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Radiator is Emptying but no leaks..Any ideas?

Posted by xXEclipse, Nov 14, 2010
Newbie Forum - Beginner DSM modification questions and discussions. Common, repetitive, and general discussions will get dumped here from other tech forums. Unless you're a Probationary member you shouldn't post threads here.

  1. xXEclipse

    xXEclipse Proven Member

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    I had a leak from one of my hoses which recently got fixed. Now the car is over heating and all my water/coolant is gone. When the car is running and there is water in the reservoir it is bubbling i dont know if its boiling or just pumping but thats whats happening, then after a while it just drains but there is nothing coming out from underneath at least not visible. Any ideas what the problem can be?
     
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  2. Jeff99GS

    Jeff99GS Proven Member

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    Head gasket is bad :(
     
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  3. GsXdSmKingGsX

    GsXdSmKingGsX Supporting Member

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    If your coolant is disappearing your head gasket is more than likely gone my friend. Does your oil look milky at all?
     
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  4. LiquidX

    LiquidX DSM Wiseman

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    Check your coolant fill cap too. Discoloration in the coolant?
     
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  5. XiKeiyaZI

    XiKeiyaZI Supporting Member

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    This does not always mean a bad head gasket. There are several things that can cause this issue.

    1 : Check your coolant reservoir. These are known to leak. Pull it out, blow into the top. If there are any pinholes, you'll know.
    2 : A bad turbo with a bad seal/cracked coolant passage can cause this. It will blow coolant, burn it, or blast it into the coolant system which will cause the overfill to flow out.
    3 : A bad heater core.
    4 : Bad lines, leaking in places you can't easily see.
    5 : Your coolant cap could be bad, allowing the coolant to either spill out, or it would not allow pressure to build up and the coolant will simply evaporate.

    Your best bet is to pressure test your coolant system. Then do a compression test, a leak down test, and check the above noted things before you set off to pull the head. It's always best to start small and work your way up only to find out that when you pull the head that it was a cracked reservoir.

    Is it burning any smoke? What color? Is there a sweet smell when you drive your car? Is your oil an odd color? Details.
     
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  6. tazndrew04

    tazndrew04 Proven Member

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    theres alot of things that can cause your radiator to loose coolant,i agree with XIKeiyaZI
     
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  7. LiquidX

    LiquidX DSM Wiseman

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    You would have a lot more issues if you were loosing coolant internally through the turbo. It'll get into the oil before any thing else.
     
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  8. xXEclipse

    xXEclipse Proven Member

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    No discoloration in oil, no milkiness.. No loss in power, If the coolant reservoir was cracked wouldn't the radiator still have the water/coolant i filled it with? Also a pressure test was done and water leaked from my thermostat housing hoses but when the car is on/driving thats not leaking(i think i would see it)? Theres no smoke and no i dont think theres a sweet smell..
     
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  9. XiKeiyaZI

    XiKeiyaZI Supporting Member

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    Remember that when you're driving and the hotter the car gets/the longer it runs, everything get's pressurized. I'd replace those hoses where they're leaking...that shouldn't even be questioned.

    As far as losing coolant via the Turbo, I have a friend with a GST that this happened to. All that happened is he was burning coolant under boost. No null effects on his engine, just a bad turbo. Swapped the turbo and it was all fine. He didn't know where the coolant was going either until I followed him one day and he made a quick pull.
     
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  10. LiquidX

    LiquidX DSM Wiseman

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    Kei, perhaps he had a different setup on his turbo than what I'm thinking of. AFAIK the coolant passages in a turbo are surrounded by oil. If a crack occurred it would leak into the oil first which would be noticeable very quickly.

    I did find this picture however and it could be possible that there might be a heat crack behind the heat shield (behind the turbine). How it would form I couldn't say.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2014
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  11. RoasT BeeF

    RoasT BeeF Proven Member

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    It sounds like a head gasket problem to me. You might be pushing coolant. This happens mainly when under boost. The head lifts enough to let compression from the cylinder escape into the coolant passages and "push" coolant out the overflow bottle while you're driving down the road. Car eventually starts to overheat so you pull over and find there is no coolant and no signs of a leak.
     
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  12. MY1GDSM

    MY1GDSM Supporting Member

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    Do a Leak-down Test... .If you have the means to. It might not be obvious but if your pushing coolant and your coolant is full you may see air bubbles in the coolant although I wouldn't rule it out it you don't. But you could get an Idea what shape your motor is in if anything(IE it's just coolant leak not Lifted head)

    Edit: Did you do a pressure test of the radiator ? or a Leak down test? Sounds like if you did a pressure test(on the Radiator) you may have your awnser...
     
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  13. Jeff99GS

    Jeff99GS Proven Member

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    EXACTLY! if the coolant reservoir is bubbling, it is caused by cylinder pressure being forced into the cooling system via a lifting or leaking head gasket. So in this CASE the FIRST thing I would suspect is the HG. That is why I didn't mention anything else in the cooling system. You can replace all that other garbage...but you will just end up wasting more money. You dont always have to have milky oil/coolant with a bad HG.
     
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  14. XiKeiyaZI

    XiKeiyaZI Supporting Member

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    This is mostly true, however, the HG is not the only culprit that causes this. Again, if it is blowing coolant via the turbo it will cause this. I've seen it first hand. In fact I can likely go get a video of it sometime soon. Not saying that the HG is NOT the problem, I'm just stating that it's POSSIBLE.

    That's very interesting. I'm saving this cut-away without question. Leave it to you to dig something like this up.

    While it does look improbable, you can't rule it out. We've all seen weird things happen with these vehicles, haven't we? The only reason that I'd suggest this is if I knew there were proof, and I've seen it first hand. HG was good, no coolant in oil, and it very lightly smoked on idle. At Boost it would blow coolant. Ripped out the turbo, slapped a new one on, problem fixed. I'll see if I can get ahold of that buddy and ask if I can take his turbo apart and try to research it a bit and snap some pictures.

    Just for clarity's sake.. this was on a Stock T-25.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2014
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  15. flaatr

    flaatr Proven Member

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    Interesting thread... mine was doing the same thing. Coolant disappears, overhears, no coolant in the oil... no visible leaks.

    -Raffi
     
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  16. Talipse96

    Talipse96 Proven Member

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    I hope to see where this goes, I have a different car that has the same issue with the coolant boiling in the over flow.
    I hope your issue is something small and is an easy fix. Good luck. Hope your back up and running soon.
     
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  17. xXEclipse

    xXEclipse Proven Member

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    Also I forgot to add, i filled the car, drove it... It was fine, i boosted about 10 and the car felt normal as usual. No leaking when i checked besides a little overflow from filling the resrvoir too much. There was still water though when i got home.. When i woke up the next morning, the reservoir and Radiator were empty, Maybe im just not seeing the leak? Does this rule out the HG?
     
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  18. mike_tsi

    mike_tsi Proven Member

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    We had a similiar problem with the reservior and antifreeze being empty. Finally we switched the coolant cap and it seems to be fixed so far.
     
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  19. XiKeiyaZI

    XiKeiyaZI Supporting Member

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    So, just to clarify, even if you've already stated it above. Is the car smoking at all?
     
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  20. invictus

    invictus Probationary Member

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    i had the same issue it is a head gasket sad to say.
     
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  21. ILL122

    ILL122 Proven Member

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    I just had the same thing happen to me 2 days ago!! After replacing the termostat and the radiator cap i did a compression test on all cylinders and they were fine so you may not have to worry just yet. Deffinietly test as much as possible though. Mine ended up sucking air into the system and pushing the fluid out because one of the clamps were not tight enough. Good luck!
     
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  22. iminadaze

    iminadaze Proven Member

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    If the car overheats, the pressure created in the radiator could cause a boiling effect in the reservoir when the cap relieves the pressure even when the HG is not bad. It is strange that after you checked the fluid level (relieving the pressure) and leaving the car overnight that the fluid would be gone and not all over the ground.

    Another thing you may want to check is the heater core...
     
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  23. Demon33

    Demon33 Proven Member

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    Please keep us posted on your progress and troubleshooting. I have a similar problem so I am very interested to see what the outcome of this thread is.

    Sorry, but I don't really have more to offer than what has already been stated by others. Good luck.
     
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  24. smprende10

    smprende10 Proven Member

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    You said you pressure tested the radiator. If you still can do it again, one quick way to see if its your head gasket is to pressurize the system then start it see if the pressure jumps up. It does this because of the compression of the piston being able to get to the water jackets in your block
     
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  25. xXEclipse

    xXEclipse Proven Member

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    No, no Smoking, and the pressure did not jump i remember it clearly. Ill try to check my clamps, i just dont know what to do =/

    Doesn't it leaking while the engine is not running rule out head gasket? =/
     
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