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Coolant Leak

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  #1  
Old 10-22-2006, 10:17 PM
acit_marcl acit_marcl is offline
 
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Default Coolant Leak

2000 B3500 5.2L van. I have a coolant leak that I can not see. I took it to tires plus to have a cooling pressure test and they said that they could not see any leaks but that indeed the system was losing pressure. I have checked the coolant a lot the past month and when I fill the overflow tank it only takes two days for the level to drop drastically however it always will leave some at the bottom of the tank even if I don't fill it up for a long while so it doesn't seem to completely drain. When I pick it up from tires plus i did notice white smoke after starting it out the tail pipe which then diminished but it was also only about 34 degrees out so not sure if weather related or not. I also do not have any heat coming out of the vents. It only blows cold. any input would be appreciated

Thanks
Marc
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  #2  
Old 10-23-2006, 07:13 PM
steve05ram360 steve05ram360 is offline
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Default RE: Coolant Leak


Quote:
ORIGINAL: acit_marcl

2000 B3500 5.2L van. I have a coolant leak that I can not see. I took it to tires plus to have a cooling pressure test and they said that they could not see any leaks but that indeed the system was losing pressure. I have checked the coolant a lot the past month and when I fill the overflow tank it only takes two days for the level to drop drastically however it always will leave some at the bottom of the tank even if I don't fill it up for a long while so it doesn't seem to completely drain. When I pick it up from tires plus i did notice white smoke after starting it out the tail pipe which then diminished but it was also only about 34 degrees out so not sure if weather related or not. I also do not have any heat coming out of the vents. It only blows cold. any input would be appreciated

Thanks
Marc
check your heater core. it could be leaking. one way to checkis to feel the carpet on passenger side of the motor and see if it's wet. if it is, then your core is leaking.
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  #3  
Old 10-23-2006, 08:23 PM
acit_marcl acit_marcl is offline
 
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Default RE: Coolant Leak

If it was a head gasket, would it leave any coolant in the tank and radiator or would it burn it all? I did not notice any wetness on the passenger side. a few different times when i was making deliveries I think that there was a faint smell of coolant.
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  #4  
Old 10-23-2006, 08:25 PM
acit_marcl acit_marcl is offline
 
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Default RE: Coolant Leak

forgot to ask wouldn't they have notice the core leak at tires plus when they did the coolant system test?

Thanks
Marc
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  #5  
Old 10-23-2006, 08:39 PM
steve05ram360 steve05ram360 is offline
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Default RE: Coolant Leak

not if it's dribbling out. pull up the carpet on that side and feel under it. if you have a leaky head gasket, it would blow white smoke on the often side. it would also tend to run crappy if it's a big enough leak. how many miles/days does it take to require a re-fill?
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  #6  
Old 10-23-2006, 08:59 PM
acit_marcl acit_marcl is offline
 
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Default RE: Coolant Leak

it is about three days or 360 miles. but then after a while i decided to no fill it up for a while as I was told that as long as there is some coolant in the overflow tank even if minimal then not to worry. so i went about three weeks without filling but checking often and noticed that it never drained all the way. temp gauge remained normal. this van does have 525,000 miles on it. at times after starting and first driving it revs up but takes off slowly after that it drives fine.

Thanks
Marc
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  #7  
Old 10-23-2006, 09:01 PM
acit_marcl acit_marcl is offline
 
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Default RE: Coolant Leak

forgot to say that when i turn the blower on it squeaks at times and during loud squealing there will be no air coming out
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  #8  
Old 10-23-2006, 09:11 PM
steve05ram360 steve05ram360 is offline
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Default RE: Coolant Leak

whoever said that the overflow tank is your "reserve" (so to speak) and your ok was an idiot. your rad cooling system needs attention and with the # of miles on it, i'd be the head gasket is leaking. one test the mechanics can do is test for hydrocarbons in the cooling system, this would indicate exhaust gas is getting into it thru the head gasket. however if this was the case you'd be overheating. you might want to check the block on both sides to see if there is any evidence of leakage out any of the freeze plugs or seepage coming from where the head meets the block.
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  #9  
Old 10-24-2006, 07:20 PM
acit_marcl acit_marcl is offline
 
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Default RE: Coolant Leak

Steve,

I checked around the motor today and did not notice any leaks besides a tiny bit of wetness around the valve cover but nothing alarming as for around the head did not notice anything. there was no wetness on the passenger side either. also I paid more attention to the way it drove and the engine feels smooth and strong, nothing different than when I bought it a year ago before the coolant leak. I have read on this blog about a guy that the same problem with illusive coolant leak and he found out that there was a core hose leak even he could't not see any wetness anywhere.

Thanks
Marc
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  #10  
Old 10-24-2006, 07:30 PM
steve05ram360 steve05ram360 is offline
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Default RE: Coolant Leak

well thats good to here, couple of places to look for a leak would be at the t-stat housing, it is a common leak area and may be dribbling out, the weep hole on the water pump and also heater core (I think you said you checked and found nothing). another reason for loosing coolant is a bad radiator cap, however with you having a mechanic look at it, it sounded like he put a pressure cap on it and put 15~16 lbs of pressure and you watched it bleed down. one other thing you might do is bring it back to him and ask him to put the pressure pump back on, then go look for the leak.
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  #11  
Old 10-28-2006, 06:56 PM
acit_marcl acit_marcl is offline
 
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Default RE: Coolant Leak

I am about to change the thermostat and was wondering if I should flush the system with coolant flush stuff before or after changing thermostat.

Marc
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  #12  
Old 10-29-2006, 05:11 AM
steve05ram360 steve05ram360 is offline
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Default RE: Coolant Leak

do it before the swap... that way you know the t-stat is clean when your ready to button it up.
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  #13  
Old 10-29-2006, 11:33 AM
acit_marcl acit_marcl is offline
 
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Default RE: Coolant Leak

Update! Did the swap and the flush. Since then, the heater blower does not squeal. but still blows cold air. did not notice leak around stat housing when I did the swap.
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  #14  
Old 10-30-2006, 06:10 PM
steve05ram360 steve05ram360 is offline
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Default RE: Coolant Leak

it could be the valve that controls flow to the heater core, or you have air in the system. turn the heater control to full hot and postion the van so that the radiator neck is the highest point, and re-fill while it's running and warmed up. make sure you leave the cap off when it's cold before you start. you can squeeze the lower rad hose to help move coolant thru the system... that is said to help in removing air bubbles.
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  #15  
Old 10-31-2006, 06:43 PM
acit_marcl acit_marcl is offline
 
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Default RE: Coolant Leak

Still can't find the coolant leak at this point is it safe to assume that it could head gasket?
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  #16  
Old 10-31-2006, 09:00 PM
steve05ram360 steve05ram360 is offline
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Default RE: Coolant Leak

I tried looking thru your posts but couldnt find the answer to this... did you ever swap the cap? do a pressure test on the radiator? could your radiator be leaking at the top so the coolant is evaporating off under pressure?

I would say if the above has been done/checked, do a leak down test and see if you get any air in the cooling system.
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  #17  
Old 11-05-2006, 02:24 AM
acit_marcl acit_marcl is offline
 
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Default RE: Coolant Leak

I had a leak down test done today and found out that the lower intake manifold gasket is leaking. So I am going to work on it this weekend and not having done this exact repair I want to make sure that I have everything ready. Besides the gaskets is there anything else I am going to need?

Thanks
Marc
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  #18  
Old 11-06-2006, 02:44 PM
steve05ram360 steve05ram360 is offline
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Default RE: Coolant Leak

depends on what your planning to do... here are some DIY's writeups that may help.

plenum
http://www.dodgeforum.com/m_249261/tm.htm
if your doing the plenum gasket... use a felpro replacement gasket. better than the mopar one which still leaks over time.

water pump.
http://www.dodgeforum.com/m_224411/tm.htm
dont forget a new bypass hose. and use distilled water... prevents corosian inside the motor.
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  #19  
Old 11-06-2006, 07:39 PM
acit_marcl acit_marcl is offline
 
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Default RE: Coolant Leak

From wat the shop said, it was the lower intake manifold gasket that I will be replacing.

Thanks
Marc
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  #20  
Old 11-06-2006, 09:08 PM
steve05ram360 steve05ram360 is offline
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Default RE: Coolant Leak

yup, plenum... use a felpro gasket.
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Old 11-06-2006, 09:08 PM
 
 
 
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