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Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (Not Computer-Related)' started by texastoy4her, Oct 14, 2008.

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  1. texastoy4her

    texastoy4her Thread Starter

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    Hey All,

    I am having trouble with my 96 Chevy P/U . Over the past year, I have replaced the water pump, thermostat (twice), and the heater core. When these were replaced all were bad. The water pump had gone out, the thermostat was sticking, and the heater core was leaking. But am still losing water out of the radiator.

    I have looked and do not see where it might be leaking any where.

    Am just curious if any one has any suggestions or ideas as to what might be causing this?

    Thanks for the time and help.
     
  2. wacor

    wacor Banned

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    have you checked the oil?

    see if it looks milky or normal
     
  3. Drabdr

    Drabdr Moderator

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    (y)

    Boy... for your sake I hope Wacor is not right. But... you need to check it to know.

    When you say you check the radiator... that's kind of hard to do. By the time you get the pressure up in the system, the water may burn off of wherever you are checking. I'm speaking a bit out of school here, but I think mechanics and such have a way to pressurize and find the leak; not sure on that one.

    Could it be leaking around the pump? Did you change the hoses? How is the temperature indication on the vehicle? Does the radiator cap have a good seal?

    What kind of mixture are you putting in there? Any known issues with your water around there?

    Off-topic: Hope you faired the storms OK where you are.(y)
     
  4. mrss

    mrss Guest

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    When you say losing water, do you mean coolant is going into the overflow tank and coming out? Or do you mean the level keeps dropping and you have to keep filling the overflow tank? Also, there's no overheating going on?
     
  5. texastoy4her

    texastoy4her Thread Starter

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    Hi, thanks for the replies.

    No I had not checked the oil yet to see if it was milky. Had not thought of it. But will when wife gets home from work and post back to let you all know the results.

    When checking the radiator, I am just trying to do the best visual inspection. Trying to see if there was water dripping from underneath somewhere. And I called myself checking around the water pump as well, and saw no leaks any where.

    Normally have a 50/50 mixture, but right now is more water than coolant as that is what is happening. It's water level keeps dropping and I have to add to it. Known issues, well we do have hard water but other than that I'm not sure....

    Also not sure about the radiator cap... Not sure how to check that other than letting the truck get hot and see if it starts leaking from around that??

    The hoses all appear ok.

    Yes it has ran hot. The temp gauge got up to 235 which normal for this truck has only been 200 or less.

    Off topic...thanks for the concern. We are fine. We missed the hurricane. I am 100 miles south southwest of Houston so all we got was some wind.
     
  6. mrss

    mrss Guest

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    Radiator caps are inexpensive and replacing them is the first thing I would do if the problem was coolant going into the overflow tank and spilling over, but your problem is disappearing coolant with no apparent leaks? It will run hotter until you refill when the level is down.

    For me, that's always been water pump. LOL, the last time I had that problem was checking my car before a trip. Saw the radiator was down. Uh oh. That's bad, said I as I filled it. Sure enough, 200 miles later the pump bearing gave out and I had a gusher that left the car Found On Road Dead (FORD). By the way, it was a replacement pump only a year old. Junk from Autozone.

    Or it could be a loose clamp on one of the new hoses. Hope it's not head gasket.

    Good luck.
     
  7. wacor

    wacor Banned

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    If no water is showing up anywhere I suspect this is what is going on. Unfortunately
     
  8. texastoy4her

    texastoy4her Thread Starter

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    Hi everyone,

    Sorry it's taken so long to post back, but wanted to give it a couple days and see what's going on.

    Checked the oil and all is well there, so no head gasket leak.

    And so far haven't had to had any more water.

    So apparently, it's just a small leak somewhere.

    Either round the cap or maybe a small hole.

    I've seen those radiator stop leak products in the stores. Do those work or no? Where you just pour the stuff in and bam it's suppose to stop.....
     
  9. wacor

    wacor Banned

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    those kinds of things are just stop gaps IMO

    try idling the car for a while and put some paper underneath. maybe you can then better pin point the area where the leak is coming from.
     
  10. Guyzer

    Guyzer

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    Do not use those stop leak products. By the very nature of what they are designed to do they can do more harm than good. They are designed to plug holes and over time that can include small water galleries, rads, heater cores etc.

    Some things that have been missed so far is........
    How often do you have to add water and how much do you add? Please be as precise as you can. Also, does your engine have a block heater installed? What area do you live in?

    In the meantime please exercise care in adding water alone especially if you live in a cold climate. A 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze will normally leave your mixture good for -30. It also increases the boiling point so that's a consideration for hotter climates. It's good medicine for a cooling system and water alone is not.
     
  11. Knotbored

    Knotbored

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    Another outlet for a small head gasket leak is out the exhaust. All cars steam a little out the exhaust when starting on a cold morning (condensation) but that should disapear quite quickly. If your exhaust continues to steam or if water dripps from the exhaust after its warmed up then its back to a possible head gasket.
     
  12. Mumbodog

    Mumbodog

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    If you suspect a head gasket leak

    This will detect most head gasket failures, but not all. You can buy one of these in most Napa parts stores.

    http://www.amazon.com/Lisle-Combustion-Leak-Detector/dp/B0007ZDRUI

    Most head gasket leaks on that engine are usually in the combustion area of the gasket, so small amounts of exhaust gas leak into the cooling system, and can be detected with this kit. The lower intake gasket can leak also, usually at the back of the cylinder head where it is hard to see, and if small enough, evaporate before the coolant reaches the ground.

    235 degree's is not hot enough to damage a head gasket unless it is already damaged from corrosion and high mileage. But if there is no water near the temp sensor due to a leak, that reading is inaccurate and could have been much higher.
     
  13. texastoy4her

    texastoy4her Thread Starter

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    Hi everyone,

    Sorry it has taken so long to get back. Been busy doing things around the house.

    I guess I acted a little to quickly. I have not had to add any more water since the original post. Sorry everyone. I was just kind of anticipating it since it has seemed to have been a problem over the past year lol.

    Thanks for all the help and suggestions. Will know what to do next though in case :)
     
  14. Knotbored

    Knotbored

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    One parting thought since your water disapearing problem went away.
    Perhaps you had air trapped in the hose above your thermostat-like an air-lock and your thermostat wasn't in hot water so water couldn't enter.
    A solution a mecchanic told me years ago:
    When draining a radiator for antifreeze, replacing a thermostat or a water pump-
    Place an asperin under the guts of the thermostat you spring apart with finger pressure and immediatly add fluid and start car. The asperin prevents the thermostat from closing until water flushes out all the trapped air.
     
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