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Engine coolant issue with my LS1

This is a discussion on Engine coolant issue with my LS1 within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I've personally owned my '00 Camaro for a year now, with no motor problems and 56,000 miles. About 3 days ...

  1. #1
    Member myk02k's Avatar
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    Exclamation Engine coolant issue with my LS1

    I've personally owned my '00 Camaro for a year now, with no motor problems and 56,000 miles. About 3 days ago I've noticed my fan was running more than ever, and my car would go slightly over 210 degrees. It's also been getting very cold here in NJ, so I figured to go check the coolant overflow dipstick. Nearly the whole stick had a white paste-like substance, and on tip was black gunk. So I took my car to Pep Boys to check for any coolant leaks and flush the system out. I was walking around for a while and got ahold of one mechanic who said it was the water pump, then he said it was the head-gasket, then the water pump again, and the leak is so small they need time. 5 hours later (and they weren't busy) they call me telling me that they think there's internal leak, they do not know where the coolant fluid is going, and they won't flush my fluids because of the risk of destroying something. Other things I was told is that there was a very small trace of hydrocarbons (?) in my coolant, the radiator was completely empty when they got it (but filled it with coolant), the white paste is probably from my car over-heating, and my oil has not been contaminated with coolant.

    If anyone out there has had this problem or knows what it could be, please reply. I am too low on money to get it fixed and I'm taking a major risk driving it around now.

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    i had a similair issue, turns out it was a leak in the power steering cooler, i removed it and it went away. Not saying this is your issue, but something to look for.

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    Member myk02k's Avatar
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    ...i filled my power steering fluid about 6 months ago, it was completely empty. I dont know anything about power steering, but how could I check that for a leak?

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    sonnyred
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    six speed or auto. if a4 did you checkyour trans fluid for contamination?

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    Member myk02k's Avatar
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    A4, checked all fluids. Oil, tranny, and power steering fluid are all fine. The white paste is only on the overflow stick, but not noticeable in the radiator. My car was filled with coolant about 3 or 4 days ago and I have yet to reach even 210 degrees. I'm wandering how small this leak could possibly be...

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    Member myk02k's Avatar
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    started it up this morning and there was a whinning noise, by the time i got out of my car to check it stopped.

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    Member myk02k's Avatar
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    update...(if anyone is reading)...i checked my coolant in the radiator and it is still full keeping it's bright orange color. I am afraid to fill the overflow because of the shit that's in it.

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    strokedls1
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    It may be a radiator cap not holding pressure. It hapeened to my friends car, and it would run warm because of it. Only way to see if the head gasket isn't working is to pull the plugs or pull the heads. Obviously my advice would be to swap the radiator cap first, and fill the coolant overflow tank back up. If that doesn't fix it then check the plugs to see if they have signs of coolant on them. If your over heating check the thermostat by putting it in water and boiling it to verify it is opening up. Beyond that I would say the heads should come off as a last resort.

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    Member TwistedSS's Avatar
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    ever get a low coolent warning?

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    Member myk02k's Avatar
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    to stroked...i can understand overheating with a bad radiator cap...but where the hell did my radiator fluid disappear? is it possible it evaporated cuz it is a bit nasty in the overflow tank...

    no i never recieved any warnings or SES codes even though my radiator was empty b4 i brought it to Pep Boys...i thought GM did away with the low coolant warning signals in the '00 and above camaros because of the "superb quality" of Dex-cool which I am now being told is horrible to put in cars (but i gotta start another post about that one).

  11. #11
    strokedls1
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    Dexcool is not as bad as people make it out to be. It is true that some people have gone back to the green coolant because they hate the dexcool. The coolant can evaporate if the system is not able to pressurize. The higher pressure is what makes the coolant stable at higher temps. Usually if it is a blown gasket then when you get on it the extra pressure goes into the coolant system and blows fluid out the radiator over flow tank. Yours is empty even after you refilled the radiator right? That would lead me to believe it is not a gasket leak. You would need to pull the plug to confirm that they are clean and no coolant traces on them.

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    Ditto. Have Pep Boys do a pressure check on your car. If they can do pressure checks on cooling systems then they can do it on caps. Imine was running a bit warm and found out the car was half of what it needed to hold. Also have them check the new one. I have tested many fresh out of the box that were not holding the stated pressure that it said it would many were 12pond caps, 5 out 6 could only hold 8-10psi. -Tim

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    Member myk02k's Avatar
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    My radiator overflow was never filled...coolant was filled directly into the radiator...i just checked the cap on the radiator this morning and it's low again, ill fill the overflow with the radiator this time (pep boys didnt fill the overflow).

    I'm not too much of a handy-man but i'll go pull the plugs and check them.
    Pagan, Pep Boys wouldn't pressure check my car because they said it could damage an internal part, which they don't fix or check internal parts for leaks (i.e. head-gasket, motor block). I still don't understand what type of mechanics won't do internal motor work. Is there any way I can check the pressure of the radiator cap myself???

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    Member myk02k's Avatar
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    i filled the overflow and radiator last night and let my car run for a while after a short trip...nothing leaked on the ground; however, the radiator cap was steaming a little bit for a short period of time. this may have been because I over-filled the overflow....now i know the radiator cap is releasing pressure, and strokedls1 i havent gotten to pulling out a spark plug just yet, its 30 degrees here and is about to snow...

  15. #15
    strokedls1
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    Go get a new cap and see if you're losing any more fluid. If you don't then there is no need to pull the plugs unless you want to swap them for maintaince purposes. Hopefully that is all it was and a 15 dollar cap is all that's needed.

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    sonnyred
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    If it's the cap you lucked out.Pulling plugs is hell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by strokedls1
    Usually if it is a blown gasket then when you get on it the extra pressure goes into the coolant system and blows fluid out the radiator over flow tank.
    Ah shit...I found a leak today and it seems like it's coming out of the over-flow...can't find a leak any where else and the over-flow is unusually full. The radiator is also low on coolant...but I have no over heating issues at all...knock on wood

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    Member DaddySS's Avatar
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    First, don't take your car to pep boys. Second, take it to a shop that knows LS1s or take it to the dealer. There is a specific procedure for flushing the colling system, I'd start there, and while it's being flushed, have it pressure tested for leaks.

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    Member myk02k's Avatar
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    I'm going to have the coolant flushed and pressure checked as soon as I get out to Cali. In the meantime, I checked the fluid today and it has yet to move...strange, maybe the overflow being empty before had something to do with the radiator losing fluid. Also, I sea-foamed the car today so chances are even if there was contaminants on the spark-plugs, they are gone now.

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    Member myk02k's Avatar
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    Been a while since I re-filled my coolant...the level still hasn't moved. A mechanic told me it's because when we had a major fluctuation in the weather, my hoses must've contracted not quickly enough and wound up leaking a bit...told me to just tighten the clamps before another huge weather change.

    My car is safe (still gonna get it flushed and checked though), it feels good to know it wasn't any internals. Thanks for the advice.

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