Mech. replaced radiator, and the lower hose (new clamps too)...and the onboard computer still lets me know that there's a coolant level low. My mechanic replaced the cap with an 18 PSI, he's 'blown' the lines and can't find where this thing is leaking from. Any idea's?
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Re: Coolant Leak issues
First question is., Is the coolant actually low or is the computer just telling you that? Next, if it's full, remove the cap and run it for about ten or fifteen minutes with the heater on high. This will remove any air from the system. If coolant actually is leaking, the water pump is the first suspect. If the mechanic is pressure testing system, pressure will actually drive the pump seal against the shaft and prevent it from leaking. To check correctly, remove the cap and leave system open, then look or feel under the pump to see if anything is dripping or running out from the "weep hole" If radiator was changed after an overheat, then spark plugs and exhaust should be checked for coolant. (possible blown head gasket or crack in cyl head. This condition usually also comes with rougher than normal running, so at this point I would not get worried yet. good luck
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Before you go replacing a radiator, you need to check out why the quick overheat. Most likely due to low coolant which indicates a leak. Yes the core could be leaking...but it is not the most likely problem. If there is coolant dripping from the lower hose, it could be a simple matter of the lower hose clamp just needing to be tightened. They do work loose occasionally. Check the clamp, and tighten if needed. With the vehicle cold, check and refill the coolant in the both the radiator and the reservoir bottle. Run the vehicle to normal temperature and observe all connection points. IF no leaks are seen, use the vehicle normally and monitor coolant level for a week or so to ensure that you have solved the problem. If you are still loosing coolant, but have no visible signs of loss (drips or puddles under vehicle), then the problem could be a worn out water pump. They often tend to leak only when running and the lost coolant often evaporates on the engine block out of sight.
the thermostat housing is at the lower radiato hose that clamps onto the thermostat housing. With engine cool, drain fluid from radiator. The lower house is held on with a clamp. Un tighten hose clamp and remove hose.Unbolt thermostat housing and remove. Remove thermostat Clean housing and thermostat seat. Insatll new thermostat and gasket, with gasket sealer, and tighten thermostat housing.Reinstall hose and tighten clamp. Refill radiator with anti freez coolant.Start engine and let warm up to normal Check the heater temp. If heat is good, shut off engine and let cool down. Re check coolant level and fill if needed.Also when running, check for any leaks at hose and thermostat housing. If all checks good, YOUR DONE.
Can you identify WHERE it is leaking from? Is it just a slight dribble and a bit of steam, of a major leak where it is running out?
If it is from the rubber hoses or near the clamps? Your vehicle is quite old and the upper/lower radiator hoses may have to be replaced. A fairly simple loosening of hose clamps with a screwdriver or with a pair of pliers and then just levering them off their housings.
But first get a large sheet of cardboard or plastic and a shallow pan to catch the coolant as you let it drain. Let the engine cool first... test if the internal pressure has gone down by squeezing on the upper radiator hose... if it is easy to squeeze then it is safe to drain and empty the radiator with the little winged tap that is just on the lower, inside of the radiator. Loosen the radiator cap to allow air to enter the system and let the coolant flow out. (Careful with pets... they seem to love drinking the coolant... but it is poison!)
You can now change the upper/lower rad hoses and heater hoses and maybe a short by-pass hose.
IF the leak is just a minor seepage from the radiator or inside the heat core (you likely can smell the vapours of the steam of the leaking coolant inside, the likely cure is to my some "radiator stop leak" from an auto supply store. Follow the directions on the bottle, but most have a syrupy liquid and little metal pellets. You open the radiator cap (when it is cool or depressurized) then add the small bottle of radiator repair solution. Put the rad cap back on and then you have to go for a reasonably long drive (usually 30 minutes or so) to heat up the pellets and have them "melt" as little flecks of soft metal in the solution. The idea is that as the coolant attempts to leak out... these little metal flecks block the leak. IF you have the coolant totally dumping out and it is not a leaking hose, it may be the water pump and seal. I think I'd suggest that you get a mechanic to deal with that.... it is not an easy task for a DIYer ! I sincerely hope this helps. Please let me know... /denis
Turn off the engine as soon as you suspect a leak, to prevent the engine from overheating.
Determine which radiator hose is leaking and exactly where the leak is coming from by looking for wetness.
Purchase 1 gallon of antifreeze and the correct replacement radiator hose from your local auto-parts store or dealer. (Radiator hoses are not interchangeable. They come in specific sizes and shapes for your particular car model.)
Wait for the engine to cool down for at least 20 minutes, before beginning any work on the cooling system.
Place a large pan or wide bucket on the ground under the hose to catch the coolant.
Use a screwdriver to loosen the hose clamps at both ends of the hose you are replacing.
Remove the radiator hose by twisting and pulling where it
connects to the radiator and engine. If the hose won't budge, use a
utility knife to cut it off the fittings.
Remove the hose clamps from the old radiator hose and slide them onto the new hose.
Put the new radiator hose on. Spray the inside of the hose
ends with WD-40 if the hose is hard to get on. Tighten the hose clamps.
Refill the radiator and the coolant reservoir with a 50-50 mixture of water and antifreeze.
"Burp the cooling system" by running the engine with the
radiator cap off until the engine warms up. Keep the engine running
until both the upper and lower radiator hoses feel warm (this indicates
that the thermostat is open and the coolant is flowing through the
entire system). Burping the cooling system allows any air bubbles to
escape. Add coolant to the radiator as needed.
Look for leaks. Inspect around the hose clamps for dampness. Tighten the hose clamps if there is any wetness.
Put the radiator cap back on.
Check the coolant level after driving, to ensure there are no leaks
BUY YOUR RADIATOR HOSES FIRST MAKE SURE NEW HOSES MATCH THE OLD HOSES. BUY NEW RADIATOR CLAMPS AND HAVE EXTRA GALLON OF ANTIFREEZE. MAKE SURE ENGINE IS COOL IF YOU GOING TO CHANGE TOP RADIATOR HOSE REMOVE RADIATOR CAP OR OVER FLOW JUG CAP IF YOUR RADIATOR DONT HAVE RADIATOR CAP FIND RADIATOR DRAIN PLUG.PLACE A CATCH PAN.OPEN RADIATOR DRAIN PLUG CATCH ANTIFREEZE. DRAIN HALF ANTIFEEZE IF YOU GOING TO REPLACE TOP HOSE AND DRAIN OUT ALL ANTIFREEZE IF YOU GOING TO CHANGE LOWER COOLANT HOSE TO WATER PUMP.WHEN DONE CLOSE DRAIN PLUG.PUT ANTIFREEZE IN A SAFE PLACE FROM PETS AND KIDS UNTIL JOB DONE. WHEN YOU REMOVE COOLANT REMOVE WATER HOSE CLAMPS THEN REMOVE RADIATOR HOSES PUT NEW RADIATOR HOSES AND CLAMPS ON HOSES TIGHTEN HOSE CLAMPS DONT OVER TIGHTEN. POUR ANTIFREEZE IN RADIATOR.CRANK ENGINE UP CHECK FOR LEAKS.CHECK COOLANT LEVEL WHEN THERMOSTAT OPENS ADD MORE COOLANT AS NEEDED.
This sounds most likely to be a lower radiator hose leak (very common). It may be just as simple as tightening the hose clamp holding the hose to the radiator. If tightening the clamp does not work, replace the hose. When replacing the hose you must first drain all the coolant from the radiator and engine. Once its all drained, loosen the hose clamps on the hose thats leaking, pull the hose off and replace it with a new one. Tighten down the hose clamps and add coolant.
not hard at all drain the coolant, loosen or cut the hose clamps and remove the hoses,replace with new hoses and fill with coolant, then start car and when coolant fills the block add coolant to top off system and replace radiator cap, as long as your doing this replace the radiator cap with a new one