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Thread: low coolant

  1. #1

    Default low coolant

    89 Coupe: Low coolant light keeps coming on and loosing small amount of coolant. Nothing in oil, transmission, or on ground. No antifreeze smell in exhaust. I have burped the engine, checked cap and level in recovery tank is consistant. holds pressure in radiator when pressure tested. Anywwhere else I should be looking?

  2. #2
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    Put a dye in the coolant, drive it for a week or two and check over completely with a black light for any external leaks. If you can find a shop with a emissions tailpipe sniffer you can check the coolant for any hydrocarbons. Lastly a cylinder leak down test in each cylinder with the engine hot and radiator cap off and radiator filled up to the top of the neck, look for any bubbles coming out of the radiator, remember to keep the radiator neck filled to the top or you may miss any potential bubbles.
    20+ years ASE and Honda Master Tech

    1998 black 6 spd convertible

  3. #3

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    Ok. Thanks
    The one shop said there was hydrocarbons in the radiator

  4. #4
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    That points to a head gasket or cracked cylinder head. I would next perform the cylinder leak down as described above to see which cylinder or cylinders it is. It is critical to keep the radiator neck as full of water as possible to see any potential air bubbles and that the engine be as hot as possible when doing the test.
    20+ years ASE and Honda Master Tech

    1998 black 6 spd convertible

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by LLC5 View Post
    That points to a head gasket or cracked cylinder head. I would next perform the cylinder leak down as described above to see which cylinder or cylinders it is. It is critical to keep the radiator neck as full of water as possible to see any potential air bubbles and that the engine be as hot as possible when doing the test.
    Passed leak down. Nothing in oil. Nothing in transmission. Nothing on engine or floor. Can't smell antifreeze in exhaust, but it is a suspect. Coolant loss is small and may not be detectable. I did have the intake gaskets changed in Feb. I am thinking it is getting into the intake ports somehow. There are no symptoms other wise. Temp, oil all good. Rums great. twice there was a power loss as if the cat was plugged. When the engine warmed up it ran great again. Radiator pressure seems to build up too fast. Going to pull intake then heads. Let you know the results.
    Last edited by ken mohr; 09-21-2017 at 02:49 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken mohr View Post
    Passed leak down. Nothing in oil. Nothing in transmission. Nothing on engine or floor. Can't smell antifreeze in exhaust, but it is a suspect. Coolant loss is small and may not be detectable. I did have the intake gaskets changed in Feb. I am thinking it is getting into the intake ports somehow. There are no symptoms other wise. Temp, oil all good. Rums great. twice there was a power loss as if the cat was plugged. When the engine warmed up it ran great again. Radiator pressure seems to build up too fast. Going to pull intake then heads. Let you know the results.

    Was the coolant loss present before the intake manifold was removed and replaced?
    20+ years ASE and Honda Master Tech

    1998 black 6 spd convertible

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by LLC5 View Post
    Was the coolant loss present before the intake manifold was removed and replaced?
    No coolant loss after intake gaskets replaced. Still can't find a leak.Purchased another new radiator cap and it seems to be cycling the coolant properly. The low coolant light is coming on less frequent and shorter bursts. Going to run it for a few days and see if it returns to normal.Questionong shops truthfulness that said hydrocarbons in radiator.

  8. #8

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    Was the radiator cap. Engine recycled and the light went off and has stayed off. Thank You.

  9. #9
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    2015 Stingray Z51 w/ Magnetic Ride Control & 8-speed Automatic


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken mohr View Post
    No coolant loss after intake gaskets replaced. Still can't find a leak.Purchased another new radiator cap and it seems to be cycling the coolant properly. The low coolant light is coming on less frequent and shorter bursts. Going to run it for a few days and see if it returns to normal.Questionong shops truthfulness that said hydrocarbons in radiator.
    There is no shortage, unfortunately, of dishonest and/or stupid people. Dishonest = he was trying for a head gasket job (probably would have replaced the radiator cap and charged for the HG job) or just too stupid to use the tool correctly.

    Sigh.

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  11. #11

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    Oh well the problem repesented itself. Time to take it to the Chevy dealer and maybe apoligize to the shop. Looking at head gasket again. Let you know what happens.

    Ken

  12. #12

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    Took to dealer. Having Headgaskets done. Gee I miss the vette hope they get it done soon.

  13. #13
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    Ouch. Sorry it was the head gaskets.
    2015 Stingray Z51 w/ Magnetic Ride Control & 8-speed Automatic


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