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Strange coolant behavior?


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12 replies to this topic

#1 sid_vicious

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 11:14 AM

I have a 97 Ouback Wagon (2.5 AT), and I've noticed my coolant level getting low in the reservoir bottle. I later found coolant collecting on the jacking plate bolts, right behind the oil pan. Does anyone know where the leak might be located? I've also noticed wisps of white smoke that appear to be coming from inside the timing belt cover at the front of the engine, causing me to suspect a problem with the water pump. I've never read about anyone mentioning this smoke, however. Is there anything under the timing belt cover that gets hot enough for leaking coolant to be burned?
Thanks, this forum is awesome.

Andrew

#2 BigMattyD

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 11:53 AM

Yes, there are a lot of things under the timing belt cover that get hot. The face of the engine block is under the t-belt cover, and the whole engine gets hot when it is running. It does not have to be all that hot to evaporate coolant and cause a white, steamy cloud. The water pump could be leaking coolant into the t-belt area, part of which would evaporate and create steam, and some of which would run down the front of the engine onto the oil pan, then back along the oil pan, and possibly into the jacking plate that you mention.


If you have the skill and time, you could remove the timing belt cover and see what's up.

Matt

#3 nipper

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 02:29 PM

Sounds like its weeping out the waterpump weep hole. Time for a waterpump, and as long as your there, belts too.


nipper

#4 sid_vicious

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 09:56 PM

I haven't noticed a stream of coolant running from the front of the engine to the area behind the oil pan. Are there any other hoses back in that area that could be leaking directly onto the jacking plate bolts?
BTW, I just ordered the necessary parts for changing the water pump, since there's obviously a problem there. Could someone let me know if I've forgotten anything?

Water Pump
Timing Belt
Thermostat & Gasket
4 Camshaft Seals
Crankshaft Seal

Thanks,
Andrew

#5 Setright

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 02:05 AM

Toothed idler for the timing belt, lives next to the water pump. Always replace that.

Depending on condition, you might need to replace one of the smooth idlers (noisy bearings) and/or the belt tensioner (leaking oil?)

#6 sid_vicious

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 08:08 AM

Thanks for the info...I decided to say the heck with it and get the toothed idler pulley as well as both smooth ones. The car's got 148,000 miles on it, so I figured I might as well go ahead with replacing them.



Toothed idler for the timing belt, lives next to the water pump. Always replace that.

Depending on condition, you might need to replace one of the smooth idlers (noisy bearings) and/or the belt tensioner (leaking oil?)



#7 frag

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 10:35 AM

I haven't noticed a stream of coolant running from the front of the engine to the area behind the oil pan. Are there any other hoses back in that area that could be leaking directly onto the jacking plate bolts?


It might be one of he hoses that go to and come from the heater core.

#8 sid_vicious

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 08:16 PM

The heater core is located underneath the dash, correct? Does replacing these hoses mean disassembly of the dash?

Andrew


It might be one of he hoses that go to and come from the heater core.



#9 frag

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 12:30 PM

The heater core is located underneath the dash, correct? Does replacing these hoses mean disassembly of the dash?

Andrew

No, these hoses are connected to the heater core just outside the fire wall (in the top middle part of it), in the engine compartement

#10 sid_vicious

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 05:09 PM

No, these hoses are connected to the heater core just outside the fire wall (in the top middle part of it), in the engine compartement


I found the two heater hoses at the firewall, but didn't see any traces of leakage from them. This led me to wonder about the possibility of a leak in the heater core itself. If this were the case, where would the leaking coolant go? Could it find its way down to the jacking plate, where I am seeing collection?
On a side note, there is most definitely coolant leaking from the water pump, as it is slowly dripping from the timing belt cover. I understand that this leaking coolant could be blown back to the jacking plate area during driving, but again I'm totally confused by the lack of a trail leading back across or around the oil pan.
I'm making such a big deal about this coolant on the jacking plate because I'm getting ready to replace the water pump and do all the other convenient service at the same time, so I definitely want to make sure I find the source of any and all leaks so I can fix them and be done with it. I think I've checked just about everything, so I'm almost ready to chalk it up to the water pump leak, but I would greatly appreciate it if someone could answer my question about where a leak in the heater core itself would wind up.
Thanks again...I'm learning so much on this forum.

Andrew

#11 tcspeer

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 05:29 PM

The coolant will end up on the carpet, you can also see the residue on the vents where the air come out at the floor. you will know if the core is leaking your windows will also fog up when defroster is on. On my right hand drive the heater core was connected to the metal pipe that is on outside of firewall by a three in. section of hose. That was what was leaking on mine but I had to take the dash out to get to it. I dont think the left hand drive would be like this, not well thought out for sure.

#12 Gnuman

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 08:23 PM

The coolant will end up on the carpet, you can also see the residue on the vents where the air come out at the floor. you will know if the core is leaking your windows will also fog up when defroster is on. On my right hand drive the heater core was connected to the metal pipe that is on outside of firewall by a three in. section of hose. That was what was leaking on mine but I had to take the dash out to get to it. I dont think the left hand drive would be like this, not well thought out for sure.


LHD heater cores are solid pipe through the firewall. If the hoses are not leaking, then the coolant is blowing back along the underside of the engine. The only other place it could be coming from is through the water jacket or the crossover pipe. In either case it would be time for a new engine, and you would likely have had other problems before this. . .

#13 tcspeer

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 08:50 PM

On my right hand drive either the outlet or inlet was a solid pipe from the core through the firewall the other one was not, whats worse is the pipe did not even have the ridge on it to push the hose over, it was just straight pipe.

LHD heater cores are solid pipe through the firewall. If the hoses are not leaking, then the coolant is blowing back along the underside of the engine. The only other place it could be coming from is through the water jacket or the crossover pipe. In either case it would be time for a new engine, and you would likely have had other problems before this. . .






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