Using coolant... any suggestions?

Dr_Josh001

Leaving Skid Marks
Location
Driver, NT
First Name
Josh
Drive
96 Galant VR-4 Auto
Aye me maties,

My coolant level in the overflow has been dropping and am unsure as to how long it's been like this. Every time I check it the level is below the refill mark. So I refill it and a month later when I check it's back down to the refill mark.

Now the overflow would have been given a good workout when I flogged it down the quarter 12 times in a row but I had it draining into a bottle which had no trace of coolant in at the end of the night.

Has anyone else experienced their cars 'using' coolant before? BTW it could still be the overflow because it's 32deg+ up here all year round; I just hope it's not a head gasket; all hoses seem in good order.

Thanks:)
 

bradc

1 AYC Bar
Location
New Zealand
First Name
Brad
Drive
Facelift Manual 400hp VR-4 Legnum
They always lose water out of the expansion tank, that is how the system is supposed to work. If the radiator is full at 20C it will be way over full at 100C so water goes out to the expansion tank (hence it's name) then when it cools down the system sucks water back in, or at least that is how a radiator cap is supposed to work :)

As long as you've got water in the radiator you have nothing to really worry about.
 

Dr_Josh001

Leaving Skid Marks
Location
Driver, NT
First Name
Josh
Drive
96 Galant VR-4 Auto
They always lose water out of the expansion tank, that is how the system is supposed to work. If the radiator is full at 20C it will be way over full at 100C so water goes out to the expansion tank (hence it's name) then when it cools down the system sucks water back in, or at least that is how a radiator cap is supposed to work :)

As long as you've got water in the radiator you have nothing to really worry about.

That's the part I'm worried about as the top tank was half full and the level was below the return pipe in the expansion bottle.
 

bradc

1 AYC Bar
Location
New Zealand
First Name
Brad
Drive
Facelift Manual 400hp VR-4 Legnum
Ahh sorry, didn't get that from your post. Check around the engine and see if you can spot any leaks
 

SiliconAngel

1 AYC Bar
Location
Perth, WA
First Name
SA, Trevor
Drive
'99 Legnum VR4 Black MT
Josh your coolant can only go to a finite number of places - it's either leaking from the water jacket into the engine (in which case you'd get water deposits in your oil, making it milky if there's enough of it) leaking from the water jacket out of the car (in which case you should be able to notice from looking around the engine if not from finding coolant on the ground) or leaking from your radiator or a related hose somewhere. Oh, it COULD be a heater hose or heater core too... Um, good luck getting in to take a look there :(

Having said all that, it sounds slight enough that you could well just be burning your coolant off - my Magna has been known to do this with low quality coolant in the summer months, so it wouldn't surprise me if you're just evaporating some if it.
 
G

Guest

Unregistered
i would say its evaporating but you never know. go get a pressure test and they will tell you if you have a leak, or do old fasion was and get in the engine bay and look around.
hope its all good
 

Dr_Josh001

Leaving Skid Marks
Location
Driver, NT
First Name
Josh
Drive
96 Galant VR-4 Auto
Cheers blokes,

I've had a fairly good look all round and can't really find any signs of coolant oozing leaking or cracked perished looking hoses.

I'm actually quite inclined to go with the evaporating statement as it's pretty freakin hot here most year round on avg around 34deg out at palmerston. I guess I better go for a better quality coolant as it was one of the things I skimped out on and just got the cheap super cheap auto stuff.

Thanks for your input.:D
 
G

Guest

Unregistered
there is a few thing i dont skimp out on and coolant is one of them. anyway hope all is good.
with 34deg average i would be putting dry ice intercooler for everyday use.lol
 

Dr_Josh001

Leaving Skid Marks
Location
Driver, NT
First Name
Josh
Drive
96 Galant VR-4 Auto
Bad news I'm afraid:(... just noticed some hairline cracks in the top tank of the radiator with green stuff oozing! Doh! Looks like I'll be getting a radiator overhaul.:(

They were pretty hard to see as they were right on the join of the core which is why I didn't pick it up before.
 

SiliconAngel

1 AYC Bar
Location
Perth, WA
First Name
SA, Trevor
Drive
'99 Legnum VR4 Black MT
Its a common problem Josh - the stupid plastic top separates from the rest of the radiator. Get yourself a 100% aluminium unit like the Evo one Brad's got ;)
 
G

Guest

Unregistered
Yup pretty common on these cars... got mine replaced 3-4 months ago now. Dont get a second hand one... i did... didnt even last 2 weeks. so i brought brand new... dont go to mitsi.. here in NZ $1000 just for the radiator.
 

TommyG

Idling at the Lights
Location
SA
First Name
Tom G
Drive
2001 Legnum
I replaced my rad, still drops about 1-2cm in the overflow tank every month or so, more in summer of course.
 

NuffNuff

1 AYC Bar
Lifetime Member
Location
Victoria
First Name
Damian
Drive
GTI, GTI, FL Manual Legnum VR4
did you change the radiator cap when you did the rad? usually thats what drops it into the overflow
 
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