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Old 07-11-2010, 04:07 PM   #1
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CEL on the highway making Wal-mart pitstop

So of course this happens on the way back home of a long drive on a Sunday evening and the day after I took the OBD scanner out of the car. ...
the check engine light just came on. I pull over thinking I might have left the oil cap loose last night. I checked the dip stick and it seemed pretty dry. The not so accurate digital oil level gauge indicated one bar below so I added a 1/4 of a bottle of Syntec. Let it sit a bit tried the digital gauge again and it back to being on the money.
Fast forward 30 minutes ago and the oil cap is not loose. But... The coolant is way low about half of the minimum hash mark.
I'm about to run into the wal-mart and top it off. I recently had the tank flushed.

Suggestions before I pull a stupid? Leaking/cracked tank?

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Old 07-11-2010, 04:15 PM   #2
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maybe some air got burpped out
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:23 PM   #3
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just checked it again and the coolant is lower than I first noticed or its leaking fast.
There's barely a 1/4 inch of coolant showing.
Oil temp and level is fine though.
What kind of water should I mix the coolant with?
looks like I'm headedfor the Indy first thing tomorrow..

Hmm wal mart only has dex-cool, peak and super tech brands.
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:43 PM   #4
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only what ive read on the internet....peakglobal lifetime....if they have distilled water put that in until you see a shop...myself..i would put water in it so i didnt have to walk home
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Old 07-11-2010, 05:20 PM   #5
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Being only one bar down on the digital oil gauge should not give you a CEL, so the oil level has nothing to do with it. If your oil cap was loose, the car would idle funny. If your coolant is leaking out, your coolant light should go off, not the CEL, so that's a little strange I'd think. Can you see coolant leaking out anywhere?...under the center of the car (water pump), or right in front of the rear wheel (coolant tank/bleeder valve)?

I'd refill with distiller water until you can get back to the indie shop.
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Old 07-11-2010, 05:28 PM   #6
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how much water should I add?
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Old 07-11-2010, 05:31 PM   #7
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till its full...if it takes the gallon ya gots trouble
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Old 07-11-2010, 05:40 PM   #8
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Add water till it reads between the two lines, or even to the fill line, and then start the car and see if any leaks out. If it's gushing out, see what location it's coming from so that you can determine what is causing the problem (ie. Water pump or tank). If your water pump, you might as well get it towed now, since you prob won't make it home. If coolant tank leak, you may be able to nurse it home if you carry extra water with you and keep refilling as you lose coolant.
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:52 AM   #9
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And the verdict is?....
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Old 07-12-2010, 04:40 AM   #10
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I made it home so I didn't add the distilled water I picked up along the way. There seemed to be no coolant left. I figured I'd let it cool off completely..the cap was on crazy tight didn't remove at all. I could see no puddles or any leak from underneath.
The CeL was P01276 which I used to get before I changed the 02 sensors

Should I add the distilled water now before I head over to the Indy or let them figure out where the leak is? Its a 5 minute drive.
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:15 AM   #11
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I'd add it now. In all likely hood, the leak will either be the coolant tank, water pump, or one of the hose connections to a front radiator (if the bleeder valve and cap aren't causing massive dumping of coolant when car shut off at a stop - evident by dumping coolant just in front of right rear wheel). All of which will necessitate draining most of the system to R&R. Even if you add 1 gal of distilled water, you won't upset the 50/50 balance too much as the entire system holds 4.75 to 6.08 gal depending on tip and/or S model.
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:55 AM   #12
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it took about half a gallon of the distilled water to get it up near the max fill line.
No puddle on the floor from the night before. We'll see if there's any tonight when I get home. Luckily I only drive on the weekend.
Couldn't get the Indy on the phone I'll have to bring it by tomorrow. The shop is usually booked solid.
by the way, what does it cost to repalce the coolant tank or water pump?
I hope the$300 for the one and only coolant flush isn't going down zee drain.
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:17 AM   #13
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Either jobs at a NJ dealer will cost you about $1k. Indie...about $600.
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Old 07-12-2010, 11:49 AM   #14
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If you had lost half a gallon of coolant externally, you would both see and smell it.

This leaves either an internal leak, or the system had an air pocket in it that got burped out during your drive.

Given your recent coolant flush, the most likely cause is an air pocket. Nothing to worry about.

You should, however, check your oil, just in case. An internal leak of half a gallon of coolant would show up as milk shake.
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Old 07-12-2010, 01:26 PM   #15
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I pulled back the carpet and I couldn't find any coolant anywhere. If there's an internal leak wouldn't that show up on my gauges after a long middle of summer drive (200 miles)?

Come to think of it ever since the RMS was replaced with the obligatory oil change, I've been getting funny read outs on the digital oil gauge. The temp gauges are fine though recently when in the garage after parking I felt as though there were a lot more heat coming from engine/back of the car. I'm not sure if this just the above average summer temps lately.
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Old 07-12-2010, 02:17 PM   #16
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Gauges won't show internal mixing of coolant and oil. Again, low probability, but I would check the oil just in case.

Regarding your CEL, I assume your code is P1276. Did you already replace the O2 sensors, and now the code is coming back?
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:03 PM   #17
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Fluellen is telling you to check your oil by pulling out the dipstick and looking at it to see if your coolant internally has mixed with your oil. In that situation, your oil would look like a dark brown mustard or chocolate milkshake. If that happens, it's a bad sign.

Hopefully, it's just a case of a trapped air bubble. If so, your shop did a poor job of flushing and burping your system.
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluellen
Gauges won't show internal mixing of coolant and oil. Again, low probability, but I would check the oil just in case.

Regarding your CEL, I assume your code is P1276. Did you already replace the O2 sensors, and now the code is coming back?

yep. I wonder if this from some contamination from outside of the car (smoke pesticicide) that made its way into the garage. I should have pulled the car out. This was the day before I got the 1276 code.

nothing funny on the oil dip stick. Coolant level has not dropped 12 hours after adding half a gallon of water. air bubble hm...I'll reserve the seat time test for the drive over to the indy.

I also noticed that the cut out for the dip stick unit to pass through was loose. I had to push it back into place with my hand. any sealing issues there?
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:56 PM   #19
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a cracked tank will be pretty noticeable as your trunk will be a swimming pool under the carpet. stealership charged me ~$1200 for this replacement (covered by porsche since I just bought the car). it will require a new flush and fill.

it'll burp itself after you have driven it to temp and let it sit afterwards. i don't think it's an oil issue though.

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