Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
pinkfloyd4ever

Where would my coolant go?

19 posts in this topic

92 Chevy C/K V6 A/C but I don't use it. In the last 6 weeks I have had to put in a full bottle of coolant. I don't see any obvious source of a leak, no puddles on ground or on hoses.

I drained and replaced the oil and it seemed normal.

Could it just be a slow drip only when I am driving? My temp gauge never alarms or anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The usual culprits are the intake gaskets and water pumps. If your not noticing it than it is probably only leaking when its hot. Look in the corner if the intake gasket where it meets the head on the front of the engine. If its leaking it will usually leave a trail.

There are three options, Wait for it to get worse, Pressure check the cooling system (both hot, cold, engine running, engine off), or add die to the cooling sytem which will make the leak easier to spot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my 97 Chev 1500 is losing coolant slowly also. about a half jug every 3,000 miles or so. I re-did the water pump last winter, the oil is always fine when i change it, i dont know where its going, i dont care at this point (231,000 miles), i just check it when i change the oil and add. at least its not burning oil!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check around the outlet where your thermostat is located.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the tips, I was thinking about the thermostat after I posted actually that was one area I did not thoroughly check.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many 4.3 V-6s, 5.0 and 5.7 V-8s share the same problem with the intake gasket (though the later ones were no where near as bad as 5 years earlier). GM aluminum intake manifolds on cast iron heads have very different rates of expansion and have a lot of 'creep' over the gasket. The gasket will crack because of the head/intake manifold sliding across it. Many times the leak starts very slowly and is internal - leaking coolant slowly into the valley - directly to the crankcase. Even slowly enough that engine heat will evaporate the water faster than make the traditional brown mess of water in the oil. A tell-tale of this - check the dipstick: if the upper end of it has water droplets or is rusty you may have this problem. As it gets worse the gasket then cracks at the ends causing a trail at the front or rear of the head.

When repairing ONLY use the best / most expensive intake gasket you can find - more layers, better bonded silicone rubber traces, etc. These will tolerate the creep better and last longer.

Originally GM used paper type gaskets here, the later years they changed to the better multi-layer gaskets.

The slow internal leak causes additional problems. The ethylene-glycol left behind in the oil causes acid buildup and premature crank, rod and bearing wear. I recommend also doing an engine flush to finish the job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, I agree completely with intake gaskets.

Replaced intake gaskets on my 1994 with some McCord gaskets from one outfit and when it leaked again a year or two later, and the gaskets were super crusty upon disassembly, I decided enough of that. Second time I used some somewhat more expensive Fel Pro gaskets with the seal stuff like theoilman described and haven't touched it since. Probably been at least 5-6 years now, I'd guess, and no signs of any coolant loss.

And yes, it was all done per the factory service manual, including torque wrenches, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ya, that was my fear that it probably is getting sucked in and burnt up. I did notice an area near the thermostat that looks suspicious so that will be the first undertaking here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

rough guesstimate on cost to replace intake gaskets on the 92 1500 V6 anyone?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check your gaskets. Water pump gasket? Intake gasket? I had the same problem and it has been fixed with a new water pump gasket. It only leaked when the engine was hot. And it dripped into my skid plate so I never saw any coolant on the ground. I think it is pretty common on older trucks that don't get used a lot and sit for a period of time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

its getting pressure tested today, anything from lower hose to the gaskets. Quote on gasket was 600. The temp gauge just flies all over the board no reason to it, on a cold engine start it flips over to above 260 then will just swing back and forth. Gotta love the classic vehicles grin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just an update here- ended up being radiator and lower hose gasket was ok

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations, you got lucky. Most of these are a whole lot worse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

glad to hear it was something less serious. My sons '96 S-10 Blazer had a bad intake gasket as everyone mentioned and cost us $600.

It's not a question of if it happens, but WHEN it happens I would recommend what theoilman said about flushing out the entire engine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ya, this is just one of those vehicles that I plan to own until it rusts apart or blows up, and it was all flushed out laugh

Related to this though- I haven't had any reason to discredit the mechanics so I believe them but riddle me this. Did this before during and after the radiator change and flush. The temp gauge just jumps all around with no rhyme or reason to it. I can start it up in the morning and the gauge will go all the way 260+ then will just swing back and forth, may settle down to below 110 jump back a few minutes later, on and on you get the pic. The mechanic said just probably just a messed up gauge because the cooling system is fine, unless I want to pay more $ to have them really look into it, which I said no. There is no change in the sound or tone of the engine at all.

Any ideas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree, sounds like a temp gauge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Temp gauge, temp sender, or maybe just a bad spot in the wire grounding out and giving a false reading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

alright, thanks guys. I was paying attention to it some this morning and if I hit a bump or anything in the road that gets it going some too, so just going to ride it out! Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • For many years my dad, uncles, etc have been heading to the Leech Lake area every spring and fall to fish for walleyes. There are usually 8-10 guys that go. Many of them are from the Barron, Wisconsin area. Since I've never really fished in Wisconsin, thought it might be fun to head to there one of these trips. Have always heard the Hayward area is pristine. Does anyone have a favorite lake, or possibly a favorite resort in the area I should add to the list when doing some research?  Walleyes are thing these guys are after.   I know there is a Wisconsin form, but it seems kind of quiet over there, so I'm hoping to get some opinions here.    
    • Well except for the owner. He's kinda ancient!!   We did the same thing with the frig to Dave on the first camper we had.
    • New!  The Rebco CH-100 multi-directional antenna with Pow-r-boost!! Less than 0.01 THD! Universal fit! Unbreakable! Weatherproof!  Doubles as a coat hanger! Listen to all yer favorite polkas or love songs for a fraction of the cost! Bring in yer favorite stations crystal clear, from as far away as Rangoon!  Only $9.99 plus S&H. BUT WAIT, call now and get two for........                     Ya, I think they already did!!!  
    • This will get you under the G-door!   I know late to the game but the way this is going does it matter?        ZHOL® NEW Am-fm Hidden Windshield Antenna Car Radio Truck 3.4 out of 5 stars 423 customer reviews | 14 answered questions Price:$7.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $25. Details In Stock.   New proprietary design that enhances performance with unique MICO Screen element. Small and sleek so you can stick it anywhere in almost any vehicle Ground independent ZHOL is the Amazon registered brand,This product is not allowed without ZHOL    
    • I've done a few things to the old camper in the last few weeks.   First I replaced the old crank jack with a new electric jack.     Then the cooling unit on my fridge went out so I ended up just replacing the 6 cu. ft 2 way fridge with a 9.9 cu. ft. residential electric only fridge.   Next order of business is new tires. Blew one out on the way to Zumbro Falls this weekend    Pretty soon everything on this camper will be brand new! 
    •   Well I never!!!    Caught one that nice!
    •   Del be fightin' with himself again. He likes that. 
    • I now boys fight Nice!!
    • Its a great house. Yep its heavy, yep the cover is bulky compared to a single layer, yep I'd buy it again. You can always pull down a zipper or 2 (front and back doors) if you get hot. For what its worth I switched from a Clam Yukon TC (normal sides with a insulated top) both are a similar size. On below zero days in the clam I would have to use a big buddy. In the otter I use a buddy and rarely turn it on high.
    • Ya, right. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA   From a car audio site....MOTORHEADS talkin'...   FlyinMiata9,
      A shorter antenna mast captures a smaller portion of a radio broadcast station's travelling radio wave. That results in reduced radio reception capability. The reduced radio reception capability may never be noticed if only listening to nearby radio broadcast stations in the city. 

      There's no overall magic of one short antenna over another. There are some that include a signal amplifier. They can at times enhance more distant radio receptions, but usually degrade other radio reception situations, often those where there are multiple strong radio signals in the reception area.

      The overall disadvantages of antenna amplifiers for car antennas tend to be far more predominant than advantages. There are some radio signal amplifiers for car antennas that automatically switch "off" when operated in a strong signal area. That can assist clearly listening to the nearby strong radio stations, but reduce the prospect of listening to any some distance away.

      There's always a prospect of the antenna you installed being defective, or not installed properly well mounted to the car's fender for a good electrical radio reception ground plane. Check to make sure the in-line Motorola connector set is fully pushed-in inserted together. 

      A simple way to test the antenna line and system is to tune in a weak AM radio station in the daytime and then grab hold of the antenna mast to detect stronger and louder reception of that weak AM radio station. Your conductive body mass adds some to the short antenna's reception capability. There may also be an initial "thump" sound as the car's radio makes an automatic adjustment of its radio reception sensitivity. If there's no dramatic change in weak AM radio reception, look for an open or shorted electrical problem. Best bet is a full length proper antenna.
  • Our Sponsors