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Old 06-20-2011, 06:58 PM   #1
fe2cruz
 
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Default Coolant level dropping disappearing leak

Hello,

I tried all the checks mentioned in this thread but can't come up with anything.
http://sprinter-source.com/forum/sho...coolant&page=2

I have to top the Coolant level off 1/4 Gallon every week for the past 2 weeks as
the coolant light comes on and the level drops below the indicator. I've been running
front and back AC full blast 70% of the day. The Van runs all day 8 hrs @ ilde doing
field work.

The cap gives a nice hiss on 1/4 turn and a nice good pop on full twist before I remove it
either slightly warm or at full rest. Any leak/weep is evaporating too quickly for me. Even
sitting/idling or at rest I can't find any drips on the ground. The oil looks all black and fine
too. All clamps and sensors dry and tight. Besides the coolant light coming on if the level
is low, no other lights or warnings coming up on the dash.

Should I just give in and take it to a dealer? I'm afraid its a wierd turbo cooler or
gasket or water pump thing that my local shop may not be able to find right away.
The Long Beach dealer I've used in the past has been really fast and thurough, but
pricey & I'd have to get a rental for work.

thanks for looking,
-c

Last edited by fe2cruz; 06-20-2011 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:05 AM   #2
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Default Re: Coolant level dropping disappearing leak

Possibly the water pump seal??? Coolant will normally leave some trace that can be found by visual inspection.
Any white smoke from the exhaust or bubbles in the radiator when running?? That would indicate it is being burned.
Any oil in the radiator?? That would indicate an internal leak.
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:21 AM   #3
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Default Re: Coolant level dropping disappearing leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by fe2cruz View Post
The cap gives a nice hiss on 1/4 turn and a nice good pop on full twist before I remove it
either slightly warm or at full rest.
Cold, mine always requires effort to remove the cap - either stuck or a slight vacuum. Cold, I don't think there should be pressure in the radiator. If yours has pressure cold, then I would consider a head gasket leak.
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:22 AM   #4
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Default Re: Coolant level dropping disappearing leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by mendonsy View Post
Any oil in the radiator??
I don't think so. Oil level has been maintained and doesn't look contaminated.
When the engine is running the coolant flowing through as I see down the
cap opening looks clean. I see dirt/mud splashes on hoses, but nothing
that smells or looks of dried coolant.

Looking over my records its been since 2009 since my Cooling System was completely
serviced. In May this year the dealer also replaced my turbo intercooler hoses on
warrantee.

Could it have been possible that my coolant level dropped since 2009 and
just wasn't topped off properly last May to the point that the level dropped
to warning levels not after I left the dealer but just in these past few weeks?
I remember in my older cars and bikes, if I lost count of how much coolant I
poured in after a flush I would have to watch the level after a few days and
keep adding more till the level sustained proper operating specs. I seem to be
using this forum/thread to thinkout loud. If the level sustains this week I
might be able to write one this off.
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:28 AM   #5
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Default Re: Coolant level dropping disappearing leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by talkinghorse43 View Post
I would consider a head gasket leak.
Next morning cold there is no pressure. I have to wait for that hiss of pressure before I completely turn and remove the cap on hot or warm; slightly rested engine. It takes awhile for my van to cool down.
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: Coolant level dropping disappearing leak

I would either borrow or buy a pressure test unit. I believe Harbor Freight sells them at good price.

With a pressure tester you can pump up the pressure on a cold engine, let it sit, and then check for traces of leakage which should puddle and not evaporate. You should also monitor the pressure to see if it holds at a reasonable range. Have fun. vic
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: Coolant level dropping disappearing leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
borrow or buy a pressure test unit. Have fun. vic
My local Autozones carry testers with free rental or parkinglot use

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...ntifier=391374

I'll try this with and look for the MB recommended 20PSI level.
Then pump it cold in the morning and see if any leaks pop out.
http://sprinter-source.com/forum/sho...ressure+tester

Thanks again everyone
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:34 AM   #8
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Default Re: Coolant level dropping disappearing leak

check the water pump. I'm going thru this right now.
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: Coolant level dropping disappearing leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougflas View Post
check the water pump. I'm going thru this right now.
Just got home from renting the pressure tool for free and found the leak gushing
from under the van. Sorry for the cruddy rushed photos. Turns out my bathtub is
leaking too. I hope all my cursing and screaming wasn't scaring my neighbors. Not
sure how much came out. It stopped before I got a bucket under it. Way too many
things to deal with coming home tonight. It's so weird that the leak was non existent
these past two weeks, but now gushing out like crazy. Does this leak point to the
water pump or something else? It seems so from this thread:
http://www.sprinter-source.com/forum...142#post141142

I think I'm safe to bring it to my local shop. It shouldn't be hard for them to do simple
waterpump leak fixes or replacement. I'll be free from getting a rental.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg coolant-leak.jpg (66.4 KB, 229 views)

Last edited by fe2cruz; 06-21-2011 at 05:51 AM.
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:44 AM   #10
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Default Re: Coolant level dropping disappearing leak

Hi, fe2cruz,

Mine did the same. See link . http://sprinter-source.com/forum/sho...44&postcount=2

Cheers

Ross
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