Where is the coolant going? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-22-2017, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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Where is the coolant going?

I have a 2002 WJ V8 Quadra drive that I have to put coolant in at least oonce a week.

Just recently, I had water pump, thermostat done. Heater core and radiator have been replaced with last year and a half. So I can't imagine it's those again.

replace head gaskets last March, plus had a Jeep dealer confirm it's not heads or gaskets a month ago.

So with that all that done, I find myself, still adding coolant once a week. Just had a few hot days in a row last week and it hasn't overheated. Though it will go over that halfway point when coolant is low. and i top her off again.

Can anyone shed some light on where coolant could be going?


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post #2 of 6 Old 05-22-2017, 01:13 PM
Double E
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Some simple things come to mind...
1. Depending on how recently those items were replaced, there may still be some burping taking place. My 2000 4.7 took a good 30 days until it got all of the air out on it's own.
2. The radiator cap may be leaking under operation and when it does, it's steam that occurs such that you do not see it.
3. There is a real leak under pressure that's not been located yet. Do a pressure test to confirm.

Couple of questions:
When you add, you are adding to the external reservoir, right? What is your trigger to add it, ...just temperature? Do you get the warning chime?
4. The level sensor is a known finicky item and can give false low level readings to the overhead console. Pull the sensor, pull the tank, clean it and check the tank for #5.
5. The external reservoir tank is leaking. These things are known to get crusty inside and with some time and external help, can crack or leak at the seam, the feed hose, or the feed hose has a leak. Pull the tank, fill it with a couple dozen nuts & bolts, soap & water or even some CLR and slosh it around till clean.
6. When you add, what are you adding exactly, water or straight coolant? What is the mix ratio? (Start adding just water till you figure this out.)
7. What fill level are you going to? Full line or the top of the container's neck?
8. If you run the heater full blast, do you have a sweet smell from the vents?
9. Pull back the carpet in the front, passenger compartment foot well. Is it dry or wet? Do you see any traces of liquid that dried?
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-23-2017, 08:23 AM
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do a pressure test
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-23-2017, 09:58 AM
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What Steve said.
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-23-2017, 10:03 AM
Starboard M
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I was having similar things happen, I replaced the heater core and at the same time replaced the radiator hoses, tstat and tstat housing.

Under normal driving, nothing of issue happened. The day after I would drive into the mountains to go skiing or hiking (read, Jeep got worked hard and got hot) I would get an overhead warning chime saying low coolant. Overflow reservoir would almost be completely empty.

There were no obvious signs of leaking coolant, Jeep never overheated, no coolant smell, and never had issues unless I was driving into the hills. Under normal day to day driving I would go months without losing coolant.

Ultimately I think the final cause was a faulty radiator cap. I replaced it and I "think" I fixed it as I did not have any related issues after that. As Double E mentioned, it was opening before it should have, and releasing small amounts of coolant as steam which I could not see when driving or after parking.

I would also suggest you check your overflow bottle for leaks, and check the overflow lines for any kinks, breaks, or blockages.

edit: I missed the part of adding coolant once a week. Based on that, Im guessing a radiator leak. I suppose it could be a small freeze plug leak, hose leak, etc.

I will now 3rd what was said, do a pressure test.

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post #6 of 6 Old 06-19-2017, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Hello All,

So i think it was just the radiator cap being faulty. I changed it last week and haven't experienced low coolant now for a week, and we have some pretty hot days lately.

Thanks for your help in this matter.
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