Question about 2002 Dodge Caravan
Put two new raditors in and still losing antifreeze
More information would help, but I will point out some possibilities...
1. You could have a leak near the exhaust manifold area. If it leaks onto the superheated manifold, the liquid will turn to steam and not show an actual leak. After shut off, the engine (and the exhaust manifold) takes a while to cool off - typically about the same amount of time it takes for the pressure in your cooling system to zeroize as it cools down too - hence no visible leak. However, when the antifreeze/coolant turns to steam, you can usually smell it. It has a distinctive smell - kinda sweet. It is scary and is dangerous to crawl around a running engine, but if you smell the coolant smell, let it run and (preferably on a windless day) crawl around all sides and perhaps underneath to see if you can see any steam or hear hissing sounds. Sometimes, you can hear the hissing sounds after engine shutoff too.
2. Hope you found the leak above. If not, then check your tail pipe. Is there any fluid coming out when you have the engine at running temperature? Have someone punch the throttle down while you watch the tailpipe. If you see any liquid or steam coming out, check your oil using the dipstick. Is the oil milky colored? If so, bad news - probably a blown head gasket - typical if the car has overheated at some point. Expensive fix for a shop to do, or a time-consuming and difficult job for the do it yourselfer. To confirm the head gasket problem, do a compression check on all cylinders. Another "easy" confirmation is to smell the inside of your coolant reservoir (after the engine has properly cooled!). If you smell exhaust in there, you likely have a blown head gasket. Also smell the underside of your oil fill cap. It should smell like oil with a hint of exhaust/fuel, but if it smells overwhelmingly like exhaust, and the other smell/sight tests point to a head gasket, then get your wallet out. Hope you found the leak in #1. Good luck.
Posted on Apr 20, 2014
You could have a leaking water pump or blown head gasket
Posted on Apr 20, 2014
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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