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Unread 11-24-2008, 03:00 AM   #1
missyxj
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Coolant reservoir empty

hi
I've got a coolant problem. My reservoir is totally empty after driving a few miles after just filling it up! So somewhere it leaks or it gets spit out. I know nothing of the technical stuff so I can not diagnose the problem.

My question is, can I drive to my mechanic which is a 60minute drive? Or do you say 'no', get it fixed somewhere close.

Another thing caught my eye. After turning the key to off, my meters are not falling back to 0, but keep at their last active place. When I turn the ignition on, the meters fall back to 0 in a split second and then go to their correct position. Is this a problem? Or can this be ignored :-)..

Thanks guys,

[xj 1993, 4.0 HO, automatic, limited]

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Unread 11-24-2008, 03:13 AM   #2
kongpheng
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If you dont have coolant on the ground, you dont have a leak.

What i suggest is to park your Jeep with the nose in the air near a water hose or have coolant ready. with the Jeep like that, prop the hood open remove the radiator cap (if the car is cool), and turn the engine on without the radiator cap.

Run the Jeep with the A/C on until it reaches its normal engine temp. once that happens, the thermostat will open and your coolant will drop dramatically. top off your Jeep with coolant or water until no more air or bubbles come out.

This process is called "Burping". although your not over-heating, this process will get rid of air bubbles which boil your coolant to steam causing your engine to suck in more coolant from the resivoir, causing you to LOSE COOLANT. make sense?? hope this helps. I had the same issue as well.

Oh, and your probably wondering why you should have the A/C on. well... the coolant lines run through the heater core and stuff like that. with your A/C on, coolant will cycle through that spot and help remove some or most of the air bubbles that are caught in that area.
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Unread 11-24-2008, 03:34 AM   #3
missyxj
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hi kongpheng,

Quote: "top off your Jeep with coolant or water until no more air or bubbles come out":

Top it off in the coolant reservoir you mean? Until no more air or bubbles come out of the radiator?

It rains and snows a lot lately, and the fallen leaves make it hard to spot a leak under the car. I suspect a leak though, about 30cm from the frontbumper inwards, in the center. If this IS a leak, can the location of the spot tell you something about what might be leaking?

thanks again
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Unread 11-24-2008, 04:56 AM   #4
tjwalker
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You need to determine exactly where the coolant leak is coming from....this is something that we'll be of little value to help you with.

Get a good light and take the time to carefully inspect all around looking for things like a leak from the radiator or maybe a pinhole leak in one of the radiator hoses. Check at the weephole at the bottom of the waterpump as well, another common area of leakage. If you find a leak, have that repaired and fill up the coolant reservoir and carefully monitor the level for the next couple of weeks.

Check the oil level on the dipstick and while you're doing that, inspect the oil on the dipstick and also on the oil filler cap area. If the oil on the dipstick looks light brownish and has a milk-shake appearance, that may indicate coolant getting into your oil which is not good.

If you can't find any leaks, something more serious may be going on. I would recommend taking it into a shop for some testing. There is a simple test called the "cooling system pressure test" that should help confirm your problem. Other tests include a compression test and a leakdown test. Good Luck!
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Unread 11-24-2008, 05:14 AM   #5
missyxj
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hi tjwalker,

Thanks, I will check it. In the meantime: My coolant-reservoir cap, is a silly looking 'flip-cap' If you know what I mean. You can flip it on and off, without turning, and I do not think this cap seals the reservoir air tight. Should it though?
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Unread 11-24-2008, 05:22 AM   #6
tjwalker
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Missy,

The flip cap on the reservoir is by design. Not a problem.
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Unread 11-24-2008, 05:27 AM   #7
missyxj
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okay, thanx, I can sleep again

Should I fill AND the reservoir AND the radiator with coolant?
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Unread 11-24-2008, 08:50 AM   #8
AZ Jeff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missyxj View Post
okay, thanx, I can sleep again

Should I fill AND the reservoir AND the radiator with coolant?
YES. Fill the radiator ALL the way to the top of the filler neck, and install the pressure cap. Then fill the overflow reservoir up to the "cold fill" line on the reservior.
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Unread 11-26-2008, 05:36 AM   #9
kongpheng
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missyxj View Post
hi kongpheng,

Quote: "top off your Jeep with coolant or water until no more air or bubbles come out":

Top it off in the coolant reservoir you mean? Until no more air or bubbles come out of the radiator?

It rains and snows a lot lately, and the fallen leaves make it hard to spot a leak under the car. I suspect a leak though, about 30cm from the frontbumper inwards, in the center. If this IS a leak, can the location of the spot tell you something about what might be leaking?

thanks again

no, top off the radiator until no more bubbles come out. once no more bubbles come out of the radiator, cap the radiator and top off the resivior.
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Unread 12-02-2008, 05:32 AM   #10
missyxj
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It worked!
All the air is gone (there was a lot) and it runs great now. And the blower blows warm air too now ;-), very comfortable when it's 0 Celcius.. Thanks all!
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Unread 12-02-2008, 06:53 AM   #11
alhefner
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Just a very quick note here about running the A/C during the "burping". Absolutely noting from the coolant system is associated with the A/C system. They are separate. The engine coolant DOES run through the heater core but that is also separate from the A/C system.

So, if you want all the air bubbles out of the coolant system, turn the heat all the way up so that coolant is flowing through the heater core. This is also handy if you ever see your temp on the high side and need to try ad cool things down. Just put the heater on full blast and as the coolant cycles through the heater core, a bit more cooling will take place like having a very miniature radiator.

Last edited by alhefner; 12-02-2008 at 06:53 AM.. Reason: typo
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