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Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing Discussions on mechanical maintenance and servicing of your Camaro

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Old 05-12-2013, 10:16 AM   #1
RedVictory
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Question Vanashing coolant!!

Well after a brisk drive this morning my car decided to overheat. Fortunately it happened right as I was pulling into my garage. Sure enough the coolant resivior was completely empty. There are no fluid puddles on the garage floor and I don't see any signs of leaks around the system. The car only has 6500 miles!

I had brought it to my dealership for vanishing coolant a few months ago, they pressure tested the system and said it was fine. It never actually overheated until today, it got over 250 degrees before I shut it down.

Should I be concerned about any damage this could has caused? I refilled it with dexcool and am waiting untill it cools down to run it again. (The temp gauge was up but I did not get any alerts on the DIC)

Are there any known issues that people are having or tsb's that I could mention to my service advisor before bringing it back? I just don't want them to say its fine again and leave me hanging.

Any feedback would be appreciated.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:20 AM   #2
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when you open the hood, can you smell antifreeze? and check your oil dipstick. if the oil is a brown milky color then you have a blown head gasket.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:43 AM   #3
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It has to be going somewhere, if it is not leaking out then it has to be going into your crank case or cylinders.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:49 AM   #4
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Yikes! If the car is stock you need to check with your dealer and get it to a competent shop ASAP.

Where are you located at? We are a little north of Charlotte if you need anything.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:49 AM   #5
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had the same issue with mine,after several times having it checked I found the leak at the left seam of the radiator.It was a very slow leak that I never saw actually hit the ground but I could always smell.If you don't actually look behind the fan shroud you will miss it.Hope this helps good luck.
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jd10013 View Post
when you open the hood, can you smell antifreeze? and check your oil dipstick. if the oil is a brown milky color then you have a blown head gasket.
Thanks for the tip, just checked it, oil looks fine so I don't think it's getting in the crank case or anything like that.
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:44 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by firestone_ss View Post
had the same issue with mine,after several times having it checked I found the leak at the left seam of the radiator.It was a very slow leak that I never saw actually hit the ground but I could always smell.If you don't actually look behind the fan shroud you will miss it.Hope this helps good luck.
I CAN smell coolant when it's running......

Did your dealer pressure test your coolant system? I believe mine tested it at twice the actual pressure, 40 psi if I'm not mistaken. The tech claimed that it would uncover even slow leaks that would otherwise go unnoticed.

I was looking everywhere I could think of around the fan shroud, didn't see anything suspicious. Was your leak visible from the top or front or inside?
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:50 AM   #8
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I CAN smell coolant when it's running......

then it's leaking. could be as simple as a bad radiator cap, as serious as the water pump. definitely get it looked at before you drive it.
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:56 AM   #9
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More pressure testing needed, the stuff doesn't just magically disappear. Running 250 degrees won't damage your engine but that's about where I'd shut it down too.

Don't dump cold antifreeze into a hot engine that isn't running. I don't know if you did just throwing that out there for anybody's use.
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Old 05-12-2013, 12:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedVictory View Post
Well after a brisk drive this morning my car decided to overheat. Fortunately it happened right as I was pulling into my garage. Sure enough the coolant resivior was completely empty. There are no fluid puddles on the garage floor and I don't see any signs of leaks around the system. The car only has 6500 miles!

I had brought it to my dealership for vanishing coolant a few months ago, they pressure tested the system and said it was fine. It never actually overheated until today, it got over 250 degrees before I shut it down.

Should I be concerned about any damage this could has caused? I refilled it with dexcool and am waiting untill it cools down to run it again. (The temp gauge was up but I did not get any alerts on the DIC)

Are there any known issues that people are having or tsb's that I could mention to my service advisor before bringing it back? I just don't want them to say its fine again and leave me hanging.

Any feedback would be appreciated.
RedVictory,

Sincere apologies for the coolant concern. I know that can be a very frustrating situation. I would be happy to research this matter further if you send me your VIN in a private message. I can also schedule a visit for you at your local GM dealer. I look forward to hearing from you!

William R.
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Old 05-12-2013, 12:51 PM   #11
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Not to throw a red herring into this, but when the Dexcool problems first surfaced, I was driving a Chevy W/T with a 4.3 that had an issue with the coolant gelling and fouling the t-stat. It didn't overheat, but did give some strange gauge temp readings.
The dealership 'Pressure Tested" the cooling system , drained and filled it back up.
After that, the truck burned coolant out of the exhaust. No leaks up front- totally out of the tailpipe. Diagnosed later as a manifold leak, which was common on the 4.3s at that time.
Give your tailpipe the "sniff test" while its running. You may find your leak.
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by two_wheel_mayhem View Post
More pressure testing needed, the stuff doesn't just magically disappear. Running 250 degrees won't damage your engine but that's about where I'd shut it down too.

Don't dump cold antifreeze into a hot engine that isn't running. I don't know if you did just throwing that out there for anybody's use.
That's a relief
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Old 05-12-2013, 02:42 PM   #13
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I had mine pressurized overnight to see if we could id a leak but we never did.I do this for a living so it drove me up a wall because I could smell coolent in the car and outside the car.I was thinking heater core but again no leakage at the core, it wasn't until I eyeballed the entire cooling system that I saw it,even the tech at the dealer missed it after I told him where to look.At least the dealer covered it under warranty.
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Old 05-12-2013, 02:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I CAN smell coolant when it's running.....

I hate that smell.
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:14 PM   #15
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The coolant in my overflow tank has been going down slowly ever since I got the car in December 2010. I'm the original owner of the car. Depending on how much I drive the car, I have to add about 1/2 quart of Dexcool to the overflow tank every 5 months or so. The actual radiator level has always been OK though. I don't smell coolant under the hood and I have no leaks.
I've never had overheating issues but I'm sure I'd eventually have problems if I don't check the level regularly.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:49 AM   #16
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I dropped it off with the dealer last night. I suspect it is leaking internally since I dont see anything outside it.

I don't see any other way the whole system could go dry in less than 300 miles....

I will update with results.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:50 AM   #17
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:07 AM   #18
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I had the exact same problem, complete with overheat on my SS. I went through the same steps as you have as well. Six months later, the leak got worse and it was a slight crack in the radiator. Somehow they missed this the first time I went in.

The dealer had my car for about a day and they replaced it with a new unit. Now, I don't know how true this is but I was told by the SM that the radiator they replaced was an updated model from what came from the factory.

I've had no issues since the new radiator has been put in. Not a drop of coolant has gone missing. I hope you get your issue solved quickly.
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:21 AM   #19
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I saw that. Stupid dipstick doesn't really show the level. The tech was confused as well.

Dealer added ~ a quart. Fail. Had the hot light on 5 days later.
I bought a gallon of Dexcool and dumped half of it in the overflow container. No problems since.
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:50 AM   #20
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I had the same issue, mine was pressure tested as well with no leaks, bottom line, the 2 coolant lines going out the radiator cap were inverted, the one going to the overflow was at the bottom of the one feeding coolant to the radiator, what does this means? When the car get's to the normal temperature, there is more coolant going to the overflow tank (which by the way recycles it too) than back to the radiator, so it get's to a point that the overflow tank litteraly overfills, and you can't see it, but there is coolant going out of it, you can check the dipstick and it wil show OK, because the overflow tank is full, but the radiator is not. Check those two lines that are not inverted, had mine fixed and problem solved!!!

Thanks
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:12 PM   #21
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Hopefully they will find the source of the leak.

One suggestion, since it did get that hot, I would change the oil out ASAP. High temps like that are not a good thing. The oil did it's job plus some keeping it cool and is pretty much toast.
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:53 PM   #22
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Hopefully they will find the source of the leak.

One suggestion, since it did get that hot, I would change the oil out ASAP. High temps like that are not a good thing. The oil did it's job plus some keeping it cool and is pretty much toast.
Thanks, i will mention that to my Service Advisor
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:37 PM   #23
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Quote:
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I had the exact same problem, complete with overheat on my SS. I went through the same steps as you have as well. Six months later, the leak got worse and it was a slight crack in the radiator. Somehow they missed this the first time I went in.

The dealer had my car for about a day and they replaced it with a new unit. Now, I don't know how true this is but I was told by the SM that the radiator they replaced was an updated model from what came from the factory.

I've had no issues since the new radiator has been put in. Not a drop of coolant has gone missing. I hope you get your issue solved quickly.
Hello Hannibal,

Glad you were able to get your vehicle serviced and your no longer having the issue.

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Old 05-14-2013, 07:48 PM   #24
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Hello RedVictory!

Yes, please do keep us informed as to how the appointment went at the dealership. If you need our assistance at all, please let us know!

Jessica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedVictory View Post
I dropped it off with the dealer last night. I suspect it is leaking internally since I dont see anything outside it.

I don't see any other way the whole system could go dry in less than 300 miles....

I will update with results.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:18 AM   #25
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Hello RedVictory!

Yes, please do keep us informed as to how the appointment went at the dealership. If you need our assistance at all, please let us know!

Jessica
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Thank you for your interest in this.

Unfortunately my dealership was again unable to determine what the problem is and returned my car as is yesterday. However they did add a dye to the coolant that would become visible in the exhaust system if it were burning it internally.

I am supposed to drive it as much as possible over the next few weeks and monitor the fluid level. If it decreases I bring it back and they check for traces of this dye in the exhaust system.

The whole thing is becoming pretty frustrating since the car only has 6K miles on it. I am also very nervous about them having to take the engine apart if it does prove to be an internal leak. I have never had a problem like this before so im not sure what to expect.

I will continue to provide updates
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