Coolant Leak (Page 1/1)
randy86 FEB 11, 02:35 PM
I have a slow leak somewhere, I have to top off about once a week. Takes about a quart of coolant, but I cannot find the leak. I can smell coolant sometimes under hard acceleration and sometimes while idling for a while at a light. I have looked everywhere and cannot find a leak, the passenger floorboard is dry, no coolant on the ground.
Only think I can think of is a blown head gasket, but there is no smoke from the exhaust and the leak is not constant, meaning I can drive it for a day and coolant level stays the same.

Anyone have an idea?
Gall757 FEB 11, 07:02 PM

This happens more often than you would expect. There is probably a puncture in a hose that only leaks when the system is up to you are probably driving. Then sometimes the leak squirts coolant directly at something hot like an exhaust there is no evidence. Pretty clever. Try laying out newspaper where you are going to park the car and put it on there nice and hot.
theogre FEB 11, 07:06 PM
What Engine?

Look/feel the carpet in front of p-side.
Heater cores can leak then dump on floor. Plus you often smell coolant too when true.

That much coolant lose carpet should very wet and likely will need to remove seat etc to clean up.

Rad Cap or Tube for rad overflow can leak coolant when hot and/or suck air cooling off over night.

Iffy WP seal can leak and many cars is not easy to see when small leak.
Feel/look at WP Weep hole. Use mirrors if needed. Coolant even dry should show a clean(er) path when coolant washes the engine.

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randy86 FEB 11, 08:04 PM
It is a 2.8 and the carpet is dry. I will try both your suggestions and see what happens.

theogre FEB 12, 03:16 PM
Iffy hoses at clamps can leak under pressure too or when have bad engine/trans mounts the engine can pull on any clamp joints.
DavidM FEB 13, 12:12 AM
I have a radiator pressure tester. Looks like a small bicycle pump and dozens of radiator cap fittings. Lets you put the 12lbs into the cooling system even when it is cold.
Much less dangerous way to find a leak that only occurs under pressure. I have seen it where a cylinder head leaked coolant into a cylinder ONLY when under the pressure of highway speed. The amount was so small there was no smoke. There was also a van I worked on where the head gasket again only leaked at highway load and displaced the coolant - We used a test kit that had colour changing liquid to find exhaust gases are in the coolant. Hope yours is just a pipe somewhere.
AsaBergman FEB 13, 10:33 AM
I had a mystery coolant leak that couldn't be pinned down as there was no coolant on the floor or car. I was losing coolant as vapor via the front radiator hoses and possibly a bad radiator tank. The only reason I found it was I pulled over one night on a test drive to check stuff and saw the vapor due to the headlights, it wasn't visible during the day. Replaced the coolant hoses and the radiator and I'm no longer losing coolant.