help, the zj is running warm, eating coolant, but not leaking to the ground
ok ill give the scenario, 93 zj with 188k, aw4, 249, 35/30. i did a complete fluid change, oil, trans, diffs, tcase. but i didnt touch the cooling system since ive never had a problem before with it. well on to the problem. sitting at a red light in gear, or in the drive thru, the temp rises above 210 to 220. if i put it in neutral it doesnt climb, and sometimes drops. driving, no issues at all, and i havent tested it out on a trail either. yesterday when i popped the hood to check the levels, the oil is fine, good color, tranny seems fine, good color and level. and everything else checked out ok till i got to the radiator resevoir. its alot lower (full to add) then the last time i looked at it. roughly 2 weeks, i know iknow, but i overlook it sometimes. now i have no idea where the coolant is going, there is none on the ground, the oil looks fine. ive read about the sweet smelling exhaust, but it smells no different than my motorcycles exhaust. i also pulled the radiator cap off with it running and didnt see any bubbles in the fluid. so any suggestions? my s10 ran hot with no leaks, then one day, there is a pool of coolant under it and a 10 inch crack down the tank. i just assumed it plugged up but never knew for sure. but than again it ran hot on the freeway and in town, but sitting at a light it was fine. thanks in advance for the info. and if you need any more info just ask. thanks !!!
I notice you live in Phoenix. Hot weather no doubt. I lived in Bullhead City for a year then moved to Kingman to escape the NICE WARM SUMMERS.
Anyway, how low is it? What I do is take a black marker & fill to that mark when hot. Then I can quickly look at it when ever I stop for gas or checking things.
Then start watching how much you loose. You will loose some just by evaporation in the hot climates. All my truck have & do. But not much.
Are the hoses hold pressure when warmed up?
Really look it over close, just because fluid isn't hitting the ground you may have a slow leak hose or clamp, freeze plug starting to leak. When I bought our ZJ I had two freeze plugs leaking but no anti freeze on the ground. I found it only because I noticed the reservoir kept going low. So I started to crawl around under it & found them.
Just my thoughts.
****important**** im sorry i forgot to mention this in the very beginning, but since the fluid change, the tranny has started to shift a little funny, it tends to really like third gear regardless of where the gas pedal is. could the tranny not operating correctly/differently affect the engines operating temperature like i described. like the engine is working harder since the tranny is having issues.
good old bullhead, i lived there for a while with my brother when i was a kid, right across the river from the colorado belle. oh those were the days, anyways back to the matter at hand. yeah, it doesnt help that im in phoenix, where your car is damn near driving temperature before you start it. ive been underneath and see no signs of coolant anywhere. and i have looked it up and down, nothing seems out of the ordinary. im going to change the oil in about a hour and will look over it all again. thanks again.
well i just changed the oil and it appears to be alright. nothing unusual to report there. the tranny fluid level is good too along with everything else. the radiator resevoir did change levels on the way home, so the cooling system seems to be working properly. im just wondering if changing the fluid in the tranny, and not knowing if its been neglected or not, is making the tranny not work right. this is gonna bug me, hurry up fall, get this 115 degree weather out of here.