Coolant loss (can't find the leak) UPDATE with plug photos - Page 2 - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 11-18-2006, 12:47 AM   #11
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Pull your plugs and see if any are white. That would show you are burning coolant.
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Old 11-18-2006, 01:12 AM   #12
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Or smell your exhaust. It'll smell sweet.

Alot cheaper than UV die and a blacklight at a dealer.
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Old 11-18-2006, 06:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Wikoff
Pull your plugs and see if any are white. That would show you are burning coolant.
Excellent. I had a ... discussion.... with their head mechanic He claimed an internal leak would "clean" the plugs. Ii knew I had remembered reading here that you get a white, almost like a lean burn, look on them.

Also, I was thinking of puliing the front bank O2 sensor on the exhaust manifold, and check that.. The good thing is that I did the BC tuneup immediately after I got it 5 months ago. So what i get on the plugs and sensor should have some weight.

Thanks. I appreciate having you heavy hitters helping me with this.
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Old 11-18-2006, 06:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willwren
Or smell your exhaust. It'll smell sweet.

Alot cheaper than UV die and a blacklight at a dealer.
Will... I asked that above. My smeller isn't so good because I broke my nose too many times in sports. When my UIM went in my '95, i figured it out by covering the exhaust with a cotton cloth, then actually tasting it. It was sweet as candy. But that was the green ethylene glycol.

Queston. The Dexcool is still ethylene glycol. Right? It'* just the additives that make it different, and cause the accelerated crystalizing that eats at the gaskets if you mix the "green" with "pink".? Dexcool would still be sweet, though?

the reason I ask, I can't really tell from the exhaust. We've had extremely damp/rainy weather and there is a lot of moisture coming from the car at start up. And I'm not getting a positive sweetness.
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Old 11-18-2006, 10:49 PM   #15
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Yes, Dex should still smell, and taste sweet. If you want to rule out the possibility of an air bubble trapped in the engine, do this: Buy a 6 foot length of 1/2" ID vinyl hose, a new rubber gasket for your thermostat and a new paper gasket for your thermostat. Open the radiator cap when cold and slip the vinyl hose down to the bottom of the radiator. Take an empty, clean gallon jug and set it on the ground in front of the radiator on the passenger side. Get a siphon going by placing the jug end of the hose lower than the bottom of the radiator, then suck on the end of the hose (watch the coolant coming so you don't get it in your mouth)- place the end in the jug and siphon a gallon of coolant. If the jug fills up before the hose stops running, just pull the hose out of the rad to break the siphon. That will lower the coolant enough for what you need to do next and save the coolant for you to re-use. Remove the two 10mm head bolts securing the radiator hose fitting at the thermostat. This is at the engine end of the top radiator hose. Remove the thermostat with the rubber gasket attached and drill a 1/16" or 5/64" hole in the flange of the thermostat near the rubber gasket.

(Here'* one with two 1/16" holes to show you where to drill - you only need one for an air bleed.)
Name:  180tstat.jpg
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After cleaning up any metal chips, change the rubber gasket. Remove the old paper gasket and clean any sticking gasket material off with a scraper or single edge razor blade. Before re-installing the drilled stat, refill your engine at the thermostat opening following these instructions: http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...=article&k=100
If you are still losing coolant after following these directions, you definitely have a leak somewhere.
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Old 11-19-2006, 02:25 AM   #16
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I put a single tapped 180* in my '95. When I did a coolant top off in the '96 earlier this week, I followed with opening the bleeder when the T-stat was open ( I hope) and closed.

i didn't think to tap the T-stat. That way i could have been sure. Thanks.

Plus we're finally having a few contiguous days without rain so I can put soak tape and paper at hose ends and around the bay. If it'* external it'* small and is blown off too quick for me to see evidence of it.
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Old 11-19-2006, 01:03 PM   #17
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So i pulled 2 plugs, the #1 and #5. The plugs have about 4500 mi on them. On both, the side electrodes were white (even though they may look greyish) and the center electrodes were white on at least one side. I could use some help reading the plugs.

One side of #1

The other side of #1

a shot of #5
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Old 11-19-2006, 01:59 PM   #18
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That'* whiter than anything that comes out of mine. And it doesn't look like lean to me.
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Old 11-19-2006, 02:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Wikoff
That'* whiter than anything that comes out of mine. And it doesn't look like lean to me.
That was my guess. From my limited experience, the white on lean doesn't show up on the entire side electrode like that. I'm not too thrilled with the dark gunk on the other side of the plug either. There are so few miles on the plug.
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Old 11-19-2006, 03:18 PM   #20
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I'm just guessing, but white on one side would show the coolant is coming from that side, as in that side was towards the intake valve.

If it is just in a couple cylinders, I would most suspect the LIM gaskets and not the UIM. That'* my opinion. I wouldn't worry about what the other side looks like until I stopped the coolant sipping.
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