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Old 06-08-2004, 11:28 PM   #1
Penphoe
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Question coolant leak - from oil filter?

Driving home today, i noticed I did not have any AC comming through my vents. Finally when I got home, I noticed that my temp gauge was pointed straight-up to the H!!!

I immediately popped open my hood - nothing left in the coolant resevoir tank. This is NOT a good sign. I just did an oil change last Friday afternoon. The oil that drained out was black as normal. Oil filter was relatively clean. I made mental note of the coolant in the resevoir tank - it was at the Full line - everything normal.

Today however, with my "overheating" problem and zero coolant in the resevoir tank, I went poking around - looking for any headgasket leaks - nothing from the outside.

However, when I poked my head underneath my car, I could clearly see coolant had somehow leaked onto my oil filter as well as part of my passenger side header. I cannot see any visible leak sources! HELP! What should I do? Should I temporarily fill with water so I can take it to the dealership to get it checked out?

I just rolled over my 100k km warranty.




LaterZ!
Darren!!
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Old 06-08-2004, 11:51 PM   #2
Schlogen
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ever use that subaru additive thats supposed to stop some sort of head gasket leak? if not id bet thats it
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Old 06-09-2004, 12:25 AM   #3
Jason
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Quote:
Originally posted by Penphoe


I just rolled over my 100k km warranty.

That would suck very much. I guess you could add water into radiator and drive slowly to dealership and have them check out.
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Old 06-09-2004, 01:00 AM   #4
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Well, it looks like I've got a radiator leak.

I filled my radiator up tonite and let it idle till it was up @ "normal operating temp". Look at these pictures I took afterwards.








All these photos were taken underneath the car, looking up towards the radiator on the passenger side. Looking up from the top, I don't see any leaks.

Sux to be me.

LaterZ!
Darren!!
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Old 06-09-2004, 02:42 AM   #5
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Did SOC not do a recall to have that taken care of? You should take it to the dealer and have it repaired if so.
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Old 06-09-2004, 03:04 AM   #6
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I don't have a headgasket problem. I've got a radiator problem - I've got a leak somewhere in my radiator which caused all of my fluid to leak out. I thought it might be a headgasket problem, bu t it obviously isn't. I don't have white smoke comming out of my tailpipe, and coolant has not mixed with my oil.

That being said, I'm debating whether or not to do a radiator fix myself.

Should I replace the hoses and thermostat while I'm at it? I'm currently over 100k kms (about 60k miles).

LaterZ!
Darren!!
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Old 06-09-2004, 03:13 AM   #7
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Also check on the overflow tank, there is a small breather hole near the neck. If you keep it dirty, you might see a trail of dried coolant from there, carried downwards with the airflow while the car is moving. It'll leak from that hole if the level gets waaaay high.
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Old 06-09-2004, 03:43 AM   #8
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dude, my Corolla just had the same problem. and now it's sidelined for now can't afford to fix it right yet...

I feel your pain. puff of white smoke out the tailpipe. overheating... *sigh*... sounds exactly like my problem.

hope you fix it up, man! check for headgasket leaks anyways. apparently there's two types of coolant leaks or something? one that's internal and the other external... or something like that.
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Old 06-09-2004, 08:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by dugrant153
puff of white smoke out the tailpipe.
Now that sounds like a head gasket!

Penphoe you need to isolate the source of that leak. As you know there's lots of coolant system nodes/connections etc. So it might be somthing simple like splitting hose, or maybe a failing gasket on your water pump. Because the system is under pressure, it doesn't take much for a small leak to get messy. It also doesn't take much for a small leak to become a much bigger leak. Good luck. Don't let it get you down man!

Jeff
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Old 06-09-2004, 09:56 AM   #10
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is that stuff you pour into your coolant (i think it's called "bar's leaks) safe for sealing radiator damage like this?
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Old 06-09-2004, 10:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Frawl
Now that sounds like a head gasket!

Penphoe you need to isolate the source of that leak. As you know there's lots of coolant system nodes/connections etc. So it might be somthing simple like splitting hose, or maybe a failing gasket on your water pump. Because the system is under pressure, it doesn't take much for a small leak to get messy. It also doesn't take much for a small leak to become a much bigger leak. Good luck. Don't let it get you down man!

Jeff
I think I have - I have a feeling it's the bottom of the radiator that's leaking.

When I checked last nite, the water pump was fine, and so was the thermostat - no leaks in that area. My hypothesis is that the leak is somewhere near the bottom of the radiator by the passenger-side fan. When the fan kicks on, it blows the coolant backwards towards the oil filter and header. That's why there's so much residue there.


There's no white smoke comming from my exhaust at all - was checking my rear-view mirror as well as took a quick peek as it was idling. Definetly not a headgasket.

I hope it's a simple radiator fix - anyone know what is a good aftermarket radiator to replace the OEM one with?

LaterZ!
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Old 06-09-2004, 10:19 AM   #12
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Let it be known that the "known" issue with the headgaskets that resulted in a recall does not result in a failure of the HG between the waterjacket and combustion chamber. Thus you would not have mixed oil/water or white smoke. The problem the recall was for is for a failure bwteen the waterjacket and the "outside world"....

Looks like you have a busted radiator... the hole may be small, but once the system pressurizes, it can force the liquid out...
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Old 06-09-2004, 06:35 PM   #13
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check the vendor forums. i saw some aftermarket radiators over there
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Old 06-09-2004, 07:10 PM   #14
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could it be a stuck or broken thermostat, if it gets stuck closed it should really pressurize your rad and force the liquid out ,I would check that before I buy a new rad, 20$ part vs 200$+ part
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Old 06-09-2004, 08:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by 4wheelflyer
could it be a stuck or broken thermostat, if it gets stuck closed it should really pressurize your rad and force the liquid out ,I would check that before I buy a new rad, 20$ part vs 200$+ part
If that's the case, then wouldn't it be leaking through the overflow tank? My overflow tank was empty and bone dry.

However, the bottom of my radiator was dripping wet.

I did more poking around just now. I removed the radiator fan to see what was going on in front of it. Underneath the fan, is a little "tray" for the bottom end-tank. There's a little pool of coolant down there. It looks like I"m leaking near the bottom of my radiator on the passenger side.

LaterZ!
Darren!!
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Old 06-09-2004, 09:31 PM   #16
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I recently replaced my radiator. I pressurized the coolant system through the overflow tube just below the cap with @15psi and found that the lower log of the radiator had a nice leak. It would only leak when pressurized(obviously I guess). Yours looks much worse, like a total failure of the lower log.

I say yes to the new t-stat.

Hopefully you did'nt warp anything.

Good luck
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Old 06-10-2004, 12:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tim Sanderson
I recently replaced my radiator. I pressurized the coolant system through the overflow tube just below the cap with @15psi and found that the lower log of the radiator had a nice leak. It would only leak when pressurized(obviously I guess). Yours looks much worse, like a total failure of the lower log.

I say yes to the new t-stat.

Hopefully you did'nt warp anything.

Good luck

Did you do the job yourself? Did you replace the hoses while you were at it? What's your mileage at?

LaterZ!
Darren!!
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Old 06-10-2004, 10:12 AM   #18
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Yes, did it myself.
Yes, I replaced the lower hose.
At the time the car had @100k.
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Old 06-11-2004, 02:15 AM   #19
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Well, the radiator is now out. I took it out this afternoon. Hopefully I'll have a replacement radiator by friday nite/saturday.

So, any suggestions on what to fill the radiator with? How should I mix the coolant?

LaterZ!
Darren!!
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Old 06-11-2004, 02:55 AM   #20
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50/50 distilled water/coolant(SOA) + coolant additive from SOA. OEM stuff.
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Old 06-12-2004, 06:07 PM   #21
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Looks like you ran over a "Predator". Good luck.
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Old 06-14-2004, 10:11 AM   #22
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Well she's all fixed. This past saturday, I spent the morning installing a new radiator, thermostat, and putting everything back together. I filled her up with a 50-50 mixture of coolant and water. No problems whatsoever. I didn't even have to spend much time burping the air out of the system either! Now the temp needle sits at just below the half-way mark just like it did before!

LaterZ!
Darren!!
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Old 06-14-2004, 11:21 AM   #23
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Awesome! Feels good not getting hammered in the rear by a dealer for relatively easy work hey?

Good job.
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Old 06-14-2004, 01:32 PM   #24
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You don't mention that you got the SOA "coolant system conditioner" put in. Do it (it's free) and your head gasket waranty goes up to 8 years or 100,000 miles. Don't use Bars stop leak or anything other than the dealer installed SOA stuff.
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Old 06-14-2004, 03:40 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hayes
You don't mention that you got the SOA "coolant system conditioner" put in. Do it (it's free) and your head gasket waranty goes up to 8 years or 100,000 miles. Don't use Bars stop leak or anything other than the dealer installed SOA stuff.
I haven't heard if anything like that is offered up here in Canada. I should go check that out. I'm already over my 5-year 100k km powertrain warranty.

Thanx.

LaterZ!
Darren!!
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