Where's all the coolant going?! - 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.

Reply
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-16-2009, 06:31 PM   #1
Senior Member
Posts like a 4 Banger
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 133
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
zecc81 is on a distinguished road
Default Where'* all the coolant going?!

Every time I check the coolant level in the reservoir it is bone dry so I'll fill it to the line on the tank. Then about a week later out of curiosity I'll check the level in the reservoir and it'll be bone dry again. I have never noticed a leak and the engine never overheats, so where'* all the coolant going?! I'd like to add that my mechanic said I have an intake manifold gasket oil leak. Also I've read that some GM models can't use green coolant but must use a specific kind of coolant (Dexcool or something) that rapidly breaks down the gasket. I've been putting 50/50 pre-mixed green coolant in so far, I hope I'm not damaging anything by doing this.
zecc81 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2009, 06:35 PM   #2
Retired Senior Admin

Expert Gearhead
 
Danthurs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Sheboygan Wisconsin
Posts: 29,661
Thanks: 0
Thanked 16 Times in 13 Posts
Danthurs is a name known to allDanthurs is a name known to allDanthurs is a name known to allDanthurs is a name known to allDanthurs is a name known to allDanthurs is a name known to all
Default

Good chance your LIM gaskets are leaking. How does the oil look? Changing them is not to hard to do and there is a write up on it in the tech info area. If you have DEX in your engine and your adding a green coolant you will have to flush the cooling system out. Mixing the two different types will sludge up and turn black. Seeing you have a old car I will assume you have high milage. Changing the LIM gaskets woudl be a very good idea.
Danthurs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2009, 07:19 PM   #3
Senior Member
True Car Nut
 
Purplehazeir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 7,979
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Purplehazeir is on a distinguished road
Default

Next time you start your car up, see if you can smell anything sweet smelling in the exhaust and more than average steam. Both are indicative of a coolant leak getting into the intake and then cylinders.

If the oil is milky or you have a milky film under the oil cap on the valve cover gasket...you've got coolant in the oil and you better not drive it - otherwise you will spin a bearing or two and need to rebuild the motor.
Purplehazeir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2009, 09:30 PM   #4
Senior Member
Posts like a 4 Banger
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 133
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
zecc81 is on a distinguished road
Default

I'm no expert, but the oil looks like it should on the dipstick and on the oil cap (clear, consistent brown-ish color). I don't smell anything out the exhaust nor do I see any white smoke/steam. The only time I smell anything (and if anything) is if I'm going 70+ on the highway, and its very mild and doesn't last. I have no idea whether I'm running Dexcool or need to, but I read Dexcool was only an issue for GM 95s and beyond. Right now I have 122K and am leaning towards it not being an LIM issue. It might just be a slow leak that I don't notice when driving or parked. I've been driving with a bone dry reservoir for about a month now and have never had a hint overheating, but the engine does get to 200 deg quite quickly (within 3 miles of starting up). I'm thinking about a coolant flush anyway just for regular maintenance and the fact that summer is coming.
zecc81 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2009, 09:35 PM   #5
Retired Senior Admin

Expert Gearhead
 
Danthurs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Sheboygan Wisconsin
Posts: 29,661
Thanks: 0
Thanked 16 Times in 13 Posts
Danthurs is a name known to allDanthurs is a name known to allDanthurs is a name known to allDanthurs is a name known to allDanthurs is a name known to allDanthurs is a name known to all
Default

You could get your radiator cap pressure tested. If it'* weak you could be loosing coolant while hot. Also a good idea to have the cooling system pressure tested. That will give you an idea if there is a problem.
Danthurs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2009, 09:42 PM   #6
Senior Member
Posts like a 4 Banger
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 133
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
zecc81 is on a distinguished road
Default

Well I'm taking it to the shop soon to get the supercharger coupler replaced (with an aftermarket one, of course), the serpentine belt replaced, and the intake manifold gasket oil leak fixed. While I'm there I'll have them test the coolant system and see what'* up.
zecc81 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2009, 10:47 PM   #7
Senior Member
Posts like a Turbo
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tipp City , Ohio
Posts: 246
Thanked 18 Times in 13 Posts
ssei98 will become famous soon enoughssei98 will become famous soon enough
Default

I had a similar problem with my 93 Bonneville. I could not keep antifreeze in the reservoir but the radiator never went lower than one inch below the filler neck. I finally located the problem after months of searching. There is a plastic clamp on the hose that goes from the reservoir to the radiator. When the hose gets old it deteriorates and swells up and cracks. I simply cut the last inch of the hose off and reinstalled the clamp. Problem solved! Apparently the hose was seeping just enough to to leak without even dripping . The anti-freeze seeped out the hose ran on to the hot radiator and evaporated before it left any sign of the problem. It sounds too good to be true but I haven't added a drop of anti freeze in over a year.
ssei98 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2009, 07:37 PM   #8
Senior Member
Posts like a 4 Banger
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 133
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
zecc81 is on a distinguished road
Default

Yes the LIM gaskets were leaking and apparently before I bought the car a year ago, someone had mixed Dexcool and green coolant, so it had turned to sludge. So I took it the shop and $670 later they replaced the LIM and did a complete coolant flush so all should be well now. I didn't see any of the signs in the oil that I had an LIM leak but apparently I did.
zecc81 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2009, 08:15 PM   #9
Retired Senior Admin

Expert Gearhead
 
Danthurs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Sheboygan Wisconsin
Posts: 29,661
Thanks: 0
Thanked 16 Times in 13 Posts
Danthurs is a name known to allDanthurs is a name known to allDanthurs is a name known to allDanthurs is a name known to allDanthurs is a name known to allDanthurs is a name known to all
Default

Ouch. Glad you got it fixed.
Danthurs is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
coolant temp going to 225 ???HELP goldfinger22 Buick 37 06-09-2011 01:10 PM
'57 Bonneville...going, going, gone!! mac077 General GM Chat 5 06-27-2007 12:52 PM
Harmonic damper going, going ... five7kid 1987-1991 8 06-30-2006 11:12 AM
Where is my coolant going? laff66 1992-1999 4 04-23-2006 12:47 AM
Where's the coolant going? IronBear93SSEi 1992-1999 4 01-18-2005 05:31 PM


Tags
coolant, leak, overheat, reservoir

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:09 PM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.