Question about 2003 Mitsubishi Montero Sport

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Combustion gases in/cooling system; caused a brown foam to discahrge from the overflow of the coolant - any suggestions as to a cause? possible solution? cost?

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Head gasket ,as too cost?? shop around for quotes

Posted on May 09, 2010

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My ranger is losing radiator fluid from the overflow but not the radiator , i can also smell radiator fluid but it's not overheating and i can't find a leak.


Losing fluid from the relief port is a sign of the coolant pressure being too great or just a cap that has had better days. The smell of hot coolant lingers so not seeing a leak is totally possible. Unfortunately, there are other problems that could cause this such as a bad head gasket which will introduce high pressure into the cooling system and thus forcing coolant out through the relief (overflow).

I say change the cap, it's cheap enough and probably original. Make sure the coolant is clean and mixed properly. If it persists, there is a dye you can put in the cooling system that reacts with combustion gases and can be seen under and ultraviolet light. If you are getting combustion gases into the cooling system, the repair is quite expensive.

Mar 29, 2015 | Cars & Trucks

3 Answers

My 93toyota camery overheated cause of split n radiator replaced with new radiator but still blows water out of overflow think could b waterpump n sounds like missing could that b because of the water blew...


Possibly blew a head gasket allowing combustion gases to enter the cooling system and force coolant out of the overflow tank. This can be verified by doing a compression check on each cylinder.

Jan 31, 2015 | Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

Radiator reservoir foamy


Generally, when foam exists in the radiator, you have combustion gases entering the coolant system, and the cause may be a bad head gasket or a cracked cylinder head and in some cases may be an intake manifold gasket leak. If you open the radiator cap (make sure its not under pressure) smell the air near the radiator cap opening while the engine is running and if it smells like exhaust fumes then you have the problem as I first stated.

Apr 16, 2014 | Ford Focus Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Overflowing from expansion tank on a 2003 chevy malibu


Have a cylinder leakage test performed to check your head gasket. It dosn't have to overheat to have a head gasket problem. A leakage test checks if looseing combustion gases to the cooling system which would presurise the system higher than normal which causes the tank to overflow.

Sep 30, 2012 | 2003 Chevrolet Malibu

1 Answer

My Car Honda Civic LX - 2002 year is not cooling as it should be and only slight cooling possible at full speed. Please advise what to do to resolve this problem and get full cooling . THANKS A LOT.


The thermostat, a weak point on most internal combustion engines, controls the flow of coolant to the radiator and this is fed into the top tank of the radiator.

The bottom hose is normally at the inlet to the coolant pump.


Vehicles with AC will have two radiators, and even some, a third for transmission or oil cooling but the largest of them will be the one handling engine cooling.


Locate the topmost hose of the radiator and simply follow it back toward the engine and it is normally connected to a dome-like fitting, under which you will find the thermostat.


If you are experiencing overheating though, it may not be a failed thermostat; this can be caused by a radiator blocked with debris, an internally collapsed hose and worst case, a failing head-gasket. The latter can fail in several places and overheating is often caused by the failure of it between coolant channels and one or more of the cylinders. This allows passage of hot combustion gases directly into the coolant flow.


Check the following: the overflow bottle for traces of oil contamination and possible odor of exhaust fumes, the oil dipstick for a milky deposit and when the engine is running, the overflow bottle for bubbles.

Jun 20, 2011 | 2002 Honda Civic

1 Answer

Over heating


check the coolant level to make sure it is full and check the overflow bottle.check to make sure the cooling fans are working at the radiator as if they aren`t there isn`t enough air flow to keep the motor cool enough.if they are working then you may need the thermostat replaced.also make sure you don`t have any coolant leaks.one other thing that can cause this is a possible head gasket leak causing combustion chamber gases into the cooling system.

Apr 12, 2011 | 2004 Chevrolet Impala

1 Answer

When I start my 95 lhs and let it run for about 3 mins or so coolant will start to come out of the over flow. The coolant is only warm when this happens. I can put my finger in the coolant reservoir right...


sounds like you may have an internal head gasket leak into the combustion chamber and the compression gases are forcing the coolant out the overflow.if it was the thermostat it would take longer than the 3 mins you say before it does this.but compression gases at 150lbs or so in the cooling system takes far less time to cause this overflow and when you turn off the motor the gases are there over a longer period of time,because the cylinder is not going from compression to intake or power stroke as it would if it was running.you can get the cooling system tested for combustion chamber gases.

Apr 06, 2011 | 1995 Chrysler LHS

1 Answer

I HAVE A HONDA CIVIC 98 THE COOLANT KEEP GOING INTO THE RESERVE BOTTLE AND OVERFLOWING I HAVE TO KEEP TOPPING UP EVERY THREE TO FOUR DAYS.


The cooling system is overpressurized and is lifting the radiator cap off of its seat at about 14 psi. This will push coolant into the overflow bottle. the most likely reason the system is overpressurized is that combustion gases are leaking past a blown cylinder head gasket into the cooling system. To verify this, you can use a Lisle 75500 combustion gas leak detector kit. it is inexpensive and will show if combustion gases are leaking into the coolant.

Feb 10, 2011 | Honda Civic Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Car is overheating no heat in car


You probably have air in the system caused either by a leak or blown head gasket. Fill up the system and check for leaks.

If your car has been losing coolant, you know you have a leak. If it isn't leaking out the bottom, it may be going into the oil pan or into the combustion chambers, but let's leave that horrible possibility for last. Some common leaks are the water pump weep hole (small hole at pump shaft bushing that leaking when bushing wears out), radiator hoses, other coolant hoses, radiator, heater core, and my personal favorite--rotten freeze plugs. If you have any of these leaks, you car will habitually be running on less coolant than it is designed for, and the coolant will boil at a lower temperature because of reduced system pressure. I'm not going to cover how to repair all of these but rather ask you to get back to us if you need help with them.

If none of the above are the cause of overheating, we must consider some more serious causes. A blown head gasket or cracked head/block can allow oil into the coolant or combustion gases into the cooling system (among other things that do not cause overheating). This latter case can cause the engine to overheat within a few minutes. If you car overheats this quicky, a blown head gasket is likely (but I would still advise someone to check the thermostat before pulling a head). This condition can be verified by removing the radiator cap and running the engine until hot. Bubbles of combustion products will be seen coming up in the radiator or into the coolant reservoir. As mentioned under bleeding after thermostat replacement, it is normal to have air come out during bleeding of the system, but if the bubble continue indefinitley, you are getting combustion products.
Oil in the coolant can also cause overheating as the oil mixes and thickens or "foams" the coolant until it cannot flow or transfer heat sufficiently. This contamination is easy to observe.

Nov 28, 2010 | 2001 Cadillac DeVille

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