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Old 02-23-2009, 06:03 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
2,696 posts, read 4,690,480 times
Reputation: 1274

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I go for an oil change about every 1500K miles because my car burns oil. They say it is always low on coolant so they add it. I checked it cold today after about 700 miles and it was very low on the reservoir tank. After driving for a while I checked it again. It was higher--only slightly above the Min level but not too much higher.

After driving for 1/2 hour I felt the lower radiator hose which was cold. Upper was hot. Radiator wasn't hot either. It's cold here today in NJ.

About 1.5 years ago both radiator and thermostat were replaced. There are no obvious signs of leakage.

My heater works good. Water pump replaced back in 2000 about 80K miles ago.

Any ideas? Thanks.

fyi: Thermostat is located on lower radiator hose in this car.
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Old 02-23-2009, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,800 posts, read 22,801,765 times
Reputation: 4770
I guess your question is either where the coolant is going, or why your radiator is cold.

To the first, look very carefully with a flashlight into the heater ducts to see if the heater core is leaking, also look carefully at your coolant for oil, and/or any sign of coolant in the engine oil. If you have oil/water mixing, this is usually the head gasket, but not always.

As to why your radiator is cold, if your engine is holding normal temp, and you have the heater on pretty high, the heater core may be providing all the cooling you need. The radiator is probably not stone cold, is it? What kind of temperature outside are you having, while this is happening?

Is your coolant temp gauge indicating normal, does it warm up in a reasonable length of time, say 3-5 miles and it's all the way up?
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Old 02-23-2009, 07:37 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
2,696 posts, read 4,690,480 times
Reputation: 1274
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
I guess your question is either where the coolant is going, or why your radiator is cold.

To the first, look very carefully with a flashlight into the heater ducts to see if the heater core is leaking, also look carefully at your coolant for oil, and/or any sign of coolant in the engine oil. If you have oil/water mixing, this is usually the head gasket, but not always.

As to why your radiator is cold, if your engine is holding normal temp, and you have the heater on pretty high, the heater core may be providing all the cooling you need. The radiator is probably not stone cold, is it? What kind of temperature outside are you having, while this is happening?

Is your coolant temp gauge indicating normal, does it warm up in a reasonable length of time, say 3-5 miles and it's all the way up?
Thanks for you reply Mitch.

1) I don't see any signs of coolant mixing with oil. There are no white spots or bubbles anything like that.

2) No the radiator is not stone cold. It is warm to the touch, but not hot. Here in NJ it was around 34 degrees.

3) Temperature gauge is a little below normal, but this has been happening for over a year now when I originally tried to fix my leaking radiator with some pepper. Temperature was never back to normal after that. It originally did fix the coolant leak but then it started leaking again so I replaced the radiator and thermostat.
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