anti-freeze leak


eaglehawk
06-06-2009, 07:44 PM
have been trying to locate slow leak in my 2001 montana for sometime . my mechanic tightened the intake manifold bolts which were loose and that took care of puddling on garage floor and around the top of engine.
still have slow leak but no evidence of location. he suggested i put pepper in radiator when cool. or egg. ever heard of this? any suggestions?

1999montana
06-07-2009, 02:16 PM
... he suggested i put pepper in radiator when cool. or egg. ever heard of this? any suggestions?....

I've heard of the pepper thing and the egg, but frankly, unless you want to make poached eggs the hard way, I'd hold off on the egg.:lol:

If the intake is no longer the source of the leak, (remember, even though it doesn't appear to be leaking outside, it could still be leaking into the intake and be drawn in during the intake stroke, then burned).

It may be a cylinder head gasket slowly going south. I have one that is slowly leaking around number one cylinder. Manifests as a wet inner CV joint on the passenger side.

I've used rad stop leak for now, which seems to have either slowed the leak down or stopped it entirely. Not a permanent fix, but we'll drive it until it 'splodes' and then dump it. The cost of fixing a potential intake / cylinder head combo would not be worth it and when I consider a possible transmission repair too (just serviced the trans yesterday in my garage), the math says don't bother.

To try the rad stop method and do this right, you have to drain a small amount of coolant out, top it with the rad stop (up here in Canada it comes in a 400 ml bottle premixed with antifreeze; - actual active ingredient, believe it or not, is paper!) and then put the amount removed in the overflow / recovery tank.

Just make sure you disconnect the rubber hose to the recovery tank (at the rad) and block it off temporarily before you drain a bit out, otherwise when you go to add the rad stop gravity will cause the coolant stored in the recovery tank to run in and overflow on the ground.

rdh2
06-07-2009, 09:48 PM
have been trying to locate slow leak in my 2001 montana for sometime . my mechanic tightened the intake manifold bolts which were loose and that took care of puddling on garage floor and around the top of engine.
still have slow leak but no evidence of location. he suggested i put pepper in radiator when cool. or egg. ever heard of this? any suggestions?

:banghead: Anyone who suggests something as stupid as pepper or an egg to mask a coolant leak is a moron. :disappoin

There is a specific torque and torque sequence on the lower intake manifold bolts. If your mechanic randomly tightened a few of them, then he did you a mis-service. Maybe you need to find a better mechanic.

Really, with the well documented coolant leak issues on the 3.4 engine, a proper repair needs to be done.

Cressidaadr
06-13-2009, 08:12 AM
:banghead: Anyone who suggests something as stupid as pepper or an egg to mask a coolant leak is a moron. :disappoin

There is a specific torque and torque sequence on the lower intake manifold bolts. If your mechanic randomly tightened a few of them, then he did you a mis-service. Maybe you need to find a better mechanic.

Really, with the well documented coolant leak issues on the 3.4 engine, a proper repair needs to be done.

I agree. You still have either a IMG or head gasket leak, or both. Keep driving it and you will ruin the camshaft bearings which basically destroys the engine.

Do not even think about putting pepper into coolant ! If you have done the repairs before you would understand like those of us who have been there.

I would change the oil NOW and not drive more than 300 miles before I find another mechanic who has experience with these engines unless you plan on turning it into a junkyard dog very soon.

cdru
06-15-2009, 01:07 PM
I've never head of the pepper, but I have about the egg. Mythbusters had a show a few seasons ago and they tested that "myth" and it was confirmed. I forget what size hole it was, but I believe they made it with an awl so it was more then a pinhole, but not a gaping hole either. They did say that they didn't expect it to last long term, but in a pinch it actually worked if you HAD to do it.

It is important to make sure the LIM gasket repair is done properly, but you don't necessarily have immediately have it done without doing a little investigation. A few cheap tests may save you money down the road.

A oil analysis (http://www.blackstone-labs.com/gas_engines.html) will tell you if there is coolant in your oil. It won't rule out the LIM gasket or head gasket, but it will tell you if there is a coolant leak internally. A cylinder compression check may also indicate a head gasket but won't tell you about the LIM gasket. There is also a test to detect exhaust gasses in your coolant.

Autozone has a coolant system pressure test gauge you can borrow with a deposit or purchase that you can safely pressurize your coolant system and see if it holds pressure or bleeds down. It can be used to help pinpoint leaks with a cool engine before things warm up and expand, or evaporate.

Finally NAPA sells a UV dye that will glow under a real black light, even after the coolant has evaporated off. Nice to detect small leaks.

There is a rats nest of coolant hoses behind the engine with a bunch of clamps and fittings. I've had several hoses deteriorate from the inside out that were hard to find, as well as one fitting that also cracked during my 98 Transports life. With all those cases, the leaks were hard to detect as there was very rarely a puddle on the ground to indicate the leak. It would only leak onto the ground after a short trip where the coolant became pressurized, but the engine wasn't hot enough to heat up the back of the engine compartment and evaporate dribbles before they reached the ground.

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