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Random Coolant Leak?


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#26 l75eya

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 04:28 PM

Did your car have a feature where you had to push in the clutch pedal before it would turn the starter? Maybe that's something to look into? Afterthought.



#27 jj421

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 04:44 PM

What socket do you need? A 7/8"? I don't have a socket big enough for the crank pulley, and the clutch fan is in the way.

 

That's what I was thinking. I would probably notice if I didn't have oil. Sure the exhaust is pretty loud, but it would be making noises a lot louder most likely. A knock too, I'd imagine.

 

I'll stop by O'Reilly and pick up a socket and see. It is in neutral, I am on a hill, in FWD, handbrake engaged. Oh, just to double check, turning the crankshaft pulley, I should rotate it clockwise, correct? I think that's the direction I've noticed the engine turning.

 

Also, I've kinda noticed the coolant level has decreased slightly. No visible leaks though.  <_<

 

As far as I know, I do not have a clutch switch. And if I do, it should be working fine. A faulty clutch switch would make it so it wouldn't even click. Turning the key would just do nothing. But the clicking tells me that there is voltage going to the starter.

 

EDIT:

 

Did what the guy at O'Reilly recommended. Hooked one lead of my multimeter to the positive battery terminal, and the other lead to where the positive wire connects to the starter. Looks like I'm losing ~0.5 volts when I turn the key. Not sure what it should be, but that almost seems too much. Any other easy tests I can do with my multimeter?


Edited by jj421, 23 March 2013 - 05:08 PM.


#28 l75eya

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 09:20 PM

To assure that it isn't hydro-locked, you can remove all the spark-plugs and crank it. Just another random thought. .5 doesn't seem like (to me) enough of a voltage drop to prevent it from turning over at all....



#29 jj421

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 10:16 PM

Okay, got a socket that fits on the crank. And I am officially recognized by everyone at O'Reilly as a regular customer.  :rolleyes:

 

With the spark plugs in, rotating the crank clockwise is very stiff, but it will rotate with a bit of force. The crank rotates with relative ease going counterclockwise. So the crank pulley does move. This is leading me to believe that the engine is not seized, so what now?

 

I'm thinking I need to charge up the battery and then try again. I just tried to start it again, and it cranked for about a second, then just clicked. After a couple more attempts, it went back to the split second of cranking, followed by clicks. I tried jump starting it the other day, but it made no difference.

 

Here is a short clip of me trying to start it. You can hear it start to turn over, then just clicks:

 



#30 l75eya

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 01:51 AM

If it's feasible, I'd say just push start it already. Get it rolling, drop it in second, pop the clutch and presto, it will start. Then just drive around for an hour and let the car charge the battery up itself.  Also, this is just me, but whenever I'm having issues with my car not starting, I make certain to turn off every bit of electrical draw possible.



#31 jj421

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 02:01 AM

Again, I can't push start it. I would need probably about ten people to prevent my car rolling down my driveway and ramming into our trailer and house. Probably another five guys to push it up out of my driveway and onto a busy road. Unfortunately, I don't have 15 people. My driveway is pretty steep. If I have a passenger in my car, I'm practically burning the clutch to get out of my driveway.

 

Every time I turn off the car, I turn everything off except for the parking lights. I turn off the headlights, heater, radio, etc. I find that when I try and start the car with these things on, it struggles a bit. So everything is off right now.

 

I don't have a battery charger, which sucks. I might just have to take it down to O'Reilly and have them charge it up for me for free. They did it with my sister's battery in her Mustang. They should also be able to load test it and see if it's good. 



#32 l75eya

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 02:16 AM

Pop the battery from your explorer in there, start it up, then swap batteries while your soob is still running.



#33 l75eya

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 02:20 AM

Just brainstorming here. And you only need about a good 30 feet of rolling distance. Is your driveway long enough? You can do it in reverse too, but it'll be a bit jerkier :P I push started a 93 altima on about a 20 foot long strip of highway island off an on ramp. The good thing was it was a very slight downward slope for pushing the car forward on. The bad thing was that it took me more than 8 tries to push the car fast enough to get it to push start and I had to push it back up the hill each time. The other bad thing was that cars were whizzing past me at 50-60 mph the whole time. And it was 90+ degrees out. And I hadn't eaten all day. And ...well yeah. That whole experience sucked.



#34 jj421

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 02:27 AM

The battery from the Explorer is almost worse, haha. It's seen better days, for sure. Might try the fully charged one from my sister's Mustang. Because nobody is driving it, the battery is just sitting in my garage. It holds good voltage, but it's an older battery. We'll see.

 

You know how wide a sidewalk is? Yeah, I've got just a little bit more room than that. Definitely can't do it in reverse, as I've got no room either. This picture was taken a while back, but basically here is my situation. I've got very little room in front, very little room behind, and a pretty steep hill (if pushing). The camera was at a tilt, so it doesn't look too bad, but trust me, it's pretty steep. Compare it to the horizontal lines of my house, and you can better see the angle. Not to mention that the driveway gets steeper you get closer to the sidewalk.

 

P1130536_ps_zps1d83ee74.jpg


Edited by jj421, 24 March 2013 - 02:29 AM.


#35 AKghandi

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 10:12 AM

why not hook the explorer to the subie and pull it up the drive way? it should have more than enough power to pull it up to the street.



#36 mudduck

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 10:47 AM

Try a know good battey.



#37 ferp420

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 11:37 AM

check to make sure the motor and trans are grounded to the body and the battery and pull start it with another car all you need is another car and a long tow strap



#38 jj421

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 01:46 PM

The Explorer should be able to pull me out, but I don't have a tow strap, chain, or anything. I hate being ill equipped. Also, I don't even know for sure if I fixed the coolant leak, so I gotta check on that when I get the car running.

When I get home from work, I'll try a known good battery and check the grounds. I'm thinking maybe the ground wire that connects to the transmission came loose or something. Not sure if that wire could cause this problem though.

#39 l75eya

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 02:16 PM

Usually, in my experience, a loose ground will cause the car to click but then lose all power completely. You're getting a click, but then when you disengage the starter you get power back, so it seems like it's just a low battery.

Like if you hook up the battery and don't tighten one of the cables enough, a loose neg, you crank the engine and it clicks and then there's no power and you have to unhook and rehook the terminals, and tighten them a bit.

Hopefully a known good battery will crank your car right up.


And yeah, I see your dilemma. Not much room, and it does look like a bigger road right out of your driveway. Bummer.



#40 jj421

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 06:58 PM

I've had a loose negative terminal before. It does what you say: loses all power until you unhook it and reattach it. I was actually driving to O'Reilly to pick up a new terminal, when the negative wire came loose and shut off the car. Kinda sucky because you can't even turn on the hazard lights as you pull over.... Or maybe at that time, the fusible links wire came loose. Not sure, but I swapped out the terminal and it never happened again.

 

I could go out on that road at 3 AM when there's nobody else, but once (and if) the car fires up, the exhaust will awake all my neighbors.  :grin: Got home from work, but I'm gonna take a break before I try out the battery. My feet are killing me, so I wanna relax for an hour or two before I head out there. Hopefully the battery is the issue. That's what it seems like to me. Initially, it seemed like a connection issue, but with brand new wires and terminals, kinda ruling that out. The only other thing would be the starter contacts. I cleaned and tightened them, but they weren't in bad shape before. O'Reilly tested the starter, and they said it worked fine, so I should be getting at least a half-decent connection. Their machine can't put a load on the starter though.



#41 l75eya

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 08:22 PM

was actually driving to O'Reilly to pick up a new terminal, when the negative wire came loose and shut off the car.



That would only happen if your alternator was dead. Engine should keep running if you disconnect a lead from the battery with a good alt. That's all besides the point though, hoping a fresh(er) battery solves your problems kid!



#42 jj421

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 10:15 PM

Hmm, well my alternator did die a couple months later, but hadn't had any problems with it. Once I installed my second set of auxiliary lights, the alternator crapped out, haha. Now I got a nice, new, shiny one in my engine.  :headbang: I think the fusible links came loose when that happened. I didn't have them properly attached to the positive terminal.

 

Went out and played with my multimeter a bit. Most stuff didn't seem too out of the ordinary, but three things. Let's start from the top:

 

  • My battery was at 12.35 volts when sitting; this is a bit low.
  • The spare battery was at 12.32v when sitting; this is also low.

I can tell here that both of these should be charged up. Again, don't have a charger at home, so I'll take both to O'Reilly to get charged tomorrow, since I'm free. I "plugged in" the spare battery I had, and I had the same exact results when I tried to start it.

 

  • do have continuity between the negative terminal on the battery, and both the engine and the transmission.

This, to me, says I have a good ground connection.

 

  • With the key on, engine off, and with every electronic turned off, the battery sits at 12.00v.
  • With the key in the start position, the battery reads 8.00v.

To me, the 12.00v seems a bit low, especially to engage the starter. But I've never tested when the battery and connections are good. The 8.00v seems normal to me, though. Again, maybe a bit low though.

 

  • The old negative wire had 0.5 ohms of resistance.
  • The new negative wire had 0.5 ohms of resistance.
  • The old positive wire had 0.5 ohms of resistance (should point out that it was hard to find a good reading, since there was lots of corrosion).
  • The new positive wire had 0.55 ohms of resistance.

So it looks like I've not really changed much by swapping out the battery wires. However, the old positive wire had a lot of corrosion on the terminal, so I definitely have a better contact with the battery with the new wires.

 

  • With the key in the start position, there is 0.55v loss in the positive wire.
  • With the key in the start position, there is 0.5v loss in the negative wire.

The positive wire may or may not be normal. I posted it earlier, but didn't get a clear answer. The negative wire, however, seems like too much voltage loss. If I'm not mistaken, I should get no more than 0.2v loss. I may not have done this test correctly though. I did the same as what I did on the positive wire: One lead of the multimeter on the negative battery terminal, and the other lead on the starter where the negative wire connects. One thing to note here is the longer I held the key in the start position, the less voltage loss there was (in the negative wire). In other words, when I turn the key to the start position, it starts at 0.53v, then a couple seconds later, it's down to 0.4v. If I am doing this test correctly, what could be causing such a large loss in voltage?

 

  • There is fluid in the battery cells

 

  • Almost all of the fuses read full voltage, with the key on, engine off.
  • The only fuse that didn't read 12+v was the 15 amp "Charge" fuse.
  • This fuse read 2.06v.
  • The fuse looked fine.

I don't know about this fuse, and if it should be receiving more voltage. It definitely stood out, as all the other fuses were reading full voltage from the battery. The name on the back of the fuse cover, "Charge," leads me to believe this fuse is something that would be more "active" when the car is running, than just with the key in the on position. Anybody know about this fuse? It was not blown or melted, so it looks okay.

 

That's all the notes I took on the electrical side of things. So the three big things that stood out for me were the low battery voltage, large voltage drop in the negative wire, and the 2.06v "Charge" fuse. So maybe we can go somewhere from these tests, and maybe there are more tests I can do that I don't know about. I will get the battery charged, since it's a tad low.

 

Also, another problem. The coolant is not fixed.

 

  • Coolant level is not visible with the radiator cap off.
  • No signs where it's leaking.
  • The new hose I installed: dry of any coolant.
  • TBI: dry.
  • Thermostat: dry.
  • Solenoid(s): dry.
  • Coolant still on engine block in that general area (hasn't evaporated off).

It's definitely still leaking; no doubt about it. I'm thinking it's still in that area, since there's still coolant on the engine block. But there's not visible leaks, and it all seems relatively dry around there. Or perhaps it's leaking internally, and hydro-locked the engine? I'm definitely not an expert on coolant, and where it goes. I've only dealt with the thermostat and CTS before. 



#43 ferp420

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:47 AM

i might be off here but dident you just swap the trans out im guessing ground becaus there are a few ground wires around  there a under sized ground dosent cut out  just dosent carry load i had the same problem on my nissan was grounding though the shift cable the motor  turns till the under sized ground gets hot then just clicked never lost power completly i figured it out because i melted the shift cable trying to jump start it i went through 3 starters befor i figured it out and if the body has ground and the motor dosent it wont kill the power to the car just the starter bad grounds are i my opinion the hardest to track down try jumper cables from the starter to the battery and the body at the same time and wigle the cables just because the clamps are on dosent mean there is juice flowing see if it helps its a cheap easy test


Edited by ferp420, 25 March 2013 - 11:57 AM.


#44 jj421

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 02:53 PM

I did just replace the transmission, but that was ~300 miles ago, maybe more. I'm not quite sure how to do the test you described. But I did go out and run a jumper lead from the negative post on the battery to various parts on the frame and body. No luck.

 

I did, however, notice some coolant on the backside of the engine. Not sure if it was there before, but it looks relatively clean and new. You can see the coolant on the bottom of the picture, but everywhere else looks relatively dry. The only thing with coolant on it is the throttle cable assembly, but that got soaked when the leak happened. Maybe you guys can see something I can't?

 

P1100301_zps90235992.jpg

 

I'd also like to point out that my old coolant does not look great. Haven't had any overheating problems or anything though.

 

P1100304_zpsa5a775b7.jpg

 

Now that it's daytime, I can see a new leak on the driveway from what seems to be coolant. I've got the normal oil leak stains on my driveway, but this one is new. Looks like it's coming from around the power steering rack. The second picture is directly above where the fluid on my driveway is. It looks like coolant mixed in with grease in the lower left-hand corner in the second picture.

 

P1100310_zps9cffbfee.jpg

 

P1100306_zps5663f150.jpg



#45 l75eya

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 05:16 PM

Curiouser...and curiouser! It's a shame that it's at your expense, but I'm very much looking forward to the outcome of this situation.



#46 jj421

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 06:24 PM

So hey, I have a question. What would it mean if, ya know, hypothetically, a spark plug hole is full of coolant?  :rolleyes:

 

I got to thinking that this is most likely an internal problem, so I decided to take out the plugs just to check. Before anything is said, I am gonna be changing out my plugs and wires. First, took out the plug from cylinder #1 (passenger; front). Noticed a little bit of what looked to be oil, but nothing terrible.

 

cylinder1_zpse55c3349.jpg

 

Then moved to cylinder #3 (passenger; rear). Looked like a normal worn plug.

 

cylinder3_zpsb6ced0ef.jpg

 

Moving to the driver side, took out the plug from cylinder #2 (driver; front). Same story as cylinder #3.

 

cylinder2_zps16e914a9.jpg

 

Finally, got to the most difficult of the four to get to: cylinder #4 (driver; rear). Once I finally got the plug out, I could smell coolant and the plug was wet. Stuck a small screwdriver in, and found a nice puddle of coolant. The camera shows it better than what I could see.

 

cylinder4_zps53f3ff82.jpg

 

Needless to say, I think I've found the problem. Maybe not the problem, but a problem nonetheless. So anyways, what should I be looking at repairing here? I'm gonna do some research, but still would like advice. Oh, and before it's asked, I did try turning the crank pulley with the plugs out. The crank turned nice and easy. I could probably just turn it with my hand, although I didn't try. So the crank is definitely not seized, which means the engine should not be hydro-locked. But how does coolant get to the spark plug hole? I'm definitely no expert on engine insides....

 

I do find it interesting how this was the plug full of coolant. It's the plug furthest away from where coolant got sprayed all over the engine (furthest from the thermostat, solenoids, IACV, etc.). I guess once I know what part/gasket failed to cause this, it'll make more sense, maybe.

 

EDIT:

 

Just did a quick Google search, and it looks to me like it's either an intake manifold problem or a head gasket/cracked head issue. However, I've not noticed any other symptoms of a blown head gasket or cracked head. Like I've said, it has never overheated. I've not experienced anything else (like oil in coolant or coolant in oil, white smoke, etc.), so I think the intake manifold is the problem.

 

When the leak happened, the car didn't change in its performance. Was running like it always was--not misfiring or anything. Maybe the coolant hadn't gotten to the spark plug well yet though.

 

I think it's official: Subarus hate me in the spring. My old EA81 got a cracked head last spring. Had to junk it since I didn't have the time, knowledge, tools, or money to fix it. This spring I get a cracked intake manifold. What's in store for me next year?  :P I am definitely not junking the car this time though. Gonna have to look up how to replace an EA82 intake manifold, and go from there. If I'm not mistaken, the intake manifold is a dealership/junkyard part only, right? I think I searched on O'Reilly for it a couple days ago, and found nothing but the gasket. 


Edited by jj421, 25 March 2013 - 06:39 PM.


#47 JuhaKankkunen

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 06:26 PM

That thing like a "cream" in your radiator it's not common, and it's a symptom of head gasket problems........

Did you check if you have more pressure that normal in hoses and radiator cap?

#48 JuhaKankkunen

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 06:32 PM

Oh....y replied the post before you attach the last photos.....

Confirmed......you have or a Head Cylinder problem or a Head Cylender gasket problem....whatever you must take off the engine and think of rebuilding it......

What you need, I'm here to help you if I can.

#49 jj421

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 06:47 PM

I've not had any other issue with the head or head gaskets though. No overheating, white smoke, etc., like I wrote in the edit of my previous post.

 

The thing I need help with is, especially if I am pulling the engine, is someone with me to help me do it, and maybe knock it out in a day or a weekend. It'd take me at least a week to do it by myself, as I won't know what I'm doing. And I need an engine hoist too.

 

I'd definitely like at least 3-4 opinions on this. I definitely do see how it could be a head gasket/head problem, but I also see it being an intake manifold problem. I want some more opinions and at least one person with experience to help me with the repairs. I like doing things by myself, but I want someone to help, if that someone is in the Seattle area and is willing.

 

I'm just happy I at least found the problem. Not terribly happy with the labor and costs that are needed to fix it, but nonetheless, I can sleep at least a little bit better knowing what the problem is. But hey, from what I've heard, pulling the engine is easier than the method I used to swap my transmission. Heck, almost anything is easier than the way I changed my transmission.  :banana:


Edited by jj421, 25 March 2013 - 06:52 PM.


#50 JuhaKankkunen

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 07:26 PM

I'll tell you some things.

There is no other way that the coolant can go there by a bad head cylinder gasket or a cracked head cylinder.

You do not had symptom like white smoke because maybe, you do not have problems with oil in the combustion moment(sorry about my english I'm trying to do my best) but you have water(coolant)there....and that it's a problem.

For good, you didn't start the engine with the coolant there, if you.....you could bend the connecting rod.

It seems that your cylinder, in this case number four, get flooded bye the coolant since you have the engine not running for some many days......now, you have corrosion on rings in that cylinder.

So, you must do a rebuild now. It's better if you have someone that can see the car. I will try to help you but it's difficult for me in English.

I can help you with the rebuild, I do not think you can do it in a weekend if you never did it before. There is some details that you must take care that maybe it's better to do with someone that had the experience before, like resurfacing the heads and dismounting the crankcase assembly. You must took off the studs bolts from the crankcase and resurface both crankcase too, and that a detailed work.

Hope to have more opinions in this topic.

I repeat, if you want to do it by yourself, I will help you with all i can.




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