Disappearing coolant is normal - really?

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Bob Weir
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Disappearing coolant is normal - really?

Post by Bob Weir »

Having driven Merkurs for years, this is normal especially from old leaking hose connections or at worst a water pump.

But from a 2019 Volvo XC40 less than 50k miles?
Low coolant icon illuminates. Checked reservoir shows it’s ≈ 1/3 low. Water pump, hose leak? Nada, pressure tested etc. Maniac says it's normal for evaporation in newer aluminum engines.

Is the maniac giving me a lame excuse or is this to be expected of newer cars?

Or is this a continuing Merkuritis affliction from my daughter driving a Scorpio for years?
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DPDISXR4Ti
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Re: Disappearing coolant is normal - really?

Post by DPDISXR4Ti »

Not normal. It's a closed system unless it overheats or leaks.
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Re: Disappearing coolant is normal - really?

Post by Ed Lijewski »

Leaky heater core, loose/faulty coolant cap, (or blown head gasket, cracked head or engine block).

I'd first suspect loose coolant cap.

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Re: Disappearing coolant is normal - really?

Post by andyofcolumbusmerkur »

On my Mom's newer car I have to top off the oil a little between changes, and I top off the coolant (Subaru Super Blue) about once a year. The coolant wasn't due for a change until 124,000 miles but I replaced it at 45,000 miles. If the coolant is at the top mark when hot and the low mark when cold everything is fine. If anyone else ever works on the car (like when she got new tires) they always fill it way up to the top, this is wrong. So out comes my handy dollar store turkey baster. Maybe someone put too much coolant in there and caused a problem? There should be an acceptable amount of oil and coolant loss per mile listed someplace. Maybe call the dealer and ask them. If you are not within the specs maybe it is covered under the warranty.
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Re: Disappearing coolant is normal - really?

Post by Bob Weir »

Thanks for the replies.

In hindsight; because I've always had older cars, they all had at least old hoses that invariably needed a hose replaced, so coolant top off was required, but not from evaporation. Now that my daughters and Colette are driving 2019, 2020 and 2009 cars I'll have to add "check coolant level" more often. Since I do not do the maintenance on them hopefully the maniacs were being thoughtful of the ladies and topping off the coolant when their cars were in for inspection and/or repairs.
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Re: Disappearing coolant is normal - really?

Post by andyofcolumbusmerkur »

Maybe add some UV dye and check for any hard to find leaks.
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Re: Disappearing coolant is normal - really?

Post by zxr250cc »

Hi all,

If all are seeming to have the issue it is indeed a puzzle. If a 'helpful' service guy is filling the warm car overflow bottle full then he will be forcing a leak as the air pocket when warm is essential to the functioning of the system. Air compresses and fluid will not. It has to go somewhere so it is forced out. Hope this helps.

A used all aluminum 32v 4.6 in an Aviator seemed to be losing fluid after a recent used car purchase and a bottle of Bars Leak solved the problem. Six months later, still no issues.

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my8950
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Re: Disappearing coolant is normal - really?

Post by my8950 »

zxr250cc wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 2:09 pm
A used all aluminum 32v 4.6 in an Aviator seemed to be losing fluid after a recent used car purchase and a bottle of Bars Leak solved the problem. Six months later, still no issues.

Cheers
I'd recommend against bar's leak in a turbo engine, unless you have the turbo coolant line disconnected.
Running that crap through the turbo is certain to clog things up and make bigger headaches.
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Re: Disappearing coolant is normal - really?

Post by zxr250cc »

Hi all,

The cars he mentions are turbo? My 32v 4.6L is not.

The North Star v-8 had the tablet type leak stop in it from the factory, apparently.

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Bob Weir
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Re: Disappearing coolant is normal - really?

Post by Bob Weir »

If you're going to use bar's leak or any other similar stuff, I suggest you disconnect / bypass the heater core.
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Re: Disappearing coolant is normal - really?

Post by Ed Lijewski »

I've used these; typically I start with just one tab, then a second one if needed.

https://www.amazon.com/ACDelco-10-108/d ... 28QAvD_BwE

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Re: Disappearing coolant is normal - really?

Post by zxr250cc »

Hi all,

Those are Bars Leak made and were in North Star engines from the factory which is why they have Delco versions of them.

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Re: Disappearing coolant is normal - really?

Post by Ed Lijewski »

^^ Fact: they're crushed walnut shells.

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Re: Disappearing coolant is normal - really?

Post by andyofcolumbusmerkur »

A thread about disappearing coolant and already drifted into discussing about Cadillac Northstars and stop leak. Guess it was inevitable.
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Re: Disappearing coolant is normal - really?

Post by zxr250cc »

Hi all,

Possible culprits: a leaking hose, loose hose clamps, leaking head gasket, faulty overflow water bottle, a pin hole or crack in the radiator, etc..

I think that is how we got to the point of discussing Delco tablets. Anything that mitigates the need to pop the head off, as that is a fair amount of work compared to all the other options combined.

Cheers
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