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Blew a hole in top radiator hose
Driving along tonight, had only traveled about 7-8 miles, no higher than 50mph, came to a stop light, check gauges flashes up, battery gauge drops to L, then smoke starts pouring from the hood. I pulled into the parking lot, opened the hood and their was antifreeze everywhere, it was literally dripping from the underside of the hood. I looked down and there was about an inch hole in the radiator hose going from the engine block to the radiator. I shut the engine down for an hour, let it cool, cranked it up and limped it home the short few miles, when the temp started to raise slightly the battery gauge dropped again, apart from that I got home safely.
Another piece of info that may help. About 2 months ago I had a small radiator leak, I put in a bottle of the stop leak, worked great, but surely this would not have anything to do with this. I have driven on plenty longer journeys since I added it.
Just looking for any info as to what may have caused this, and could it really be as simple as putting a new hose on to repair, could I be that lucky? Also what would the batteries drop in power have to do with it?
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I would replace the radiator, and the hose and do a COMPLETE Flush and fill of the system with HOAT Coolant....
Hoses break all the time, there is nothing you can do to prevent it other than check your hoses periodically, if they feel stiff, or begin to "crack" on the outside, then it's likely time to consider replacing them before they rot through to the inside of the hose.
Coolant possibly soaked everything including the charging circuit of the alternator. Replace the hose, fill with HOAT coolant and try to get everything electrical cleaned and dried out. Hopefully that will solve the charging problem. Let us know.
The charging problem is because the coolant was making the serpentine belt slip. Same thing happened to me a few weeks ago. Coolant everywhere under the hood, belt squealing, and then the voltmeter went to nothing. Once I rinsed and dried everything off, it was all back to normal.
Radiator additives do clog and block coolant passages within the block and the radiator itself..hence why it can seal up leaks. It almost always puts excessive deposits in your heater core and restricts the amount of heat you can obtain in your cab!
It can also move around continuously even after it's settled in place. it can move in chunks and block things up!
Using stop leak is only a temporary fix. Depending on it to hold to get back and forth to work..etc is ridiculous. You likely have a flow problem and it is putting excess pressure on your hose which is why it could have blown. Also, these hoses are not meant to last forever.
I would highly recommend a thorough cooling system flush with the chemicals they sell at the store. Replace your patched up radiator and add in fresh coolant!
If you are not in freezing temps, and want the best clean possible, you can do the following:
Drain system completely and flush with water to get all coolant out., fill entire system with water...take the powdered dish detergent and pour in a couple of packets directly into the radiator. Get your vehicle to operating temp and add water as needed to burp the system of all air. **If you dont have a radiator cap, the detergent must be mixed with hot water first and then poured into the reservoir so it doesn't clog up the port hole. Drive for a couple of days to circulate and clean the inside of your system. Yes, there will be floating debris and your reservoir will start to turn brown(shows it's working). You can then drain and flush the system again. Flush extremely well to get all soapy solution out. You may want to fill up with water after you flushed and cycle the engine to have the water circulated at engine temp and then drain and flush again. Fill with HOAT coolant. Brand spankin new inside..everywhere! I've used this method for a lot of my DD cars. Works awesome everytime. It's time consuming and repetitive with multiple flushes but it works well.
Went out today to replace the hose and see what else I could stumble across, opened up the oil cap and it is covered in a yellow sludge, I am convinced it's a blown head gasket now.
Not necessarily, BUT could be.
If you drive short distances, you will accumulate that sludge under the oil cap. It's because short trips dont allow moisture inside the engine to burn off in vapor. Engines require a certain amount of time before they are able to vaporize all the moisture when running.
Bad HG between a combustion chamber and coolant jacket will put exhaust gases in the coolant system which increases pressure. Typically faster than your pressure cap can blow off. The newer vehicles dont even have a pressure cap so it makes it even worse.
You can do an exhaust gas check on your coolant system BUT with fresh coolant...you'll get false positive readings. Kinda screwed there. Best bet is to open the reservoir cap and smell for exhaust gases.
So I bought a new radiator, upper hose, thermostat and fitted them all. I still have no coolant circulation at all. I filled up the radiator tonight and ran the truck for about 15-20 minutes and the top radiator hose was freeing cold the whole time. Really starting to lose my patience with this one.