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Old 01-23-2008, 02:13 PM   #1
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Where does coolant go?

Have a friend with an issue.

Coolant seems to be disappearing, but no puddle under Jeep, no evidence of cracks, just disappearing. I thought it may be getting into the oil through a cracked head, but he indicates the oil looks okay. He's also having oil pump or sensor issues, so I thought they may be related.

Any ideas on what to look for? The repair location can't seem to figure things out (figures) and kinda at a loss as to where to look now.

BTW, it is a 2.5L engine.

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Old 01-23-2008, 02:45 PM   #2
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sounds like a blown head gasket to me. drain the oil and the coolant see if theres coolant in the oil or oil in the coolant.

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Old 01-23-2008, 02:48 PM   #3
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If the dip stick doesn't look like an expresso latte then smell the tail pipe when it's running. If it smells sweet, he's burning it. This will foul the O2 sensors.

Sounds like a cracked or warped head or possibly a bad head gasket leaking coolant into the combustion chamber. Inspect each plug to verify. They will be covered in a white/light brownish powdery residue. I believe there are some previous posts concerning cracks in the heads.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:06 PM   #4
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there may be no puddle , but it still may have a leak, when it is parked and cool/cooling there is no pressure on the system but while the pump is running and it is hot there is a huge amount of pressure on the system so if he has lots of very small leaks they may leak when hot and then immediatly evaporate once they get outside of the pressurized atmosphere inside the radiator,and once it is cool enough that it wont evaporate it may not have enough pressure to push teh water through the holes, so no puddle nothing leaking in the engine, but still leaking water

make sense?
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:13 PM   #5
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there may be no puddle , but it still may have a leak, when it is parked and cool/cooling there is no pressure on the system but while the pump is running and it is hot there is a huge amount of pressure on the system so if he has lots of very small leaks they may leak when hot and then immediatly evaporate once they get outside of the pressurized atmosphere inside the radiator,and once it is cool enough that it wont evaporate it may not have enough pressure to push teh water through the holes, so no puddle nothing leaking in the engine, but still leaking water

make sense?
I think you're fishing on this one. Perhaps, if the radiator has a pin hole leak it may evaporate. However, there would be residue on the radiator, fan, and engine.
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Old 01-23-2008, 04:01 PM   #6
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hello, i'm the friend. i was going to start a thread eariler, but got caught up with some work stuff...go figure.

anyway, long story leading up to this morning having to get towed to the shop....

bought the TJ (97, 2.5L, 122k miles) in September to replace the TJ i sold in April. took it into the dealership to have them look it over head to toe knowing that there were a few issues one of which was the oil gauge acting up and the radiator not holding coolant.
they came back with a laundry list of things to replace. a couple things that needed to be replaced were the oil sending unit, waterpump, thermostat, and radiator cap.
i replaced these items (among others) and drove it for a week. that was two weeks ago. at the end of that week, it still wasn't holding coolant and the oil pressure gauge started acting up again...same as before. dropping to '0' and the 'check gauges' light coming on. took it back to the dealer to have it looked at again. they said one of the hose clamps was bad and was likely the cause of the coolant disappearing. they said the oil sending unit was bad. i reminded them that i had just replaced it a week earlier to which they said, it must have been a bad part and not as good of quality as theirs. so i told them to order their part ($110 vs my $22 part) and install it. pick it up thursday afternoon, drive it to work friday morning and then home that afternoon. all is good. on the way home from work monday, the oil gauge starts with its usual act. i pull in the dealership and tell them what is going on but didn't have time to arrange to leave it. i drive toward work this morning and while cruising down the highway i all of the sudden loose throttle/gas. i still have power everything, but basically the gas pedal is dead. so i pull over and turn it off. wait a few seconds and turn it back on. it starts up fine (and does the next several times i do it), but it runs for about 4 seconds, coughs and then dies. i try to give it gas, but it won't take it and dies.

after sitting there for about 45 minutes waiting for the tow truck, i try again just for kicks and it starts right up as before and actually stays running like normal and even allows me to drive forward. i decided to just leave it be though and get towed to the dealership to let them figure it out not risking it happening again.

get to the dealer i explain what's going on and go out to the jeep to get some stuff before i leave it. i thought, what the heck, let's check the radiator before i go just to make sure everything is still good. wouldn't you guess it, bone dry.
so that's what i left them with today.

SUMMARY - oil gauge is acting up, radiator does not hold coolant...no visible leaks while running or after being parked, lose throttle/gas response on highway, i'm due for an oil change, but the oil is basically clean....not latte.

one of the other things they said i needed to replace was the downstream o2 sensor, which i have, but have not installed yet. if that's what caused me to loose power on the road than i'm going to kick myself. but it wouldn't explain the other big problems.
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Old 01-23-2008, 04:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOz View Post
I think you're fishing on this one. Perhaps, if the radiator has a pin hole leak it may evaporate. However, there would be residue on the radiator, fan, and engine.
i kinda am, but he never said that he looked at the radiator, only that there was no puddle under the car, some people just look under the car and if they dont see anyhting then tehy take it to the shop, i have no idea if he looked all over the radiator to check for residue
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Old 01-23-2008, 05:27 PM   #8
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Ok as far as the oil sending unit, the wires need to be looked at for chaffing or a bad ground. no way can you get multiple bad parts in a row. make sure none of the wires are up against the engine block bare. they need to have some sort of insulated cover over them.

the coolant issue. either you have a bad head gasket and your burning the coolant, or you have a leak. you need to have a pressure test done.

the motor issue not staying running is most likley a sensor, TPS, IAC are 2 i would look at.
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Old 01-23-2008, 05:44 PM   #9
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the O2 sensor will very much so make your jeep run like garbage, and drink gas if it fails.

As for the oil guage, the gauges in these Jeeps are really basically idiot lights, not true gauges, from what I can tell, and have been told.

The leak, I would guess your burning it. I had a camaro doing the same thing, that a shop couldnt figure it out, and it was burning it. Do you notice any smoke out the tailpipe (your looking for white)? Do you smell anything sweet while its running? When you get it back, drive it with the back window open for a few miles on the highway and see if you smell anything. Also, check your spark plugs as mentioned. Im going to guess bad gasket or head, but it may be a leak. Might want to have a pressure test done as suggested.
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:39 PM   #10
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Is the smoke out of the tail pipe somewhat white? I'm w/ MOz on that one, bad head or gasket can allow coolant to enter the combustion chamber. 2x on checking the plugs as they will show you best.
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Old 01-24-2008, 06:31 AM   #11
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i kinda am, but he never said that he looked at the radiator, only that there was no puddle under the car, some people just look under the car and if they dont see anyhting then tehy take it to the shop, i have no idea if he looked all over the radiator to check for residue
Nice pick up on the pic Trip.

However, we need to re-bait Debruins' hook so we keep him interested (a valiant attempt) Insert worm pic accordingly.

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Old 01-24-2008, 08:12 AM   #12
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If its going completely dry, check your exhaust... I dont believe any leak can leak it dry after the experience I just had. I was leaking so bad at temperature that it was sprayting the underside of my hood and running down on the top of my fenders leaving big green trails down teh side of my jeep. All in just a 30 mile drive. Drove that way, cleaning it off every day for almost a month and only had to put one gallon in it. never did go completely dry. But i did have huge puddles after it sat.
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:49 AM   #13
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when i was replacing parts, i of course removed, inspected, drained, and refilled the radiator. nothing was out of the ordinary from what I could tell.

i had also replaced the spark plugs, wires, cap, and rotor. i think the plugs and such i removed were the original parts. one of the plugs cracked in half in my hand after it was removed.

Paul (erickpl) had suggested the TPS sensor a while back. if they don't come up with anything, which i doubt they will, i will try replacing that.

when i removed the oil sending unit, i inspected everything around it, including the wires. once again, i found nothing out of the ordinary.

i called the shop yesterday afternoon before they closed to see if they had made any progress. they had just pulled it in the shop a couple hours before so they had not done much with it at that point. they did say one of the hoses had a hole/crack. they also said last week that one of the clamps was bad and that wasn't it...so i don't know.

the only time i have noticed any smoke (of any color) coming out of the tailpipe was yesterday morning when i would try to restart it and it would cough and almost backfire.
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Old 01-24-2008, 11:35 AM   #14
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I am experienceing the same thing with loosing coolant I go through about a gallon every 2 weeks and had my mechanic check it. He couldn't find any leaks either and suggested it might be the head gasket and said try putting the silver solder stuff in radiator to see if it will seal it. I still have 194 miles till my warranty runs out so should I try the silver solder which I never had much luck with on other vehicles or take it to a stealer ship?
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Old 01-24-2008, 11:45 AM   #15
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Read my post above. Do yu smell anything sweet out of the tail pipe?
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:10 PM   #16
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just got off the phone with the shop. they said the ran the pressure test and found that both radiator hoses have leaks. they said the oil pressure issue is likely the oil pump and sludge on the screen, but they won't know unless they pull the oil pan. they said it likely died on the highway because the sludge is backing it up.

their explaination.

basically, they want $196 to replace the radiator hoses...i laughed. and another $600and change to pull the oil pan and replace the pump.

i told them i would pick it up after work and work on it myself.
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:14 PM   #17
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So you're really only out the $75.00 for the inspection fee (and you can get the parts yourself). I have to wonder if they'll refund (ok, I know they won't) you the bogus charge for the oil since they 'fixed' the wrong part.

But I'd at least ask them why they didn't catch this when it was in last week.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:08 PM   #18
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i'm going to at least try to get them to wave the inspection fee, because this was the second time looking at the same stuff. i asked about the deal with replacing the oil sending unit last time and he said they tested it and the one i put in was bad so i am not going to get refunded for that.

so, i just spent $160 at autozone during lunch getting the new radiator hoses ($40 for both), oil pump ($70), the oil pan gasket ($24), and some oil and filter ($13). will need to go get some more coolant, but i'll get that tomorrow when i pick up the hoses (had to be ordered).

my time and labor is worth $700 anyday ($850 what they were going to charge me - $150 what i spent on parts).
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:53 AM   #19
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A good way to identify an external leak where you can't find the source is most shops and garages can add UV dye to the system. Come back in a couple days and they hit it with a black light. It is very easy to find a source. It works for oil leaks also.
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Old 02-01-2008, 12:26 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mud707 View Post
I am experienceing the same thing with loosing coolant I go through about a gallon every 2 weeks and had my mechanic check it. He couldn't find any leaks either and suggested it might be the head gasket and said try putting the silver solder stuff in radiator to see if it will seal it. I still have 194 miles till my warranty runs out so should I try the silver solder which I never had much luck with on other vehicles or take it to a stealer ship?
If you got warranty what are you waiting for? My radiator was leaking when i first bought my jeep and took it to the dealer.. they replaced my rad for free.

Surprisingly enough they did not try to fight and did their job.

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