Where is my coolant going? - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 28 Old 04-13-2017, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
steve_80
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Where is my coolant going?

Started up the Jeep this morning and the overhead console said "Coolant Low". I checked the reservoir and it was almost empty, so I filled it up with water.

I last checked maybe a month ago and it was at the "full" mark.

Any ideas on where it went? There's no puddles of it on my garage (only the condensation puddles).

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post #2 of 28 Old 04-13-2017, 10:08 AM
Double E
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A few places come to mind.
First, what engine, miles and when was the radiator last swapped?

'04 Freedom Edition HO & '04 Overland HO (previous '00 Laredo 4.7)
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post #3 of 28 Old 04-13-2017, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
steve_80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double E View Post
A few places come to mind.
First, what engine, miles and when was the radiator last swapped?
4.7, 210,000 KM, original radiator/coolant (coolant to be flushed next month)
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post #4 of 28 Old 04-13-2017, 04:27 PM
Montreal300
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Any funny smells in the cabin like maybe coolant? A pinhole leak in the heater core will drop the coolant level slowly and it only happens when hot and up to pressure.
A not so easy problem is a leaking head gasket.

1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Laredo (White) with 4.0 137,000 miles
2006 Chrysler 300C, 5.7 (Black) 98,000 miles
2010 Hyundai Santa Fe with 3.5 and AWD (Black) 65,000 miles
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post #5 of 28 Old 04-13-2017, 06:12 PM
HarryH3
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Ours had a tiny crack in the radiator side tank, near the top hose. It wasn't enough of a leak that I could smell it in the cabin, but the low coolant alert was the first warning. Once I started looking in earnest, I found the weep and ordered a new radiator.
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post #6 of 28 Old 04-18-2017, 12:35 AM
703JRB
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If you can't find anything, get the oil analysed next change. I had the same issue although my loss was slower, and unfortunately for me I have traces of coolant in the oil.

I'm only on 77k too.

Joe
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post #7 of 28 Old 04-18-2017, 01:31 AM
sdg3205
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Uh oh Steve. Head gasket time.

Send a sample to blackstone labs and you'll know for sure. I have sample kits if you need one.
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post #8 of 28 Old 04-18-2017, 04:48 PM
86cj74.2L
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdg3205
Uh oh Steve. Head gasket time. Send a sample to blackstone labs and you'll know for sure. I have sample kits if you need one.
+100 that seems the sure fire way. If any coolant is in your oil..............seems better than the combustion gas test.
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post #9 of 28 Old 04-18-2017, 08:08 PM
sdg3205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86cj74.2L View Post
+100 that seems the sure fire way. If any coolant is in your oil..............seems better than the combustion gas test.
My head gasket leak was too small to be detected with the U-view hydro carbon tester. The only sure fire way is to pony up and get your oil analyzed.
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post #10 of 28 Old 04-19-2017, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
steve_80
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Can I see it in the oil? I checked the coolant level and it hasn't moved since I topped it up with water on the 13th.

And there's no smell in the cabin.
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post #11 of 28 Old 04-19-2017, 09:15 AM
HarryH3
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By the time you can see it in the oil you need a new engine. Coolant destroys the lubricating qualities of oil, which quickly renders the crank and rod bearings useless. Send a bit of oil to a lab for analysis. Then you can stop guessing what is going on.
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post #12 of 28 Old 04-19-2017, 09:35 AM
sdg3205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryH3
By the time you can see it in the oil you need a new engine. Coolant destroys the lubricating qualities of oil, which quickly renders the crank and rod bearings useless. Send a bit of oil to a lab for analysis. Then you can stop guessing what is going on.
That might be a little dramatic. It totally depends on how much coolant is in the oil. There is even a mean amount of sodium and potassium that is allowable AND often found in some engine oils. Blackstone will tell you if you are above, at or below this average and can tell you whether or not your favourite oil uses Na and K as additives to begin with.
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post #13 of 28 Old 04-19-2017, 09:36 AM
sdg3205
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I had no "classic" symptoms other than a heater core waterfall and needing to top up the coolant every few months. It was a very slow, small leak.
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post #14 of 28 Old 04-19-2017, 09:53 AM
rattlesnake436
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Any funny smells outside of your WJ and what is the motor, I had the same issue for a week then at one point on my 2004 WJ with a 4.0l engine I saw the coolant leaking from the water pump the seal failed, and the lower radiator hose developed a small pinhole leak
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post #15 of 28 Old 04-19-2017, 10:05 AM
HarryH3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdg3205 View Post
That might be a little dramatic. It totally depends on how much coolant is in the oil. There is even a mean amount of sodium and potassium that is allowable AND often found in some engine oils. Blackstone will tell you if you are above, at or below this average and can tell you whether or not your favourite oil uses Na and K as additives to begin with.
Perhaps, but everyone that I've known that found coolant in their oil didn't find it until the engine developed a rod knock.
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