator was just low, and it was taking in my add ins. I have only driven the D90 a total of 800 miles since I got it, and have put in a about a half gallon of fluid.

Yesterday, I took another look in the overflow and it was almost empty, and then I opened the radiator cap and took a look inside, and it was full. So I added a little more in the overflow and went on my way.

Never has the temp gauge been higher than the middle, my oil is a clean as the day it was changed with no additions or coolant looking in it. No visable leaks on the ground or smell of coolant anywhere.

Before I replace head gasket, what are some things I could look into? Could the coolant just have been low in the radiator and my additions have caught it up?

The only wet spots are highlighted in the pics attached...
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  #2  
Old August 26th, 2013, 09:39 AM
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Check the plastic radiator fill plug. Mine had a crack that caused a similar "invisible" coolant loss. Fortunately when the crack turned into a sudden total failure I was a block from the house and not up to normal operating temp. The failure was where the threaded portion meets the flange.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 10:04 AM
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Those "wet" areas around the valve covers appear to be oil weeping, not coolant. However the pic you show of the diz hold-down bracket shows what might be coolant leaking.
Check the hoses. There is a small hose coming out of the back of the water pump that would create a slick like that. It could also be coming from the joint where the intake manifold meets the valley pan/cylinder head.
In both cases it does not mean taking the cylinder heads off. If the overflow was getting pressurized, then you'd want to start worrying about the head gaskets.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 10:43 AM
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Weep hole on the water pump.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 10:58 AM
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Do you smell any coolant?
Check ALL hose clamps and hose ends.
It could be something very simple.
Also, you can pull the plugs and inspect.

Good luck...

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Old August 26th, 2013, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij View Post
Weep hole on the water pump.
Do you have a picture of this weep hole on the water pump? I am trying to find it but not sure what I am looking at. Thanks!
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Old August 26th, 2013, 12:18 PM
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Water pump weep hole is under the "snout". If you are losing 2 quart of coolant, you'll see it pouring out this hole as the engine runs.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
Water pump weep hole is under the "snout". If you are losing 2 quart of coolant, you'll see it pouring out this hole as the engine runs.
I've never seen anything pouring out ever. I will check all the hoses again, I think I can see some fresh coolant as seen in that 3rd pic so there could be a slight leak there. Thanks for the help/advice.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 12:33 PM
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might be time for coolant dye and black light
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Old August 26th, 2013, 12:35 PM
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If you have a leak, you will smell it...
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Old August 26th, 2013, 02:36 PM
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I'm out here scouring every inch and smell a faint smell of antifreeze but can't find a leak. I've tightened every hose clamp, and the anti freeze I put in the over flow is still there even after a long ride yesterday.
I ran it for about 15 min, shut it off then carefully opened the overflow cap and a very small hiss came out but nothing worth noting.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 02:43 PM
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you need to borrow a pressure tester from autozone .... this will help you identify leaks ... if it's not properly pressurizing you do have a leak somewhere.

I find mine so useful that i gave up the deposit to keep it!
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Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 03:12 PM
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Could it be that my radiator was low from the start? It's hard to imagine that 2 quarts were lost into the engine, if that is the case. Especially since I cannot find drip spot on the ground. I will have a pressure test done next. I am hoping for anything but the head gasket.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeBeCinYa View Post
Could it be that my radiator was low from the start? It's hard to imagine that 2 quarts were lost into the engine, if that is the case. Especially since I cannot find drip spot on the ground. I will have a pressure test done next. I am hoping for anything but the head gasket.
It could be that unicorns are visiting your truck and harvesting the fluid as a unicorn tear substitute that they are selling to fund their coke habit ...

Until you've done a bit of diagnosis you won't know.

The water system on a vehicle should hold fluid for years ... so yours is going somewhere. If it's not pressurizing well then likely you have a leak ... a pressure tester will find this in seconds ... I've used it to diagnose a faulty thermostat gasket and also hoses with fine holes in them ... if the hole is small enough the water will mist out and not puddle.

Chances are you have a leak ... and you won't always smell antifreeze ...

If you do have a blown head gasket then the water is going into a cylinder and out the exhaust ... compare the spark plugs and see if any are 'steamed clean' ... especially numbers 4 and 8 as the gasket is thinnest here.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
It could be that unicorns are visiting your truck and harvesting the fluid as a unicorn tear substitute that they are selling to fund their coke habit ...

Until you've done a bit of diagnosis you won't know.

The water system on a vehicle should hold fluid for years ... so yours is going somewhere. If it's not pressurizing well then likely you have a leak ... a pressure tester will find this in seconds ... I've used it to diagnose a faulty thermostat gasket and also hoses with fine holes in them ... if the hole is small enough the water will mist out and not puddle.

Chances are you have a leak ... and you won't always smell antifreeze ...

If you do have a blown head gasket then the water is going into a cylinder and out the exhaust ... compare the spark plugs and see if any are 'steamed clean' ... especially numbers 4 and 8 as the gasket is thinnest here.

HA I bet you are right about the unicorn's...I mean where does 2 quarts of antifreeze go over the course of a few hundred miles.

On the pressure testers, I see there is a traditional radiator cap on most, but ours is this small cap...I assume there is a fitting for these at autozone?

I am concerned that it is going into the cylinder, as I can't find any sign of leak so far...although I don't see any signs in the oil and I have not seen any white exhaust.

Checking the spark plugs now...
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Old August 26th, 2013, 03:40 PM
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Ours recently had a similar issue - coolant loss w/no significant leak. I noticed it had started to put more exhaust vapor out during warm up, so I was worried we might be getting some coolant into the cylinders...pulled the plugs and was getting some into the rear cylinders, so we're now getting the heads surfaced and replacing gaskets. It was also getting a bit hard starting too, so that was probably a side effect also. Is yours doing any of this?

The exhaust vapor was minimal at first, and greadually got a bit worse w/time...it never did have a coolant smell though...
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Old August 26th, 2013, 03:43 PM
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2 quarts or a whole system full would easily disappear out the exhaust ... and don't expect to see white steam ... it's not a locomotive!

My tester came with various adapters but didn't need one.

Mine blew between the water jacket and the cylinder ... so oil was clean ... I had a lot of temp issues as the leak also injected a lot of heat into the water ...

Bear in mind that the system won't properly manage temp unless pressurized so a leak could easily cause your issues.
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Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
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  #18  
Old August 26th, 2013, 04:16 PM
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I was loosing a lot of fluid with no evidence and one day i drove the Landy hard stopped on the side of the road, opened the bonnet and there the culprit was, some build up on the bottom of the pipe was not allowing for a proper seal and the water was spraying onto the manifold hence evaporating and stopped as soon as i switched the engine off..

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Old August 26th, 2013, 04:18 PM
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I've got a pressure tester that will work on that, give me a call and we can hook it up and see what's leaking.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
2 quarts or a whole system full would easily disappear out the exhaust ... and don't expect to see white steam ... it's not a locomotive!

My tester came with various adapters but didn't need one.

Mine blew between the water jacket and the cylinder ... so oil was clean ... I had a lot of temp issues as the leak also injected a lot of heat into the water ...

Bear in mind that the system won't properly manage temp unless pressurized so a leak could easily cause your issues.

To your last point, my temp seems to be spot on and no issues there at all. So if your saying a leak would cause the temp to have issues, then it seems that it may be the latter...it's going through the exhaust possibly.

Jimmy-give me a call, I left you a message...

Thanks everyone for the input.
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