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Cooling Discuss all of the aspects of cooling that you can think of! Radiators, transmissions, electric fans, etc.

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Old 02-11-2008, 09:49 PM   #1
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Coolant Leak, only when cold?

Well, a few weeks ago, my car started leaving stains in the driveway overnight. This was the week where it was way below freezing temps for a while, like 25/30*F daytime and 0-10*F night. I was pissed because every time I am under the car, NOTHING was oily.

One morning, I went out to warm the car up like I always do in cold weather. I went out 10 minutes later to leave, and noticed a big run of coolant coming down the driveway, about the size of a $.25.

Pop the hood, nothing under there is wet. My dad made me park over an old cookie tray now. But the weather was been warmer, and there is no more leaks what so ever!

Now last night it was really cold. Below 10*F. Start it this morning, and after warming it up I move it. Sure enough, a few drops of green in the cookie tray. Seems to be coming from the waterpump area, but that doesent make sense to me. If the waterpump was weeping, wouldnt it be spraying everywhere soaking the serp belt and hood insulation?
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:22 PM   #2
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Re: Coolant Leak, only when cold?

Not necessarily. Here's what I hope it's not....Just checked my stepsons 92Z and thought it was the pump. Turns out it's the intake manifold/head gasket on the passengers side. Gasket may swell a little when warm and seal. Look closely at the area between the manifold and the head where where they meet the front of the block and see if you can find anything wet or moist. Some of those pocket inspection lights like snapon or the parts stores sell will make antifreeze stains from green coolant in particular show up really well. Hope it's just your waterpump bud. Good luck! (I'm assuming you've already laid under the car and checked the bottom of the radiator support for any liquid, also, if the pump leaks out the weep hole, alot of times it will trace the bottom of the lower hose and leave a stain there)
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:19 AM   #3
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Re: Coolant Leak, only when cold?

Hell, if its a headgasket, il let the sum-bitch leak. It's too cold out to have the car apart lol. I will look at that area though.
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:43 AM   #4
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Re: Coolant Leak, only when cold?

It could be the water pump, or could be a hose.

What kind of clamps are on your radiator hoses? I have had the problem in the past with the hoses leaking only in the winter. Most of the time the clamp was those factory spring clamps. They loose tension over time.

I change to the old fashion screw type clamps and it fixes the problem.

Just something to check.
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:06 AM   #5
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Re: Coolant Leak, only when cold?

the other possibility could be core plugs in the side of the block starting to go bad. but if you look under the car you'd notice that if you look at them.
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:16 AM   #6
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Re: Coolant Leak, only when cold?

If you cant visually find the leak put a pressure tester on it and the leak should show up.
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:48 AM   #7
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Re: Coolant Leak, only when cold?

Pressure tester - good idea. Need to invest in one, they work great. We used one at school once to troubleshoot a smalll leak, and it blew out a bad section of the radiator about the size of a penny!

Hose clamps - well the hoses are all origional 1990 and so are the clamps. Please dont say replace the hoses, because they are fine still nice and squishy. I checked the inside of the hoses too, when I did the coolant flush with the machine at work. And I cant afford new ones.

I will take another look at it in a few minutes, its really cold outside, and I havnt left the house yet today.

Thanks for all the great ideas guys.
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:40 AM   #8
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Re: Coolant Leak, only when cold?

BTW, I was refering to the intake gasket between the manifold rather than the head gaskets themselves
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Old 02-12-2008, 01:16 PM   #9
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Re: Coolant Leak, only when cold?

Oh, alright. Well, it didnt leak today, so I guess 25*F is too warm.

I do have another problem, though. Whenever I first start the car on a cold morning, about 20 seconds after the car starts, I get this un-godly howl or squealing noise from inside the A/C compressor. Almost like a metal on metal at high RPM type noise.

The A/C is not on when this happens, and the noise goes away after about 2 minutes of running. Also, it goes away if I touch the throttle to bring the RPM up about 100 more.
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Last edited by slow_90firebird; 02-12-2008 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 02-12-2008, 02:29 PM   #10
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Re: Coolant Leak, only when cold?

Quote:
Originally Posted by topradman View Post
BTW, I was refering to the intake gasket between the manifold rather than the head gaskets themselves
Could also be the manifold itself. We have aluminum manifolds bolted to iron heads with coolant passing thru. That equals the aluminum corroding over time.
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Old 02-12-2008, 04:49 PM   #11
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Re: Coolant Leak, only when cold?

The compressor runs when the defrost is on. you may need more oil in your ac system, or it could just be a loose belt to your compressor.
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:46 PM   #12
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Re: Coolant Leak, only when cold?

Well its a serp belt, and def not loose. And I didnt have the defrost on.

My A/C system only has about 1/2 the necessary charge of R-12. Still running on the factory fill. No parts store would sell me the R-12, even with my MACS card . One guy even told me he couldnt sell me the freon because my MACS card might be a fake!

Either way, can I just get a small can of mineral oil and put that in?
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:09 PM   #13
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Re: Coolant Leak, only when cold?

I would not add any oil that is not R12 compatible refrigerant oil!! If your compressor was howling and sounded like metal on metal and the clutch isn't trying to kick in, then its probably bearings and if you're hearing them, adding oil is probably too late anyway. It may be the front bearing starting to go out of the clutch doing something odd. Unplug the power from the compressor and see if it still does this. If it's low on freon by 1/2, the compressor shouldn't kick in anyway. Your probably headed toward a new clutch or compressor. If you need one and your interested, let me know and I'll see if I can help on the price of a new one.
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:39 PM   #14
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Re: Coolant Leak, only when cold?

Well, as of right now, I am just using it for the pulley. I thought about doing an A/C delete, but I kinda really want to find a way to get the A/C working cold again this summer. Oh, and when I said mineral oil, I meant R-12 mineral oil as opposed to the PAG oil all the parts stores sell for R-134a.

Again, the compressor only makes noise on really cold mornings. Most days, it is completely silent.
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:27 AM   #15
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Re: Coolant Leak, only when cold?

Hmmm....thats interesting, i'm not sure how the v8 305's are engine wise, but on my 3.1L there is an inlet going into the motor, and sadly enough i'm not sure what it is, but when my car warms up it leaks, and continues to leak... not very strong leak but it leaks RIGHT above the water pump, so the antifreeze just sits on the motor...


I don't know if the v8's have that or not, but take a look?
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:12 PM   #16
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Re: Coolant Leak, only when cold?

Are you talking about the thermostat housing? Is it where the upper radiator hose connnects to the engine? Usually 2 bolts holding the housing on.

If so, a new gasket for it is about $5 at autozone, and a piece of cake to do.
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:07 PM   #17
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Re: Coolant Leak, only when cold?

Some TPI engines changing the Thermostat are a piece of cake. Most people get that deer in the headlight look when they find out that the back bolt on the housing is under the Throttle body and they can't get it off.
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:07 PM
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