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Old 05-14-2010, 06:20 AM   #1
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Coolant Leak - Running Out of Ideas

I can smell anti-freeze after driving the car for a while and then coming to a stop on my 2000S. I've also noticed it when starting up and moving after the car has been running for a while. The coolant level did drop a little.

I bought a pressure tester, pumped it up to 15psi and after a couple of hours the level had dropped again, a little. I thought for sure I'd be able to find the leak so I looked at the coolant tank with the trunk carpet out, looked (and felt) around the water pump, and even took out the heater core (what a pain to get to) and looked in the plastic housing that it slides into, no moisture. I started the car up and there was no smoke or sweet smell.

I've now let it sit under pressure for 10 hours, the level has dropped a little more and there is still no puddle under the car. I'm going to see if I can find anything around the front radiators by taking off the lower panels tonight, but I expected to see some coolant on the ground by now. Any other ideas?


Last edited by blue2000s; 05-14-2010 at 06:23 AM.
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:50 AM   #2
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Several............. It is going someplace, so let's find it, but be ready for an "Easter Egg Hunt". You need to obtain a bottle of UV coolant dye (UView ) and a UV/Black light. Add the dye and run the car until it warms up. Shut the car down and start looking the engine bay, coolant system lines and hoses, and the radiators over with the UV light in a dim lit shop, any leakage will absolutely jump out at you. If it is an intermix problem, it can show up in the oil or on the plug tips if it is into the combustion chambers.

We do this regularly for customers, parts are cheap and it works like a charm. While looking over the Uview site, check out their “Airlift” coolant filling system, they make the vacuum fill units for Porsche, but only charge about $100 rather than the $750 the dealer gets for the unit with the OEM logo on it………..,
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:06 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFP in PA
Several............. It is going someplace, so let's find it, but be ready for an "Easter Egg Hunt". You need to obtain a bottle of UV coolant dye (UView ) and a UV/Black light. Add the dye and run the car until it warms up. Shut the car down and start looking the engine bay, coolant system lines and hoses, and the radiators over with the UV light in a dim lit shop, any leakage will absolutely jump out at you. If it is an intermix problem, it can show up in the oil or on the plug tips if it is into the combustion chambers.

We do this regularly for customers, parts are cheap and it works like a charm. While looking over the Uview site, check out their “Airlift” coolant filling system, they make the vacuum fill units for Porsche, but only charge about $100 rather than the $750 the dealer gets for the unit with the OEM logo on it………..,
It certainly looks like it's going to come to that. If it does, I'm going to have to decide if I want to go to the effort myself or pay to have my mechanic do it.
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:24 AM   #4
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Just remember, when you take something like this to a shop, you are looking at a "time and materials" effort, which can get very expensive in and of itself, and before you take any corrective actions. We have had "leak hunts" that took over three hours of shop time (pulling lower covers off, sweeping the engine and radiator bays, etc.) before we even found the leak. This is a good “sweat equity” project, and you will know what really needs to be done before the first wrench is turned in anger………….
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:17 AM   #5
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heat exchanger?

I'm no mechanic but maybe? If you'll recall blue2000S, last week my blue 2000S puked coolant all over my driveway. It was obvious though. Infamous coolant cap. Got the one ending in -04 on and no problems yet... I wish the best of luck for you.

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Old 05-14-2010, 08:36 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by SeanZ4
I'm no mechanic but maybe? If you'll recall blue2000S, last week my blue 2000S puked coolant all over my driveway. It was obvious though. Infamous coolant cap. Got the one ending in -04 on and no problems yet... I wish the best of luck for you.

sean
I should have mentioned, I'm using the .03 cap, it's about a year old. I don't think it's the cap though as I seem to be loosing coolant somewhere when I use the pump that replaces the cap.
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:39 AM   #7
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I should have made myself more clear. I didn't think it was your coolant cap. I was suspecting the heat exchanger. Do you have any coolant in your oil?

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Old 05-14-2010, 11:19 AM   #8
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Since the pressure is decreasing slowly, my guess would be one of the gaskets.

Good luck though and please keep us updated! Thinking about it, it might be easier if you were to take off the bumper to expose the radiator, open the engine compartment, jack the car up, and wait til night time before running the car and UV light. Should make things easier and quicker for you.
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:00 PM   #9
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Radiator Smell

That's odd, I had a bad leak and had to replace the water pump, I also replaced the cap and belt. After I did this there was no leak but I noticed a smell. The coolant did not drop so I did not pursue it.

Please let us know what you find out, Thank You.
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SeanZ4
I should have made myself more clear. I didn't think it was your coolant cap. I was suspecting the heat exchanger. Do you have any coolant in your oil?

sean
Nothing external to the oil cooler. I'm not seeing any indication of coolant in the oil.
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Old 05-21-2010, 08:22 AM   #11
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I added the UV dye and ran the car for a while. I pulled off the under-panels and looked at the water pump area, radiators, and the coolant fittings. Still no luck on finding where the coolant is going. The oil doesn't appear to be glowing. But I'm not sure if there was coolant in it, it would be enough to show up.

I'm still noticing the sweet smell when I start the car hot. So it's going in to the mechanic on Tuesday.
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Old 05-21-2010, 09:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue2000s
I added the UV dye and ran the car for a while. I pulled off the under-panels and looked at the water pump area, radiators, and the coolant fittings. Still no luck on finding where the coolant is going. The oil doesn't appear to be glowing. But I'm not sure if there was coolant in it, it would be enough to show up.

I'm still noticing the sweet smell when I start the car hot. So it's going in to the mechanic on Tuesday.
use your nose....really...try and catch a wiff ..is it the hvac ducts...coming in the window...front/rear of car..inside /outside...some cars have their heater fan motors running at very low speed even when the system is off so the smell could be coming from the vents via the heater core area
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Old 05-21-2010, 09:29 AM   #13
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You could have a slight leak in the head that is going directly into the combustion chamber and being burnt off. Possible head gasket, but more likely a cracked head...........
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Old 05-21-2010, 09:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by extanker
use your nose....really...try and catch a wiff ..is it the hvac ducts...coming in the window...front/rear of car..inside /outside...some cars have their heater fan motors running at very low speed even when the system is off so the smell could be coming from the vents via the heater core area
As noted, the heater core is completely dry.
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Old 05-21-2010, 09:40 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by JFP in PA
You could have a slight leak in the head that is going directly into the combustion chamber and being burnt off. Possible head gasket, but more likely a cracked head...........
I think you're probably right. I hope it's just the gasket.
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:56 PM   #16
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head gasket does make sense actually. That'd be a good reason why you're not seeing the glow.
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:51 PM   #17
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sup ? fixed ?
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:52 PM   #18
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No findy the leaky. All cylinders scoped after holding pressure on the tank for 12 hours and still nothing. It didn't drop this time either. I'll have to keep an eye on it and address it if it gets worse.
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:03 AM   #19
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Weird!! : I found my car with low antifreeze before too (which is why I'm interested). Added distilled water and problem went away. Go figure.


Quote:
Originally Posted by blue2000s
No findy the leaky. All cylinders scoped after holding pressure on the tank for 12 hours and still nothing. It didn't drop this time either. I'll have to keep an eye on it and address it if it gets worse.
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Old 05-28-2010, 11:28 AM   #20
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Possibly MOF#12, a cracked cylinder head... Check the oil for coolant intrusion.

The cracked head MOF is becoming more frequent as the water pumps in these engines get more time on them and are not being changed as they should due to high time and age.

How does the water pump crack the head?? well, first off the engine (as a whole) never totally overheats when this occurs, the gauge never shows an elevated temp, all of a sudden you are missing coolant and then you notice coolant in the oil. Here is why:

You'll be reading this info first here before anywhere else, I haven't even added it to my site yet and have never shared this before.

For the past 4-5 years we've been seeing engines fail with cracked heads that had symptoms of overheating, but the engine never overheated. As we developed proper and extensive repairs for these cracks and milled away the area of the head where the crack originated prior to welding it we found small pieces of plastic inside the tiny orifices of the head. These small pieces of plastic were finding their way to the smallest passages in the cylinder head cooling jackets, then lodging there sideways thus shutting off the flow of coolant to one small area of the head. This creates a hot spot and then a crack.

Guess where that plastic comes from?? The POS plastic water pump impeller! Small pieces of the plastic chip off and enter the coolant, meanwhile no one knows the water pump is bad, because it doesn't make noise and the engine runs cool on the gauge.

I have 40,000 dollars worth of repairs in my facility right now that is directly attributed to these cracks that were positively created by the water pump impeller breakage.

This has happened to cars with as little as 38K miles on them. If you water pump has 50K, I'd change it this weekend. Its cheap and fairly easy to do. We now HAVE to finish the steel billet water pump impellers to kill this issue, it could even happen to one of our engines.

cracked heads don't have to leak into chambers/ cylinders.. they can leak into the cam cover area. Drain the oil and look for even the slightest coolant intrusion.

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