Fluid loss
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Author:  bsemanchik [ Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Fluid loss

1979 280ZX. I have to add fluid to the radiator on a weekly basis. No apparent leaks, no wet spots on garage floor, no wet areas on engine, nothing wet on inside heater area. No antifreeze odors inside or in exhaust. Radiator seems dry around hoses and around radiator frame. Temp gauge stays exactly on center where it belongs. Appreciate any thoughts if someone has had a similar issue.

Author:  Frank T [ Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fluid loss

I have a somewhat similar issue, except that my temperature rises well above the thermostat temp. I had hoped it might be a weak radiator cap allowing some blowoff but there is no indication of that from under the car.

Smarter brains than my own have told me to suspect a blown head gasket around an intake valve, allowing coolant to be sucked into the engine and out the back. Members following me have said they witness a spray out from under the car when they follow me, but either a radiator cap or a bad gasket could cause that. I have pulled the plugs but they all look good and identical. There is no water in the oil or vice-versa. Did you check your oil for contamination? Coolant makes it look like chocolate milkshake if they mix.

I plan to swap my engine out this summer anyway, so I will be able to check the gasket as soon as it comes off. I want to use the head on another block.

Author:  HowardJ [ Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fluid loss

I've heard some success stories from people who have used the products from BAR'S LEAKS to seal leaks and cracks in radiators, blocks and head gaskets. I even heard that some manufacturers put STOP LEAK in there cooling systems right from the factory. It might be worth a try. Good luck.

Howard J

Author:  bsemanchik [ Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fluid loss

Thanks guys. I too suspect a head gasket issue. I had a radiator pressure test and the mechanic said he saw no pressure test leaks. I think I will try the "Stop Leak"/BARS LEAK remedy first. It's only a couple of bucks compared to a $2000 head gasket replacement.

Author:  jp260z [ Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fluid loss

For what it's worth, I've heard people say that stop leak plugs your heater core too and can make it inoperable.

I've never used it myself though..... Just passing that along. Good luck either way.

I'd suspect a failing headgasket also btw. If antifreeze is disappearing it's either leaking or being burned in the cylinders. You may be able to detect hydrocarbons in the radiator with a sniffer. The spark plugs may give you an indication of a leak. The plugs at the leaky cylinders will appear different than the others.

Author:  FM6 [ Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fluid loss

I believe that if you do have a head gasket issue you will likely see a milky substance in the oil cap .


Author:  Frank T [ Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fluid loss

That's usually true. Every blown head gasket I've seen previously caused a milkshake either in the radiator or the crankcase. I have neither with my car.

Mine is hypothesized to be a weepy leak by an intake valve, which draws coolant directly into the cylinder(s) without allowing any mixing. All my plugs look good and alike. That's weird. I should think if I was "burning coolant" in one or two of them they would wash the plug clean or foul it completely. Engine runs OK up to a flat spot at 5600, then continues from there when pressed. Members riding behind me complain that I 'spray' them from under the car.

Bsemanchick didn't specify whether he saw any oil/coolant mixing.

PS ~ do I want to ask where you found that milky oil filler cap? :|

Author:  FM6 [ Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fluid loss

Frank T wrote:
PS ~ do I want to ask where you found that milky oil filler cap? :|

Google images there are 1000's of them there . . . . . :lol: :P :mrgreen:

Author:  jp260z [ Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fluid loss

Headgaskets can fail different ways and result in different symptoms. I've seen external coolant leaks with no mixing, milkshake in radiator and/or crankcase, white smoke from exhaust.

I had a Subaru that ate 1 gallon every 60 miles with none of the above symptoms. When it got low enough it would over heat. That car passed a radiator pressure test and the plugs all looked the same. It was weird. After a few weeks I bought a used engine to install because I still didn't know if it was a gasket or cracked head. The day I received the engine is the day she started blowing a cloud of white smoke. After I did confirm that it had a compromised gasket.



Author:  jp260z [ Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fluid loss

So did this ever get resolved?


Author:  Frank T [ Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fluid loss

Not yet for me. I'm waiting for an engine transplant anyway, so I just don't drive mine until that happens.

Author:  jp260z [ Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fluid loss

I'm waiting for your to be fixed anxiously Frank, love that Z!

Author:  Frank T [ Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fluid loss

Sometimes I just walk out to the garage and sit in it........ :(

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