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Old 01-13-2019, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Southern Colorado
3,104 posts, read 1,572,214 times
Reputation: 4182

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May as well start with the less expensive solutions. Corroded metal coolant tube from engine to heater can do this. Too bad it is so danged cold here right now.
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Southern Colorado
3,104 posts, read 1,572,214 times
Reputation: 4182
Just remembered that I hit a plastic box and drug it about 10 miles during my last drive. It was snared pretty hard. Backing up would not release it. Now thinking it is entirely possible that the plastic box enabled a leak in the anti freeze system.

Highway litter - ugh. The box appeared out of nowhere in very heavy traffic.

No visual signs of a leak however. Have not felt anything out of the ordinary. Leaks can be tough.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
25,606 posts, read 61,089,305 times
Reputation: 28595
WE had three of them (older than yours though). They all leaked some coolant. One was the hose t the water pump connection. one was leaking through the radiator Possibly a hose, we never found it. The other was leaking coolant into the combustion chamber (head gasket leak. It was a small leak. You know those because your exhaust is a plume of white. We tossed some bars leak into it and it went away.

Bars leak is a bad idea unless you are just trying to eke out a few more thousands of miles before you junk the car. Ours had enough other things wrong with it, we knew we were not going to put any major money to time into it. Bars leak got us about 18 months. Even then it was transmission failure that killed the van, not the head gasket leak.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Southern Colorado
3,104 posts, read 1,572,214 times
Reputation: 4182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
WE had three of them (older than yours though). They all leaked some coolant. One was the hose t the water pump connection. one was leaking through the radiator Possibly a hose, we never found it. The other was leaking coolant into the combustion chamber (head gasket leak. It was a small leak. You know those because your exhaust is a plume of white. We tossed some bars leak into it and it went away.

Bars leak is a bad idea unless you are just trying to eke out a few more thousands of miles before you junk the car. Ours had enough other things wrong with it, we knew we were not going to put any major money to time into it. Bars leak got us about 18 months. Even then it was transmission failure that killed the van, not the head gasket leak.
Best information yet - thank you!
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Southern Colorado
3,104 posts, read 1,572,214 times
Reputation: 4182
Just changed the plugs - except for wear and tear (75,000 miles) they all looked perfect. I would think a leaking head gasket would effect a cylinder.

I'm looking at it now and finding nothing - anywhere. Could be the radiator this time.
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:20 PM
 
5,164 posts, read 2,064,361 times
Reputation: 5367
Bet it's a head gasket. My Toyota did the same thing the first time one went.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,683 posts, read 43,699,221 times
Reputation: 12039
Rent a car for your long trip, or expect to have real issues with this old van.



You don't want to hear it, but, yeah, this sounds like a head gasket failure to me, I have seen head gaskets fail such that water went into the combustion chambers, but very little water got into the oil. So, coolant just "disappeared" out the tail pipe. This will generally result in a lot of white "smoke" from the exhaust (it's actually steam).



This is an engine that is known to blow head gaskets when overheated, and, you said you overheated it.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Southern Colorado
3,104 posts, read 1,572,214 times
Reputation: 4182
Drove it 3.7 miles in cold weather. Immediately shut it down. It was fine last week so this is a puzzle. Seemed to be running especially strong with the new plugs. No white smoke in exhaust, no water in the oil.

Doesn't have to be the head gasket. Interesting that people assume the worst. Anti-freeze is usually lost in the cooling system according to my learning. Now are more people going to tell me this just has to be the head gasket?

It was just a radiator cap the first time...some things are simple.
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,683 posts, read 43,699,221 times
Reputation: 12039
Reason I think it's the head gasket or cracked heads:


1 You report losing a lot of coolant, but no puddles under the car


2 Your engine is prone to head gasket failure if overheated, and you overheated it.


Of course it does not *have* to be the head gaskets. But your coolant went/is going somewhere.


If you are not up to taking this on yourself, best get to a good shop, if you overheat again, you will probably make the problems worse.
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Old 01-16-2019, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Southern Colorado
3,104 posts, read 1,572,214 times
Reputation: 4182
Just drove it about 500 miles. I'll know more when I check the coolant after it cools down. No white puffs in exhaust. No water in oil. Bought new tires for it after a tire got shredded on a bad road.
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