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Unread 06-27-2014, 10:59 PM   #1
hxdrummerxc
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2008 WK 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Posts: 407
Diagnosing coolant disappear possible warped head / gasket?

Well, as the title states.... my engine coolant is just disappearing. It have been watching, and I don't see any leaks. I park in my garage every day, and the same spot at work every day. I have not found any leaks. But about a month or two ago, my coolant in the reservoir was low, so I topped it off with the correct coolant (Zerex G-05 HOAT)

Well, as of this morning, the reservoir was bone dry. However, I opened the radiator cap and the fluid was full to the top there. But just nothing left in the reservoir at all. From just about a month and a half of driving.

So with that said, im gonna rewind a couple months here. Before I topped off my fluid I had no leaks, and the coolant wasn't disappearing. It was just a little low in the reservoir. It had been like that for almost a year, but it wasn't disappearing. I just topped it off because were were hitting the road for our memorial day offroad trip.

Here is what worries me the most....... I overheated my engine on this trip. pretty badly too. The trip was going great, tons of great trails and times had with my dad, my brother and I. (two JK's and me in the WK). We went to a sand hill climb area, which is where it all happened. I should have been able to make it up the hill no problem. Plenty of power and low end from the hemi, should have pushed me up the hill easier than even my brother. (JK with 35" powered only by the v6) But human error and my ESP screwed me all up.

I attempted to climb the hill, but I forgot to turn my ESP off. It was going strong until about half way up my esp kicked in and cut the engine power and sunk me. So a little embarrassed, I reversed back down, put it in 4 low and tried it again. The hill is pretty steep and at the very top it crests over, you think your up the hill but after that crest, its still a decent incline for about another 100ft or so. Well thats where I messed up, I cruised right up the hill with no problems. Right after I crested the top I stopped to take it out of 4-low. (not taking in account that I was still on an incline in the sand) Everyone started yelling "Why did you stop!?" That's when I realized I screwed up and should have waited until I was completely out. I was stuck again.

Instead of reversing back down, I tried to climb out. I put it in reverse then forward and reverse then forward. I wasn't slamming on the gas or anything, but I was applying steady throttle and I was slowly climbing out, when I looked down and saw that my engine temp was almost maxed out. (it was about 90 degrees out, in the sand and a black jeep) So I immediately stopped and had my brother come winch me out. But it was too late. It was dangerously hot. No smoke or knocking or anything bad like that, but when I opened the hood, the coolant in my reservoir was BOILING.

It boiled for a while, probably 15-20 minutes. The whole reservoir actually started to swell up a little. I do have a video on my phone that I will upload of it boiling. I let it cool down for a few hours. After that I started her up and she runs fine. My dad and brother actually talked me into climbing the hill again, and I did like 3 more times with no problems. This time making sure not to stop lol. That whole time the temp never even got to the half way point. (my normal running temp)

She drove fine the rest of the trip, and I drove her 4 hours back home on the freeway, with no problems. And I was getting 20.1 mpg with MDS working perfectly. Everything seems normal. But my coolant, it just disappeared. Im really worried that I might have warped a head and am possibly burning the coolant. What are the chances for that to happen?

Again, I really see no leaks. I had a few small drips right under the radiator cap, but I wiped them up, and haven't seen any more. So I don't understand where its going. Unless my fear is coming true, and im burning it off. I just topped it back off today, and im going to continue to closely monitor it and the levels. Is there something else I should be looking for?

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08' Limited 5.7L QTII | Hemi Club #76 | Saguaro Front Shackles | Blacked out front grille, Blacked out stock chrome wheels | Bwoody 4" Short Ram Velocity Intake | Flowmaster Super 44 & resonator delete | Superchips Vivid |
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Unread 06-28-2014, 08:32 AM   #2
bigpav7
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Pressure test the cooling system. U can rent a pressure tester at autozone. my money is on the head gasket due to the overheat. Good luck.
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Unread 06-28-2014, 09:48 AM   #3
hxdrummerxc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpav7 View Post
Pressure test the cooling system. U can rent a pressure tester at autozone. my money is on the head gasket due to the overheat. Good luck.
Ok I had no idea you could rent that. Thank you. I'm probably gonna try that. I wasn't really monitoring the coolant, so I'm wondering if there is any chance that maybe I just boiled all of that off while it was overheating, and it's just been that low we've since. Maybe it will be ok now that I filled it. I don't know, I'm just clinging on every inch of hope.
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Unread 06-28-2014, 10:08 AM   #4
boykinjw
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Could be the radiator cap isn't holding pressure and letting boiling coolant into the reservoir which is evaporating as steam. Probably a far fetched theory.

I've also seen water pumps leak and dry the coolant on the hot engine block before it hits the ground. Probably would be a better theory if you had more water than coolant but you said you have been topping off with coolant.

My Hemi also had a loose heater hose that was running water through the firewall and getting soaked up in my carpet. I didn't see it because of my all weather floor mats but could smell it occasionally.
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Unread 07-01-2014, 06:21 AM   #5
hxdrummerxc
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I guess that could be possible. I'm just watching it for now. I'm still going on the hopes that maybe it boiling had evaporated a decent amount of the coolant. Since I filled it up on Friday the level hasn't went down.

When I run my car for a few the level in the reservoir will raise. Which is normal and good. And then I've checked it a few times when the engine was cold and it's still at the same level as when I filled it. So I'm just watching it for now. If I see it start dropping I'm gonna rent the pressure tester.

Wish me luck. I'm crossing my fingers maybe it will be fine now.
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08' Limited 5.7L QTII | Hemi Club #76 | Saguaro Front Shackles | Blacked out front grille, Blacked out stock chrome wheels | Bwoody 4" Short Ram Velocity Intake | Flowmaster Super 44 & resonator delete | Superchips Vivid |
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Unread 07-02-2014, 08:28 AM   #6
IndyBlueWK
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The bottom of my water pump would leak and I never saw a drop on the ground. It happen twice because the dealership did a great job replacing it. I knew it was happening because it would cause my belt to squeak on start up...
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Unread 07-02-2014, 12:44 PM   #7
hxdrummerxc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyBlueWK View Post
The bottom of my water pump would leak and I never saw a drop on the ground. It happen twice because the dealership did a great job replacing it. I knew it was happening because it would cause my belt to squeak on start up...
Ok thanks blueindy, I'll try and look to see if that is leaking. I may have found a small leak today. Where the radiator cap is, the black piece right under the cap that looks like a piece of pvc piping almost that comes out like a half inch from the cap. I noticed small dried up drops on my houses behind it, so I felt underneath it, and sure enough got coolant on my finger. But underneath the cap was dry. Almost like there is a small Crack in that plastic. But I'm not sure if that would cause that much of a coolant loss.
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