I've spent the night on here trying to figure out my problem, but I've had no luck.
I live in Denver, it was a heavy wet snow fall day. My wife and I did an hour drive up north of Denver and about 45 min into the drive, I hear a whizzing noise from under the hood from what sounds like it's coming from the left front side. It was so noticeable it caused my wife to stop talking and pause. We had the heater running and heat was pumping the whole time. It was snowing and 30 degrees outside. Once I dropped below 65 mph, the sound went away. As we were nearing our destination I get an indication that my coolant was low. We arrive, I open the hood and sure enough the over flow was near empty. Since it was wet and snowing outside, I couldn't see any signs of a leak. Everything looking at the top looked dry. 2 hours go by. I stop immediately after leaving our appointment and hit up an O-Reily a block away to get some coolant. I pour it in. We start our hour drive back home. Once again about 15 from home around 60-65mph I hear the wizzing sound again. Also, under the glove box (heater core?) sounds like rain on a tin roof. The wizzing sound goes away as soon as I drop to a lower speed. The sound under the glove box only stops when at idle. I luckily get home and pull in the garage. This whole time the engine temp stayed between 200-215 never above 215. When I pull into the garage and turn off the jeep, I hear the sound which is like a jet engine shutting down (fan clutch?) I open the hood and all the coolant is still there. Of course I can't search for any leaks since my garage is now covered in wet falling snow off the Jeep. The cooling system is making a bunch of crazy noises and about a minute or so of looking around with my shop light, the system hiccups and in one swoop takes all the coolant out of the reservoir. I let the jeep sit for about a half hour and cool. I open the bleeder and pour more coolant in the radiator and it takes the rest of the coolant I bought. I run the jeep and I hear a clicking noise about every 45 seconds. Like something wants to engage and turn, but can't. I'm thinking this may be the fan clutch again. The fan spins about a 1/8 - 1/4 turn. Same after being warmed up. I also notice steam. But thought it may be all the snow and moisture steaming up.
My story is getting long. After filling the radiator, we take a 15 min drive on town roads maxing at 40mph tops. Get food, drive back home, and the jeep was fine the entire time. Held below 210, fluid never hiccuped, heat inside the cabin was hot, and the glove-box sound was gone. When I got home, there was no steam coming off the radiator at all like there was after I did the belching routine.
Question: What is happening? Where did my coolant go? What are these sounds? I check my fluid levels religiously. I just replaced the plugs last weekend. It's a 2003 Limited 4.7 V8. My very un-educated guess is that my fan is dying. Would that cause the coolant to heat up, boil and evaporate to where it gets that low?
I checked my oil, it's nice not milky. I did notice my oil filler area was brown and posted a pic below.
Any thoughts would be great. Sorry for the long thread and thanks to those that made it through