coolant disappears and there r no leaks!


knight7
04-13-2006, 11:54 PM
v6 3.8 firebird. After every 8 or 9 days, i have to put more coolant to maintain the temerature gauge. Otherwise it keeps saying "check gauges" and the temperature needle reaches the red line. After a few minutes, the check gauges sign goes away and temp needle goes back to normal. This happens only when i am out of coolant and which i think is normal. The problem is that it only lasts for 7-9 days. In advance, i will tell you that it is totally leak proof. I have checked my car several times and i am seeing no leaks. If anyone knows the solution, please write and all ideas are welcomed. Thankyou

Philo
04-14-2006, 07:18 AM
v6 3.8 firebird. After every 8 or 9 days, i have to put more coolant to maintain the temerature gauge. Otherwise it keeps saying "check gauges" and the temperature needle reaches the red line. After a few minutes, the check gauges sign goes away and temp needle goes back to normal. This happens only when i am out of coolant and which i think is normal. The problem is that it only lasts for 7-9 days. In advance, i will tell you that it is totally leak proof. I have checked my car several times and i am seeing no leaks. If anyone knows the solution, please write and all ideas are welcomed. Thankyou

The anti-freeze mixture is going somewhere. If you are loosing that much (over a gallon a week), it should be obvious. I would say to check your oil for anti-freeze, but if you had that much in the oil you would know it already. :( The next thing I would check is tailpipe - for liquid (steam) going out even after the engine is warmed up. Also, since the anti-freeze mixture won't burn, rough running. Until you find the 'leak', I would add some anti-freeze every couple of days - first to protect your engine, because going to the temperature redline is not good, and second to see the exact amount you are loosing. You could check the loss by miles driven for instance.

I had a 64 Buick with that problem. A rel gave it to me because of the leak. I pulled the (aluminum) heads and found that one head had a defect, and was leaking anti-freeze into one cylinder. A new (junkyard) head and gasket fixed it.

knight7
04-14-2006, 08:53 AM
yea sometimes, small amount of liquid comes out of the exhaust pipe, but i thought this was normal. Also, i hope your talking about engine coolant and not antifreeze for the windshield cleaning. I always buy the more expensive one that costs like $10,the durex one for all Gm. On air filter cover, it says that coolant will burn off quickly if wrong one goes in to it. Any more help will be appreciated.
This is a little off topic but i will ask anyways. Is it true that if you replace your radiator cap with a low pressure cap, it helps the temperature to stay constant. Also, how does the thermostat work?

doodad
04-14-2006, 11:51 AM
Go to GM dealer and get a new cap.. you have a bad cap probably and it steams and you lose antifreeze.. also definetely rebleed the system and get the all air aut of the system..

you said there is no leak.. and l guess your car doesnt have enough antifreexe and there is air in the system.. fill the coolant tank, fill the radiator, rebleed the system and put the new cap. and drive it for a while, first u will see the engine goes hot but when the coolant goes all over the system, gauge will drop down..

anout termostat, it is so cheap and you can do it yourself.. l have no idea where the watepump is on v-6 engines but believe me termostat is so easy to replace..

(i hope this will solve the problem)

Erdal

knight7
04-14-2006, 01:05 PM
So, are u saying that i should flush the radiator with water to get the air out? Then after that i should put coolant/antifreeze in? But, i dont get the air part. How does air get in to the radiator? Sorry but i am learning ..
Yes i bought the radiator cap and a new thermostat. thnx

doodad
04-14-2006, 04:15 PM
So, are u saying that i should flush the radiator with water to get the air out? Then after that i should put coolant/antifreeze in? But, i dont get the air part. How does air get in to the radiator? Sorry but i am learning ..
Yes i bought the radiator cap and a new thermostat. thnx

l didnt say water.. there should be a goes from radiaotor to waterpump, u can loose that hose.. when the car is running, loose that hose and you will see water will sprayand come out of there and right away tight it back and air will be gone. but first fill the coolant tank and radiator with 50/50 coolant.. then rebleed it and then you should be fine. but if there is a leak which u cant see, then l cant say nothing.. if there is no leak, then probably my advice will fix your problem, because it fixed mine..

by the way, l am learning too and l know nothing about cars..:)

Erdal

karll
04-14-2006, 06:06 PM
by the way, l am learning too and l know nothing about cars..:)

hmm, that's a little disconcerting.

skibum1111
04-14-2006, 09:00 PM
Make sure the system is full. Start the car with the pressure cap off, add coolant as necessary. You should be able to let your car idle with the cap off until the fans turn on without loosing any coolant. It's normal for air to burp out if you have air in the cooling system. Keep it full, coolant shouldn't flow out if everything is ok. If your car overheats quickly, you have either a clog in the cooling system, a huge air pocket (very likely) or a gasket/head/block problem.

doodad
04-14-2006, 09:22 PM
hmm, that's a little disconcerting.

well, l know some little things but if u compare about knowing cars.. l am seriously do not know about cars and here everyone knows.. but learning qucikly tho..

knight7
04-14-2006, 11:05 PM
I will try that tomorrow after i get home from w0rk and then i have to change the alternator as well. I will post a reply after i do what you guys said. Hopefully, this solves out the problem. Thanx everyone though

83T/A98Blazer
04-15-2006, 06:45 PM
If you are losing coolant on a regular basis like that you have a leak somewhere. If there is no external leak it is more than likely either the intake gasket or a head gasket. Have you checked underneath the car? Sometimes when the intake gasket leaks you can not see the fluid unless you get under and look at the bottom, it may even look like it's dripping from the tranny. Another thing to check is the water pump. You will have to get underneath the car and look up at the bottom of the pump with a light. There is a "pee" hole on the bottom of it that the fluid will leak out of when the seal goes bad. It normally leaks from there while the car is hot and running, you won't see it leaking out, but it will be wet or stained around the hole.

knight7
04-16-2006, 01:26 PM
I didnt get time to fix the radiator problem but i installed the new alternator and a new belt with double cuts. This fairly took me an hour and half.
I have noticed another thing that i thought i should mention regarding the radiator. When the car is on, the tailpipe does give a very strong smell. :eek:
I also bought a thermostat and a pcv valve today. These will be installed tomorrow becuz its gonna be a sunny day:naughty: . Please list any precautions that i should take when installin the thermostat and pcv valve. Also, a quick over review of how to install these two wont hurt. Thanks a lot guys.

2000LS1Z28
04-16-2006, 05:06 PM
I didnt get time to fix the radiator problem but i installed the new alternator and a new belt with double cuts. This fairly took me an hour and half.
I have noticed another thing that i thought i should mention regarding the radiator. When the car is on, the tailpipe does give a very strong smell. :eek:
I also bought a thermostat and a pcv valve today. These will be installed tomorrow becuz its gonna be a sunny day:naughty: . Please list any precautions that i should take when installin the thermostat and pcv valve. Also, a quick over review of how to install these two wont hurt. Thanks a lot guys.

Well that strong odor is coolant burning on your tailpipe. There's either a leak on a line or your water pump. It's good that you are replacing your thermostat, as those have a tendency to go out. That along with the radiator cap will help the longevity of your car. I have a feeling its your water pump. How many miles are on your car, and how long has it been since you changed your water pump?

83T/A98Blazer
04-16-2006, 06:37 PM
If you smell it coming out of the rear tailpipe, you are burning it. Either your intake or head gaskets are leaking. Is it a sweet smell? You should be able to tell if it smells like coolant.

knight7
04-16-2006, 11:07 PM
hey doodad.. she's got 62k and water pump has never been changed. The odor is a very strong one and sometimes some type of liquid drips down from the exhaust tips. It looks like water. Personally, i do not think its a sweet smell. Its prolly concentrated CO.
I just spent about $250 repairing the car for problems and now this water pump!:banghead: .

doodad
04-17-2006, 02:36 PM
if u got no leak or something with the watyer pump, do not bother then.. well, coolant smells bad naturally.. especially when it burns.. if you rev the engine high, you can see water comes out of the pipe normally.. which means you are burning it and every cars burns it unless your is like a ton!!

ikeyballz
04-18-2006, 05:07 AM
aw man, sounds like a headgasket prob dude. that totally sucks. is the V6 a OHV of OHC?

if its a OHV you can probably fix it yourself. also, changing caps to a diff pressure is usually bad.. so get a replacement and if it still leaks, you sure its not external.. its going into your pistons.

take out a couple spark plugs and see if it looks unusual? then you dont have to open both banks.. just do one side.. i guess? :/ good luck.

knight7
04-18-2006, 09:17 PM
[quote=ikeyballz]the V6 a OHV of OHC?
quote]
I wish i knew wat that meant, but yea i replaced my radiator cap. I am going to bleed the radiator and see what happens. I am 100% sure that it is not an external leak. I check my radiator level everyday and it decreases a little by little. Plus i drive 40miles everyday.

Rmbodie
04-19-2006, 02:49 AM
I got to jump in on this, I suggest you have a compression test done . Everything about this sounds like a blown head gasket . Alluminum heads are bad for this esspecially if they are overheated . Have the cooling system pressure tested with the plugs out and check the cylinders for liquid afterward . Rob

frizbal
04-19-2006, 09:53 AM
hey doodad.. she's got 62k and water pump has never been changed. The odor is a very strong one and sometimes some type of liquid drips down from the exhaust tips. It looks like water. Personally, i do not think its a sweet smell. Its prolly concentrated CO.
I just spent about $250 repairing the car for problems and now this water pump!:banghead: .



if your talking about something coming out of the end of the tailpipe then its most likely just water from condensation in the pipes. Most cars do this.

CDJr
04-21-2006, 03:50 AM
Yep, Rmbodie is right, youve got a blown head gasket. Its probably going right out your exhaust. Just after you start it up, do your radiator hoses build up pressure fast? Sometimes thats a good sign that the gasket is blown. And so is fluid dripping outta the exhaust pipes.

gmack221
04-21-2006, 10:03 AM
If your not sure what the problem is take it to a shop to have them run a cooling system pressure test on the car, should only be cheap & will help find out how fast the leak is, & usually show where the leak is with the engine cold so you can move things around to find the leak. If they see a leak there but can't figure out where it is then have them pull the plugs & see if there's coolant in there, then run a compression test on all of the cylinders like Rmbodie said. Spend the money to diagnosis the problem not throw parts at the car in hopes of stumbling on the faulty part.

If you have a stain near the hole in the bottom of the water pump thats your problem, but it does sound like you may have a bad intake or head gasket, but don't jump to that conclusion, have it diagnosised, after all your water pump is nearing the magic 70,000 mile known fail zone.

How to keep from getting ripped off here ...
1. Take the car to a mechanic you trust
2. Take the car there & request to have the following test(s) run
- coolant pressure test
- if no leak found then check cylinders for coolant
- if no coolant found then compression test on every cylinder (to find one with low compression = head gasket)
3. If they claim its a head gasket make them show you the compression test for the bad cylinder & 2 normal cylinders. (if thats the problem & the mechanic wants the work he should have no problem spending 10 mins to prove to you thats the problem, if he doesn't show that to you - find another mechanic, its not like your saying "prove you know how to change spark plugs" your saying prove to me that this is the problem with my car before I pay you to fix this issue.) I hate to guess what they will charge you, but im guessing your talking about a $300 - $400 head gasket job, not a $20 tune up.
4. Do as much diagnosis work as you can on your own before you take it anywhere. You say it doesn't have an outside coolant leak, have you looked at the hole under the water pump to make sure there's no stains? Have you got the car warm then parked it for over an hour over very clean & dry concrete/cardboard/white paper? May seem a little extreme, but it helps determine if there is a leak anywhere easier then crawling under the car. If no leaks found then run while sitting on same surface for 15-20 mins, still no leaks then I'd believe its getting burnt & rest goes out tail pipe.
5. The worst thing anyone (especially a woman) can do is walk into a mechanics shop & say "I don't have a clue what the problem is, just fix it". Right there you just opened the door for a less then honest mechanic to make some extra cash fixing a small problem then telling you he had to replace your "flux capacitor" and it cost you big money. While there's plenty of honest mechanics out there that want your return business, there's as many that just want your cash any way they can get it.
6. Always ask for your old parts before they start the job, have someone who knows about auto parts look at the old parts to see if they are bad, see if they even came from your car. You can even take it to an auto parts store & have the guy behind the counter check it out if you have no one else, they can even pull a new part off the shelf to compare the two & show you the difference. If they say the parts were not bad then ask them to recomend a mechanic.

good luck & I hope its something simple, if not now you have some tips on how to keep from getting ripped off at a shop

knight7
04-21-2006, 11:09 PM
wow gmack.. that sure will help! The problem is that i am low on cash and another $300 spending over this weekend will surely make me a broke man. I hope that it is not the head gasket that everyone is talking about. I am not sure if i want to go to the mechanic over this weekend but i will check other things for sure. For example, i will look carefully for any leaks under the car(even though i have checked many times), water pump stains.
I was wondering if i could change the head gasket myself or do you recommend having it done by the mechanic. Will the diagnosis cost $300 or is it the labor for the installation of head gask3t. I will keep you guys informed on this! Again, i appreciate this kindfull help. Thank you very much.

gmack221
04-22-2006, 12:56 AM
If your mechanically inclined and have hand tools you could do it yourself, major tool you will need is a torque wrench & a haynes manual to step you thru it. Go to an auto parts store and buy a haynes manual and a compression tester, its as easy as taking out the spark plugs & screwing in the compression tester & having someone else turn over the engine. A compression tester is $35 at autozone, check all of the cylinders & that will tell you if you have a bad head gasket or not. The $300 was about what it should cost to get the head gasket replaced, you should be able to get the 2 test I told you to have done for under $100.

rather_b_boatin
04-22-2006, 03:59 AM
Everyone has posted really great info, only thing I'd like to add is I've it leak out of heater cores and stay in duct work or not get noticed soaking into carpet. The bird in question is a little low on mileage for this senerio.

gmack221
04-22-2006, 08:20 PM
something to check, but I skipped over that because he never said anything about smelling coolant inside the car, or a steamed up windshield, both of which would happen if the heater core were leaking. On most cars it runs out a small drain thru the firewall, so parking it over paper or clean concrete should show this.

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