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Old 12-20-2011, 05:58 PM   #1
blackedoutkwrx
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Default coolant disappearing and no signs of it leaking? stock 02 wrx.

Hello everyone,
My girlfriends car is leaking some serious coolant. I installed a mishimoto radiator right after purchasing the car because the stock one was leaking. This is when i first noticed the problem of it leaking coolant. The radiator will drain completely and the car will start to overheat, so i tried to do some diagnosing and this is what i did:
- took off all coolant lines and made sure none were plugged and that none leaked. all seemed to be clean and hooked up ok.
-took out spark plugs from each side, not white and not having a sweet smell. I was thinking it was possibly a head gasket, but it does not look like that either?

I topped off the reservoir by the turbo, and the radiator, then drove the car for an hour. I then let it cool down completely and checked the radiator, it was full. I checked the reservoir by the turbo, it was almost empty. I believe this is what is draining the radiator, but i could easily be wrong.

The car is not throwing any check engine codes or smoking either.

Thanks for the input. Any and all help is greatly appreciated!
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:59 PM   #2
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So did you follow the proper procedure for burping the system?
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:11 PM   #3
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+1 for burping the system. Another way to check if coolant is actually leaking is to get UV dye and use a UV flash light to look for leaks. Worked great on my miata when i was losing coolant.

Taras
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:11 PM   #4
blackedoutkwrx
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Quote:
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So did you follow the proper procedure for burping the system?
im not sure if i did, enlighten me on this please
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:27 PM   #5
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:52 PM   #6
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i read that before i posted this, i didnt see anything on "burping" the system. maybe im missing something?
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:29 PM   #7
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackedoutkwrx

i read that before i posted this, i didnt see anything on "burping" the system. maybe im missing something?
Yes, you are. There is a page from the fsm detailing the procedure for filling the system. Granted it doesn't say "burping" or "burp", but the procedure is the same. There are some tips linked there as well and also linked in this thread.
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Yes, you are. There is a page from the fsm detailing the procedure for filling the system. Granted it doesn't say "burping" or "burp", but the procedure is the same. There are some tips linked there as well and also linked in this thread.
thanks. much appreciated!
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:16 PM   #10
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i have topped off the coolant system at least ten times, there is no way there is an air pocket this big, i have used over a gallon of antifreeze just in topping off after it was already full.....
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:42 AM   #11
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A new radiator cap. It's about $7 at autozone.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:54 PM   #12
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A new radiator cap. It's about $7 at autozone.
its a mishimoto, and it doesnt leak?
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Old 12-25-2011, 10:57 AM   #13
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Old 12-25-2011, 11:02 AM   #14
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Buy one of these. You need to idle the car for a least 30 minutes with the heater on & funnel half full on the turbo tank, burp the hose a lot. Also check your top hose . A lot of times it hits the fan with that Mishi radiator and will cut it. Pm me if you have any ?s.
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Old 12-25-2011, 11:41 AM   #15
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Usually when youre seeing a loss of coolant and its not leaking, you have a bad headgasket and it is leaking in the combustion chamber
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:45 AM   #16
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Headgasket problems tend to make a lot of white smoke and it smells like antifreeze steam.
There are leaks that are not visible uptop.
try running the car, parking it, running it in idle, accelerate in neutral
(run it for 10 minutes like that and choose a parking spot that had no drips, or moisture on it and has little dust that could absorb)
and after turning it off, look underneath, maybe you'll see some dripping.

Some problem areas:

The drain plug of the aluminum radiators
The wire clamps on the main hoses, as opposed to the band-screw clamps.
The fan cutting into the top hose from underneath, because it was not trimmed properly
The hose by the turbo coolant inlet needs to be double clamped.
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:25 PM   #17
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^not entirely true.
your describing a really bad HG leak.
-a HG that is just starting will not smoke white or stink like coolant.
-early on HG problems tend to push exhaust gases into the cooling system.
this causes excessive pressure on the hoses (check hoses when car is running, are they hard as a rock) and in turn causes the coolant to heat up faster. (do your fans run on high excessively) the exhaust hot gases are flowing through the system. meaning there are hot air bubbles forcing their way out of the system (via the overflow bottle) place a coolant funnel up top fill half way with coolant. (does the coolant get dirty fast from the exhaust when the car is running? and air there any small constant air bubbles always rising?)

that should help you
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:41 PM   #18
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However, the exhaust into coolant HG failure does not cause coolant loss, other than coolant being ejected from the overflow tank...
That is obvious enough to where the OP would see a "boiling" overflow tank.
You can't loose coolant without having coolant loss symptoms.

But I suppose it can't hurt to test for exhaust gases in the overflow tank.
There is a chemical kit, with some kind of colored marker. Couple years ago you still had to go to a speciality supplier to get one, but maybe these days a PEP boys carries it.
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:45 PM   #19
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this is all VERY useful, i made a new discovery the other day. i topped off the whole system. then i had the reservoir open by the turbo, and started the car. it then started to bubble and quickly disappear.
what the heck does this mean??
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:58 PM   #20
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You need a coolant flush?
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:43 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackedoutkwrx
this is all VERY useful, i made a new discovery the other day. i topped off the whole system. then i had the reservoir open by the turbo, and started the car. it then started to bubble and quickly disappear.
what the heck does this mean??
You gots lots of air in the system. Buy the funnel. Its very handy.
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:47 PM   #22
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If it didn't overheat before the radiator install and now it does. More than likely it's air. Rule out the basics before you get into head gaskets and big problems.
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:35 PM   #23
blackedoutkwrx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ep3smoker View Post
You gots lots of air in the system. Buy the funnel. Its very handy.
will try this tomorrow for sure, hope it works! pm sent your way also!
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:20 AM   #24
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^how much coolant have you been putting in?

i know my GMS radiator takes ~2gallons to properly fill.
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:55 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slinkyWRX View Post
^how much coolant have you been putting in?

i know my GMS radiator takes ~2gallons to properly fill.
i believe i am on gallon # 3 or 4 now. this has to be a problem other than an air pocket....
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