Question about 1994 Volvo 850

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In the last week i have filled the coolant reserve tank several times, total of 2 gallons of coolant, and yet the reservoir runs dry and requires more coolant. I cannot find any coolant leaking under the vehicle and I am concerned what this may indicate

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Hi, if your 100% sure that their is no coolant leaking onto the floor then look inside the car where the drivers and passenger feet are if the floor is wet then this means the heater rad is leaking and needs replacing if its dry then this could be a more serious problem now what you need to do is check your oil pull the oil stick out and check for signs of water if water is present then it will look a grey color and this would mean head gasket failure if how ever the oil level is ok and the color is normal then this could indicate that the head gasket has gone and the coolant is being burned out with the engine gasses, you need to get a compression test done and possibly a sniff test to test the coolant for signs of gasses from the engine.

Let me know how you get on or if you need further assistance ok

Posted on Feb 08, 2010

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As a general rule, if it's not leaking outside, it's leaking inside & being exhasted through the tailpipe.
Possibly a headgasket. Check you oil & look for signs of anti-freeze. Check your anti-freeze & look for floating oil.

Go behind your car, start it up & see if your exhaust has a bit of an unusual smell to it, if so-that's probably anti-freeze, quit smelling it.

You can't always smell it, sometimes it doesn't leak enough & other times such as under load at higher speeds, you could lose a lot of "steam" through the exhaust without knowing it.

Anti-freeze/coolant doesn't just dissapear, hot or cold, you can see where it has leaked. You should of course also check to make sure your temp gauge is maintaining the proper (usual) temp as this is usually where you can identify the problem. The gauge on a car with a slight leak in the cooling system would generally rise & fall a bit (sometimes significantly high) during the time it does leak.

Beyond that, you'll need to pressure test the entire cooling system to determine the cause & go from there. 2 gallons makes me think blown headgasket at least & possibly a cracked head. Based upon the age of the car, if you have significant mileage, it could be a good time to check into a lower mileage used motor, or at least compare the cost of each. Good Luck

Posted on Feb 08, 2010

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