Jump to content
Ultimate Subaru Message Board
goatcheez

Eating / Drinking Coolant??

Recommended Posts

Here's one to throw out to the experts on this board.

My 91 Loyale wagon with 250,000 miles is eating/drinking coolant. There is NO collant in the oil nor do I notice oil in the coolant and NO leaks. But it's going thru it quick. Within a few miles after I top it off. I replaced the radiator a couple of weeks ago and it's never run better. Now this!! Could it be the head gaskets?? Heater core?? I did notice a slight smell of coolant in the cabin but again no leaks. Any ideas?? Expensive to fix?? Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

 

goatcheez

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does the exhaust smoke? if so what color? If it is white it is drinking coolant. It could be coming from one of 3 places that I can think of; either the headgasket which would $uck, a crack in your cylinder wall which would also suck, the other would be a break in the gasket between your intake manifold and your cylinder head where the coolant transfers from one head to the other. I would hope the third would be the guilty party its not too hard to replace. If you are just getting coolant loss and no oil mixture I would imaging it would be the gasket between the intake and head. Inspect that area on both sides of the engine and see if you can find a crack and mabe even a small leak. Do a compression check on all the cylinders. If you are low on one of them it might be a break in the head gasket.

 

Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remove the radiator cap. Let the car warm up. The car MAY spit up a bit when the T-stat opens, this is normal. After that point, look for bubbles in the coolant. Bubbles are bad.

 

The mileage on that engine is quite good, so a blown HG wouldnt be unreasonable.

 

nipper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did the radiator trick...no luck. Car does not smoke at all and no unusual odor to exhaust. Still can pinpoint it. Can't do compression test 'cause I don't have the tools. I have a buddy that does so I'll try to reach him tomorrow. What do head gaskets cost to replace?? Depending on cost of repair I'm debating keeping the car or selling and cutting my losses. I paid $800 for the car three years ago with 180,000 on her so I've gotten my money's worth for sure. Just trying to figure out and fix the problem as quickly and cheaply as possible. I just noticed the coolant issue today on my way home from work. Drove it all weekend with no issues. Car did not overheat so there shouldn't be any head warping problems. I use this car as my daily commuter and the timing on this sucks. Thanks for your help and I'm still open to suggestions...

 

goatcheez

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wonder IF its your heater core. Since we ruled out air bubbles, and the car hasnt over heated, lets assume its not the HG's for now.

 

Next step is to pressure check the cooling system, and see if it leaks. The smell of coolant in the cabin is something that needs to be looked at. DO you have a recirc position on your HVAC? If you do, set it to recirc, can you still smell antifreeze?

 

You can bypass the heater core and see if the problem goes away. If it does, we have the problem.

 

 

nipper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No Recirc on HVAC. So can't try that. I've had the swooshing/girgling noise from heater core for quite sometime thats why I suspect it. Heater core is doable for me but it's a pain in the a** to get too. Don't feel like removing the entire dash board. Also with the current coolant situation the swooshing/girgling noise is gone. Could be bad core or just the lack of coolant in system. Gloyale lives very close to me so I've pm'd him for assistance as well. Again it's been an awesome car but the timing on this sucks!

 

goatcheez

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look on the bright side .....

 

Its June.

 

You dont need heat untill October, maybe december.

 

If it is the core, just bypass it untill the time is more convient.

 

 

nipper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I replaced the radiator a couple of weeks ago and it's never run better.

 

 

Double check all the hose clamps. I have found them seeping after a replacement. I have also seen leaks - from hose clamps and gaskets - that drip onto the engine block or exhaust pipe or even the radiator so there is no evidence except the missing coolant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here's one to throw out to the experts on this board.

My 91 Loyale wagon with 250,000 miles is eating/drinking coolant. There is NO collant in the oil nor do I notice oil in the coolant and NO leaks. But it's going thru it quick. Within a few miles after I top it off. I replaced the radiator a couple of weeks ago and it's never run better. Now this!! Could it be the head gaskets?? Heater core?? I did notice a slight smell of coolant in the cabin but again no leaks. Any ideas?? Expensive to fix?? Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

 

goatcheez

 

What about the rubber o-ring on the metal pipe that fits into the water pump? Those leak too. A new one is cheap. I use a little grease to help the pipe slide into the water pump fitting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I first bought the brat the previous owner told me the heater core was leaking, but it was actually the valve for the heater core. It leaked out the back of the valve and dripped down the tubing and much of the coolant went out through the hole in the firewall because the rubber grommet was not installed correctly, but most went into the carpet padding. If you are drinking a ton of coolant, and its the heater core or anything in the cabin, you will have coolant on the floor. Have you lifted up the carpet and found a coolant puddle? I also had a small leak at the bottom of the water pump that didn't really drip unless the car was running, so I had to hunt to find it. Look for white crusty build up because this generally shows up at coolant leaks too. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Goatcheeze, I'm guessing it's not a HG. You'd surely be overheating and/or smoking out the tailpipe. Couple things to check. Hoses going to the heater. they are nearly the highest point in the system, so they seldom leak actual liquid, but begin to steam once the car get's hot. That steamy smelly air comes right in the dash vents and can make it smell bad in the car. A leak in the heater core is also possible. Heater core is very east to replace(yest the dash has to come out but it's cake) I happen to have 2 extra Heater cores here very cheap if you need one. In fact I have tons of parts and I wish someone would come take some from me. PM me or call 308-1525. Yo9u know the area code

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second the o-ring on the water pump. You probably disturbed it when replacing the radiator. The leak is underneath, and really hard to see, and if it never gets up to pressure, it may leak only when running, so you don't see the drip under the car.

 

It is so easy to fix, you will kick yourself if you change the heater core and still have change the o-ring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

False alarm!! Gloyale is the winner by diagnosing, sight unseen, as a hose gone bad!! It was just a small hose coming off the heater core with a little pin-prick hole that only leaked under pressure. Tricky little bugger to track down. A $5 part. Gotta love it when it's this easy. Thanks again for all your help!! You guys rock!!

 

goatcheez

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was just a guess. But hey, glad that was the problem. I'd still love to see you're Suby sometime, I've never spotted it. What year and color?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
False alarm!! Gloyale is the winner by diagnosing, sight unseen, as a hose gone bad!! It was just a small hose coming off the heater core with a little pin-prick hole that only leaked under pressure. Tricky little bugger to track down. A $5 part. Gotta love it when it's this easy. Thanks again for all your help!! You guys rock!!

 

goatcheez

 

Take a little advice, once one little hose goes bad, others follow it.

 

You may want to replace all the odd little coolant hoses along with the major ones, and be done with it. All that mileage on original coolant hoses is alot to ask.

 

 

nipper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×