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Random Coolant Leak?


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#1 jj421

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:26 AM

You know what they say: when you fix one problem, another arises. In some cases, two problems arise.

 

So I was driving home from work today, put it in reverse to back down my driveway, and noticed some smoke. At first, I thought it was just the rain evaporating off of my hood from the heat of the engine. But then, more and more smoke started pouring out. I eventually had a bunch of smoke in front of my headlights:

 

coolant_zpsc90abe9d.png

 

It didn't have a distinct smell to it, so I popped the hood. Could smell and see the coolant. There's coolant all over my throttle cable, throttle body intake, IACV plug, and other things in that area. Anyways, I know this isn't a big repair or anything, but do you guys have an idea as to what this was? l am thinking just a worn hose that popped a hole or something. After a look in the engine, I only see one coolant line in the area, which is this small hose coming from the thermostat housing. The clamps are tight.

 

coolant2_zpse5de5a03.png

 

Has this happened to anyone else? Is there a part number or name for this hose? I'll hopefully get a better look at it tomorrow. Kinda hard to do a diagnosis at night. Thanks!



#2 TomRhere

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 03:22 AM

http://www.ultimates...sing-to-intake/

 

 

Same thing you have going on.

Had to do that hose myself awhile back.



#3 jj421

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 08:54 AM

Wow, I can't even believe I didn't look at that thread. I started reading it when it was first posted. Guess I'll stop by O'Reilly and get some 1/4" heater hose, along with some new wire clamps (if they have them).



#4 Gloyale

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 10:48 AM

Look to make sure it's not coming out around the base of the throttle body.  There is a rubber gasket under there.  The "toilet bowl" gasket.  it can leak coolant.



#5 jj421

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 11:02 AM

Yeah, I read about that gasket. I'm currently at school, so I can't look at the car now. Gonna stop by O'Reilly on my way home, and might just pick up the hose, clamps, and gasket (hopefully they have one in stock). Nothing wrong with new parts. Is there a proper name for the gasket?

#6 The FNG

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 08:05 AM

You can get the car up to temp and then throttle it a little from the engine bay. That should pressurize the system and help you find the leak if you are not certain. Just be careful.

#7 jj421

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 04:17 PM

Okay, replaced the hose and clamps. Got the gasket today. There was no gasket before. There were grease/dirty marks from where an old gasket was, but I did not find an old gasket. Anyways put the car back together, and as I was adding coolant, I noticed it was leaking from the same area. It was dripping from one of the two solenoids near the thermostat. I found that the line from the solenoid to the throttle body was severed. I think that was a coolant line, but I always thought it was a vacuum line. Anyways, fixed that, and no more leaking coolant. However, now the car won't start.  :banghead: When I put the key in the start position, it turns over for a split second, then just clicks. I've had this happen before, but now I can't seem to fix it. Cleaned and tightened the battery terminals. The connection at the starter is nice and tight. Very little resistance in the wire (about 0.01 ohms). Battery is reading 12.43 volts.

 

Taking a break now, so if you guys have any ideas before I head out there again, I'd appreciate it.



#8 naru

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 05:22 PM

Charge the battery

#9 jj421

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 05:33 PM

I don't have a battery charger. Gonna try jump starting it, since I'm now down to 12.3 volts. Also getting full voltage to the starter too.

 

EDIT:

 

Jumping it did nothing. Back up to 12.4X volts, both at both the battery terminals, and down at the starter.


Edited by jj421, 21 March 2013 - 05:50 PM.


#10 l75eya

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 06:08 PM

Push start it. Turn the key to on, get it rolling, keep it in second, and then pop the clutch. Let it run a bit, up to temp.



#11 jj421

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 06:15 PM

Unfortunately, that's not possible. For one, my car is parked on a pretty steep uphill. And two, there is nowhere to push it but on a pretty busy road, haha.



#12 TomRhere

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 06:52 PM

Chances are that the battery cables themselves are the problem. They may carry voltage okay, but a high amp draw like the starter needs is causing a bad connection in one of the cable ends

 

Also there's the posibility that the contact ring inside the starter solenoid is worn.

But, with the "tries to crank then rapid clicking", sounds like battery cables to me.



#13 robm

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 06:56 PM

Good point about tries to crank then stops.   Just to eliminate the contacts, try whacking the starter motor just before/as you crank it.  It can't hurt. 

Use a jumper cable to bypass the battery cable. 



#14 jj421

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 07:31 PM

Yeah, I was thinking my positive cable needs to be replaced. It doesn't look in great shape. My negative cable, on the other hand, looks fine. I think I might just replace both terminals, and the positive cable.

 

I don't think it is the starter. Like I've said, I've had this happen to me before. Definitely seems like a connection issue. Time to make another trip to the auto parts store.  :rolleyes:



#15 AKghandi

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 08:24 PM

just a random thought, you didn't get any coolant into the intake when you were doing the gasket, did you?.. it may be hydro locked if you did..



#16 jj421

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 09:06 PM

Nope, I didn't. Not that I could see anyways. It was pretty dry of coolant around that area when I opened it up, so I don't think any dripped in.



#17 rdweninger

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 11:04 AM

Click click... no start.   Pull the starter.  Replace the contacts.   I have done this to 3 of my Subarus now.  It fixed every one of them.  Mailed some contacts to my brother in WA, and that fixed his starter.

There are 3 small bolts (8mm head) at the end of the starter that hold a cap on.   Remove this cap, then the plunger, and hopefully, you will see the problem.

The contact on the battery side will be extremely corroded.  Replace both contacts and file down the round copper ring (flat side) just until shiney.

I paid $1.50 for each of my contacts.   Parts stores didn't have them... but found them at a local repair shop.  Subaru dealer might have them.

Whole job takes about 30 minutes.

Note:  Disconnect cables from the battery.  Remove the bolts (and one nut) from the starter.  I believe one of these bolts will release the starter ground cable.  Pull the starter with the positive battery cable still attached.  When you get the starter up around the fender area... then disconnect the positive battery cable.  Makes the job alot easier.



#18 Dee2

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 03:32 PM

ditto on the starter contacts. 

 

If your battery is good, then you have described the early signs of a failing starter.  It may start occasionally if you try long enough but better to go ahead and make the repairs or you will find yourself stuck somewhere.  I couldn't find any local  so I had to order mine from the dealer and it took a few days. Cost me about $20



#19 drugh

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 04:46 PM

Okay, replaced the hose and clamps. Got the gasket today. There was no gasket before. There were grease/dirty marks from where an old gasket was, but I did not find an old gasket. Anyways put the car back together, and as I was adding coolant, I noticed it was leaking from the same area. It was dripping from one of the two solenoids near the thermostat. I found that the line from the solenoid to the throttle body was severed. I think that was a coolant line, but I always thought it was a vacuum line. Anyways, fixed that, and no more leaking coolant. However, now the car won't start.  :banghead: When I put the key in the start position, it turns over for a split second, then just clicks. I've had this happen before, but now I can't seem to fix it. Cleaned and tightened the battery terminals. The connection at the starter is nice and tight. Very little resistance in the wire (about 0.01 ohms). Battery is reading 12.43 volts.

 

Taking a break now, so if you guys have any ideas before I head out there again, I'd appreciate it.

 

Unless I am misunderstanding...the 2 solenoids near the thermostat are not associated with the cooling system.  They are the purge and EGR solenoids, and they should definitely not have coolant leaking out of them.  Youve got big problems (cracked intake manifold?) if you have coolant in those vacuum lines.



#20 jj421

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 10:09 PM

Okay, I am officially annoyed. Went out and bought some battery cables. That nut that sits on the stud for the positive terminal got lost somewhere in the engine. Can't for the life of me find it, so went out and bought a new nut. It started screwing on just fine, but then damaged the threads partway down. Lost that nut too. Took the starter off, tried searching for the nuts, and can't find them. Brought the starter to the hardware store, and got a system that will hopefully work. But I dropped a wrench down there, and I can't find that!

 

My car is literally eating my tools and parts. I'm accidentally dropping these things down the huge gaping hole, with a clear view of my driveway. However, nothing is dropping on the ground. My wrench and nuts are landing somewhere in the engine compartment, and I can't find them. Not on the transmission, not in the transmission tunnel, not on the tranny crossmember, not on the subframe, not near the steering rack, not in the suspension components, not on the passenger side anywhere. I mean, I can understand losing a nut or two, but a whole wrench? I've crawled under the car, and can't see anything. Has anyone ever dropped something down here? Where do parts like to end up?

 

Before I do anything with the starter, I'm just gonna finish replacing the wires and see. Gonna try and keep this simple, before I start moving on to bigger things. For me, this sounds like a connection issue more than anything. If only I can get these wires on!

 

Those solenoids are, I believe, vacuum. That's why I was confused about the coolant there. I'm not sure if there is coolant going through the line, but that's where it was dripping, there was coolant on the line, and repairing the line seemingly fixed the leak. Any other signs of a cracked intake manifold, or something else that might cause this?



#21 TomRhere

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 05:22 AM

I know only to well the aggravaiting "I dropped _____, and can't find it now" delema.

 

I have found some of the items on the engine crossmember, under the oilpan itself. I have a short 10mm wrench that really likes that spot.

On the '88 Wagon, dropped items have hid there, but more behind the power steering lines than ontop of the crossmember.



#22 MilesFox

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 08:36 AM

your bparts will be resting on the engine crossmember behind the oil pan. Possible thru the holes and resting on the steering rack.


Edited by MilesFox, 23 March 2013 - 08:37 AM.


#23 jj421

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 01:19 PM

I'll check around the oil pan, but I think I checked there and found nothing. I've checked all around the steering rack, and found nothing.

 

Managed to get the wires on and the starter in. No luck. Still clicks, although now the clicking is quieter. Pulled the starter again, and gonna get it tested. I, unfortunately, don't have the time to search and wait for the contacts. So I'm just gonna get it tested, and if it's bad, O'Reilly has a new starter in stock that I can buy. 



#24 jj421

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 02:58 PM

Starter tested out fine. Gonna clean up those starter contacts with a wire brush, and see if that helps. I think one of the contacts were loose, so that might've been the problem. But the contacts look in good shape: not overly corroded or anything. Also gonna make sure I can turn the flywheel.

 

EDIT:

 

I cannot seem to move the flywheel. I can't really get good leverage on it, but I remember it being able to turn somewhat easy when I did my clutch a couple weeks ago.

 

EDIT 2:

 

Checked the oil: bone dry. Doesn't make too much sense though, as I checked the oil not too long ago and it was good. Haven't heard any ticking or any other noises. Oil pressure gauge and temperature gauge on the dash haven't read any differently last time I drove the car.


Edited by jj421, 23 March 2013 - 03:30 PM.


#25 l75eya

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 04:27 PM

Put some oil in there. Get a socket and a breaker bar on the crank pulley and see if your engine turns. ....

The likelyhood of you running your engine with no oil in it and not noticing is really really.....really unlikely. There would be a hell of a lot of noise and resentment coming from under that hood.

Let us know if the engine turns. Make sure you have the tranny in neutral when you try and turn the engine. (You're on a hill though, right? Keep that handbrake tight. Chock the wheel.)






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