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advice on coolant leak

This is a discussion on advice on coolant leak within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; The sun was almost down when I spotted the little puddle...so I didn't get a good look at it. From ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member SeVeReDiStOrTiOn's Avatar
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    advice on coolant leak

    The sun was almost down when I spotted the little puddle...so I didn't get a good look at it. From what I can tell with little light, upper and lower hose aren't leaking...radiator isn't leaking and rad cap isn't leaking. The puddle is right under the overflow...in front of the passenger front tire. There's coolant on the inside of the wheel well...inside of the passenger fender towards the front...pretty much everything under the overflow. The radiator is low on coolant, which it never was before...and the overflow is pretty full, about 3 inches above hot on the dipstick...but the motor is coldSeems like all the coolant is getting pushed into the overflow.

    I'm gonna check it out better tomorrow....my guess is that it might be a stuck stat or a cracked/loose hose somewhere...any ideas?

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    Senior Member SeVeReDiStOrTiOn's Avatar
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    I've been reading that it could be a blown head gasket...that's all I need right now.

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    Senior Member SeVeReDiStOrTiOn's Avatar
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    Could really use some advice on this guys. I checked it out this morning....there's no pressure in the system at all. I ran it for 20 minutes...upper and lower hose is completely soft but very hot and I can take the radiator cap off with no hissing or spraying at all I tried running it with the cap off to bleed and fill it...but it slowly overflows out of the radiator. I'm gonna go to autozone in a few minutes to rent a pressure tester...if pressure is good I guess that means it's the cap...if bad then i'm fucked because besides the overflow spewing coolant there's no leaks, then it's gotta be a head gasket.

    Any ideas...really, anything at all Oh and for some reason the fans only kick on both at the same time...and on high speed, just like if I had the a/c on. Isn't one supposed to kick on first and then the other if it gets too hot? What can cause both to only come on?
    Last edited by SeVeReDiStOrTiOn; 12-17-2005 at 12:34 PM.

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    yes i would guess a blown head gasket. hopefully not.

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    your fans should not be coming on at high speeds...my gues to the fan problem is a bad fan clutch.The clutch is suppose to "slip" at high speeds.Also since i dont own a z28 or something of that nature i dont know if it has an electric cooling fan as well. if so, the electric cooling fan USUALLY is controlled electrically controlled either by an engine coolant temp switch or sensor and the air conditioner switch. So maybe one of those are bad. During normal operation with the a/c off and engine coolant below predetermined temp of aproxx 215 the relay contacts are OPEN and the fan does not operate.
    Last edited by Hi-Po; 12-17-2005 at 12:58 PM.

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    Senior Member MadSeason's Avatar
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    not to sure, but i doubt a blown head gasket would leak that fast

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    Causes of external leak are.... ***big Breath****
    Radaitor,loose hose clamp, hose,faulty rad cap,dented rad hose connector for inlet or outlet hose,heater connection, water pump- thru weep hole, cracked or porous water pump housing, heater core, loosecore hole plug in cylinder block, cracked thermosat housing, water temp sending unti, cylinder head bolts loose or tightened unevenly,warped or cracked cylinder head, heater control valve, cracked cylinder block,damaged gasket or dry gasket if engine has been stored, coolant reservoir hose.

    Also when you get the pressure tester... the leak will often be obvious cause it will be sraying, if not its internal leaking. and the external leak can be found with a dye penetrant and black light.
    Hope this helps. Ron

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    o oo oo i think i just rememebered somethin. If a thermostat is stuck open no coolant will flow thru radiator.

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    Severe distrotion you there?????

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    well man i gotta go. back to the girls house, hope anything i said helped even a little. ill be back on proally tommorow but maybe later tonight. Good Luck!

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    Senior Member SeVeReDiStOrTiOn's Avatar
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    thanks guys...hi-po yea they're electric fans. I did the pressure test...there's a slow leak somewhere, can't find where though. I put 18 psi in and in 5 minutes it's barely still in the green area...so it loses 2-3 psi in 5 minutes. I replaced the radiator cap...seems to build pressure a little better now, could just be my imagination though. My oil and coolant are all normal....so if it is a head gasket it's gotta be a tiny leak.

    Is there a seperate relay for the low speed fan? I would replace the coolant temp sensor if the car was older....but it's only 5 yrs old, those sensors don't go out all that often

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    yes i do beleive there is a seperate relay for the other fan

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    you could benefit from re-torqing the head bolts? i had some massive head work done in the summer. when the winter rolled around, the metal shrank and loosened the head gaskets and i got a small leak. Guys at the shop torqued the bolts back down and all was gravy baby.

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    Did you test your thermostat? do you know how? i think i can explain if you would like. and if you cant find the leak its internal, i belive the options are....faulty head gasket,cracked head,cracked block,trannt fluid cooler.

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    Senior Member SeVeReDiStOrTiOn's Avatar
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    yea...I usually just put the stat in some hot water and see if it opens before it boils. If I take it out i'll just put a new one in anyway...the plan so far is to torque the heads down like diph said, and replace the stat...might as well put new upper and lower hoses on too since I have it drained. Hopefully re-torqueing the heads will give me a temp fix for now...gotta track down that gremlin jackin with my fans too

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    yes that sounds like it would be a good idea. also could you see relativly where the leak was at? in general i mean, i know thats what where tryin to figure out.

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    Good luck and keep me updated, im curious what the gremlin's name is.

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    I'm gonna take you back to the simple here. Have you flushed the system? pull the rad hoses off and flush it and the engine seperatly. If you are getting restriction just after the radiator it will pump it into the overflow since it can't compete the circuit through the engine, it has to go somewhere. It will pump it out the rad cap if it's off. Also get this, once it starts pumping through there due to the clog somewhere, the outward flowing section of the engine ends up with coolant sitting in it since none is getting pumped behind it to push it out, those hot spots make the fan switch kick the fans up because at the point where the switch is located you are technically overheating.

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    Senior Member SeVeReDiStOrTiOn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hi-Po
    yes that sounds like it would be a good idea. also could you see relativly where the leak was at? in general i mean, i know thats what where tryin to figure out.
    Nope can't find the leak at all...the coolant on the ground was from the overflow...it was spewing out after the car sat for a few hours. If pressure is able to get out...i'd figure the coolant would too....can't find any so it might be internal like you said.

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    SUPREME member-oderator oneBADDz's Avatar
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    Oh, and the exact same situation can also occur due to a water pump going out that still pumps just enough. . .

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