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Coolant issues; Loosing coolant
Topic Started: Mar 10 2012, 10:20 AM (928 Views)
Family Guy
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Hi guys, just joined up today. My 98 metro 1 liter started losing coolant which would make it over heat. I couldn't see where it was leaking for the longest time then noticed evedince that it was coming out of the radiator cap. I replaced the cap and now the coolant gradually leaves the system and is forced into the plastic overflow resevoir. It dosn't over heat because after about 120 miles I take the excess coolant out of the resevoir and put it back into the radiator (guesing about 2 pints worth, but haven't measured it). Not getting water in the oil and havent' noticed any white smoke. Had the system pressure checked for leaks (before I changed the radiator cap), and didn't find any and no green tint on the plugs. I'm guessing a leaky head gasket that only leaks one way due to the nature of the tear in the gasket material, but don't know if that is really possible. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
Edited by Family Guy, Mar 10 2012, 10:23 AM.
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Old Man


you changed the cap and now it does not over heat. System checked and no leaks. but then you say-- "I'm guessing a leaky head gasket that only leaks one way due to the nature of the tear in the gasket material, but don't know if that is really possible."--so, which is it?, system checked and no leaks or leaky head gasket??????

BTW the coolant expands when it gets hot and some moves to the plastic overflow container. When it cools off it will automatically be sucked back into the radiator, you should not have to mess with it.
Edited by Old Man, Mar 10 2012, 10:44 AM.
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96Geoman


I wonder if you have air in the system.

I would suggest jacking up the front end. (to help get rid of air bubbles)

Turn heater lever to on

Run the car with radiator cap off until it reaches operating temperature (add coolant as needed)


If your car is leaking small amounts of coolant, check the small hoses that go to the intake manifold. I have also read that sometimes the small hoses can become clogged too.
Edited by 96Geoman, Mar 10 2012, 06:05 PM.
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Family Guy
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Thanks for the respose guys. I will jack it up and try to get all of the air out and check those small hoses too. As far as the head gasket goes, when the shop checked the system for leaks, I thought he said that they pressurized the system though the radiator, and he said it wasn't leaking any where. What I was wondering, was if it was possible for a tear in a head gasket to act like a check valve and only leak one way, which if that was the case, then the leak in my head gasket would be such that it was leaking from the cylinder into the water jacket, but plugged shut if pressure is aplyied from the other side. I really don't know if that is possible though, but it would explain what is happening. The shop said he has never seen that before, they said if the gasket is blown, it's blown. After the engine cools down, the radiator level is still down and the resevoir is fuller, so for some reason it dosn't seem to be sucking it back out. Thanks again you guys.
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Old Man


Family Guy
Mar 10 2012, 02:02 PM
After the engine cools down, the radiator level is still down and the resevoir is fuller, so for some reason it dosn't seem to be sucking it back out. Thanks again you guys.
check to see if the hose is pushed down to the bottom of the plastic container
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Family Guy
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Well, I checked the hose, and it is at the bottom of the container. I still haven't had time to jack it up and try to get all of the air out, so that is next. If that dosn't work, I guess I'll go to plan B(whatever that is). I wonder about doing a compression check on the cylinders with the radiator cap off to see if there are any bubbles or a rise in fluid in the radiator? Anyway, I'll do some more head scratching at the very least. Thanks
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ascensions
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Je conduis une petite voiture.

Run your finger underneath the under-body of the thermostat housing? If it's moist at all, you found your problem.
Edited by ascensions, Mar 11 2012, 03:17 PM.
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crankcase


If you are loosing coolant - not just going in the resevoir - check the weep hole on the water pump for signs of a leak.
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t3ragtop
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Turbo3 and Twincam Tweaker

you can get a little strip of paper, like litmus paper, that you can dip into the coolant to cheack for combustion products to indicate a failed head gasket. if the head gasket is bad you will usually see the top radiator hose sucked flat after it pukes coolant.

check your radiator cap, too. if i recall correctly it should be a .9 bar or the equivalent (i think it's 11 psi.) metros take a type 1 cap.
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Family Guy
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Thanks everybody, I have to leave town for a couple of days, but will look at everything said. I do know that the weep hole on the water pump dosen't appear to be leaking though. Thanks again.
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jmaudsley
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I have the exact same issue.

Details: '95 3 cyl. no water in oil or leakage visible. I don't think the fan ever comes on. Runs consistently with temp gauge at halfway between C and H Major TB problems when water is low. Much worse when car is running warm.

I actually replaced the radiator a year ago (when I was losing water consistently, to the point where I think I actually drove the car for a brief time (after I bought it) without any water. I had no heat in the car, that's why I checked the water).

The old radiator neck was damaged so the radiator cap rubber gasket could not get a seal.

Since then, I have continued losing water. The reservoir fills up if I keep adding water to the radiator.

I have been through at least a couple of radiator caps (though the system never seems to pull the coolant back into the radiator). I am going to replace the radiator again, just to make sure I have the right one. I will also check the tube in the reservoir to make sure it is at the bottom. I don't know how to check the reservoir vent...suggestions?

After I read your post, I filled my radiator (took about a pint of water), then drove it for an hour. Checked it after it cooled down and it was down 2/3 cup of water (understandable with system expansion...but it didn't pull the water back into the radiator...obviously).

Thanks for any suggestions.

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Coche Blanco
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Troll Certified

If it's not dripping or steaming, it's getting in your combustion chambers.
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idmetro
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:gp Time for a compression check!
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