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Old 05-28-2019, 06:24 PM #1
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coolant low when cold but full when hot

Changed my coolant out recently and have tried to get the level right. Seems to be low when it is cold but full when hot.
I am also worried about a HG leak, but have never had any issues with loosing coolant or over heating in the 10 months I've owned the vehicle.

Couple things to note
There is almost always water coming out of the tailpipe in the morning.
SOMETIMES when I start it up it runs rough when cold.. but I've re done some vacuum hoses and that has seemed to work.

any insight is helpful. Thanks!
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Old 05-28-2019, 06:31 PM #2
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update I just started it up after not running since yesterday. Ran rough, blew white smoke for at least a minute, water started to drip out the tail pipe. coolant level was low. yesterday when I checked it hot it was full.. overflowing.
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:20 PM #3
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Sounds like a headgasket or cracked head.
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:40 PM #4
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Water out the tailpipe is NORMAL! Burning hydrocarbons makes CO2 and H2O. When the motor/exhaust is hot, it stays suspended in the exhaust. When the exhaust is cold, it condenses and comes out the tail pipe as liquid. Unless it smells like coolant, you are fine there. (we have had unseasonably wet weather here in SoCal for the last few days, so more steam/water would be normal)

Coolant expands when hot. The level in the reservoir should change between cold and hot. As long as the levels are consistent when cold, that is also 100% normal.

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Old 05-28-2019, 07:54 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phattyduck View Post
Water out the tailpipe is NORMAL! Burning hydrocarbons makes CO2 and H2O. When the motor/exhaust is hot, it stays suspended in the exhaust. When the exhaust is cold, it condenses and comes out the tail pipe as liquid. Unless it smells like coolant, you are fine there. (we have had unseasonably wet weather here in SoCal for the last few days, so more steam/water would be normal)

Coolant expands when hot. The level in the reservoir should change between cold and hot. As long as the levels are consistent when cold, that is also 100% normal.

-Charlie

thanks.
To me the exhaust when cold, smells like gas... like it's running rich, which I think is normal.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:00 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phattyduck View Post
Water out the tailpipe is NORMAL! Burning hydrocarbons makes CO2 and H2O. When the motor/exhaust is hot, it stays suspended in the exhaust. When the exhaust is cold, it condenses and comes out the tail pipe as liquid. Unless it smells like coolant, you are fine there. (we have had unseasonably wet weather here in SoCal for the last few days, so more steam/water would be normal)

Coolant expands when hot. The level in the reservoir should change between cold and hot. As long as the levels are consistent when cold, that is also 100% normal.

-Charlie
This is what I was told as well. Good to hear it is just normal.
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Old 05-29-2019, 01:45 AM #7
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Running rough when cold isn't normal.

Check for bubbles in the radiator, when engine temp is cold.

When engine is cold, start engine, open hood, open radiator cap, and observe if there are constant bubbles coming up.
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Old 05-29-2019, 08:37 AM #8
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Rough idle on cold start up definitely isn't normal but it isn't always a HG (leaking injector etc). If you want to rule out a bad HG, do a leak down test. You'll know for certain whether you have a bad HG or not.
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Old 05-29-2019, 11:17 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbo8 View Post
Running rough when cold isn't normal.

Check for bubbles in the radiator, when engine temp is cold.

When engine is cold, start engine, open hood, open radiator cap, and observe if there are constant bubbles coming up.

Cold start this morning it was not running rough. I opened the radiator cap and it was pushing coolant out of the top. I did notice constant bubbles but the were extremely tiny.. AKA Tiny Bubbles.

I had topped off the coolant when cold last night and filled resi/marked so I could figure out if was actually loosing coolant.

I will have to do some research on a leak down test. I'm not sure how to do it or if I have to have a shop do it.
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Old 05-29-2019, 01:05 PM #10
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You'll need an air compressor and a leak down tester. I bought my leak down tester off of amazon for 60ish bucks, works great. Tim/Sean have a video on their youtube channel showing how to do the test.
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Old 05-29-2019, 01:54 PM #11
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You can also rent a combustion gas tester for free from Autozone (and stores like that) - just buy the tester fluid. It will test for combustion byproducts in the cooling system.

https://www.autozone.com/loan-a-tool...ter/391378_0_0

Let the bubbles go through the tester, if the fluid changes color, it's a bad HG.

When a HG gets bad enough, it's easy to tell. It's those marginal failures that can be harder to diagnose. Sometimes they only leak when it's hot. Or you have it floored. Or both.
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Old 05-29-2019, 01:57 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnMc View Post
You can also rent a combustion gas tester for free from Autozone (and stores like that) - just buy the tester fluid. It will test for combustion byproducts in the cooling system.

https://www.autozone.com/loan-a-tool...ter/391378_0_0

Let the bubbles go through the tester, if the fluid changes color, it's a bad HG.

When a HG gets bad enough, it's easy to tell. It's those marginal failures that can be harder to diagnose. Sometimes they only leak when it's hot. Or you have it floored. Or both.
I have to disagree with this. I bought one of those dye tests and the blue dye never even remotely changed color when I had a blown HG. I even made sure I didn't get a bad batch of dye by sucking air by the exhaust and it turned yellow instantly.

Once I did a leak down test and pressurized cylinder #3 (the cylinder I had a misfire on), bubbles came out of the radiator and I knew, 100%, I had a blown HG.

I wouldn't waste your time/money on the dye test. I'm sure they work if you have a really bad HG leak but at that point, it should be blatantly obvious you have a bad HG.

My 2 pennies..
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:32 PM #13
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To be honest, I've never had a situation where I used one to diagnose it. Usually, they're just so obvious that there's no reason to finesse a diagnosis. Just off with the head.

I just thought that this case, where it seems to be pushing coolant even at idle, might be a case where it would work.

Usually, the cloud of sweet smelling white fog is all you need to see.
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:10 PM #14
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Quote:
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To be honest, I've never had a situation where I used one to diagnose it. Usually, they're just so obvious that there's no reason to finesse a diagnosis. Just off with the head.

I just thought that this case, where it seems to be pushing coolant even at idle, might be a case where it would work.

Usually, the cloud of sweet smelling white fog is all you need to see.
So the fact that its pushing coolant out is an indicator? White smoke out of the exhaust is a new thing. yesterday it was as bad as I've ever seen it. today it did it but not so bad... and to me it smells like fuel not coolant. I did power wash my under carriage on Monday due to some mud pits. maybe I got a bunch of water in the exhaust.

I guess the take away is just for me to keep an eye on it.
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Old 05-29-2019, 05:30 PM #15
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So the fact that its pushing coolant out is an indicator? White smoke out of the exhaust is a new thing. yesterday it was as bad as I've ever seen it. today it did it but not so bad... and to me it smells like fuel not coolant. I did power wash my under carriage on Monday due to some mud pits. maybe I got a bunch of water in the exhaust.

I guess the take away is just for me to keep an eye on it.
If the engine is warm/hot and its still putting out a lot of white smoke and its not too cold outside, then that's not normal. But white "smoke" (condensation) while warming up if cold/humid is rather normal.
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