Coolant and oil issues
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This is a discussion on Coolant and oil issues within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Ok, I went had my oil changed 4 days ago. Noticed my car wasn't running quite right a day later. ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Hubiethesubie's Avatar
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    Coolant and oil issues

    Ok, I went had my oil changed 4 days ago. Noticed my car wasn't running quite right a day later. Today I noticed that lovely smell of coolant that makes you crave for pancakes and my temp gauge was spiking when the fan came on. There was no coolant! So, I peddle my way down to Schucks. Buy some coolant, peddle back, fill up with coolant. So far so good.

    Decide to check all the fluid levels just to be sure. Because apparently the guys at "the shop" don't know how to check them(I usually check levels 1 to 2 times a week) So, I had to add a quart of oil. Would that be normal if my engine was running hot due to lack of coolant?

    And, on top of that. Went to Home Depot to buy some more oil and noticed a puddle of oil under the car. Could the two be related? Or could the puddle of oil be from putting in a little too much oil?
    ~My wife says I drive like a "grandpa", but she drives like a "bat out of hell"
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hubiethesubie View Post
    There was no coolant!
    What volume is "no?" Did you have to top off the overflow tank? The rad? Both? What volume did you add total?

    Where did the coolant go?

    (I usually check levels 1 to 2 times a week)
    Is there a coolant leak?

    So, I had to add a quart of oil. Would that be normal if my engine was running hot due to lack of coolant?
    I'd be surprised. In any case, whenever any car runs hot I change the oil when it's all said and done.

    And, on top of that. Went to Home Depot to buy some more oil and noticed a puddle of oil under the car. Could the two be related?
    What two? Do you have a coolant leak and an oil leak?

    Or could the puddle of oil be from putting in a little too much oil?
    No.

    From what you've said, you have a coolant leak and you may have an oil leak. Find out.
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    Registered User Hubiethesubie's Avatar
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    [quote=SD_GR;2328462]What volume is "no?" Did you have to top off the overflow tank? The rad? Both? What volume did you add total?

    Had to top off both. Used about 3/4 gallon of coolant.

    Where did the coolant go?

    From my best guess boiled out. There is no residue on the ground where I park

    Is there a coolant leak?

    Not sure. My coolant levels were fine a couple days before I brought the car in for an oil change. I can't locate any leaks. Put the car up on ramps, checked all the hoses, and the radiator. Though the overflow hose was a little loose and had some residue from the fluid.

    I'd be surprised. In any case, whenever any car runs hot I change the oil when it's all said and done.

    I'll do that Monday.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Hubiethesubie; 08-03-2008 at 07:15 AM.
    ~My wife says I drive like a "grandpa", but she drives like a "bat out of hell"
    03 Wrx
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    If you cannot account for either the oil or the coolant going somewhere, make sure the oil drain plug and the oil filter are not leaking. If they are not, then the low oil could be due to optimistic filling at the service station. That still leaves the coolant. If you can't figure out where it's going and it continues going wherever it's going, pressure test the system. When you do so (or have someone do so), also carefully wiggle the top hose, it's a known trouble spot.
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    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Registered User Hubiethesubie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advise. Going to pressure test the system today and look for leaks. Been checking the oil regulaly lately so far no drop in the level.
    ~My wife says I drive like a "grandpa", but she drives like a "bat out of hell"
    03 Wrx
    04 2.5RS

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    Registered User Hubiethesubie's Avatar
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    So, I did a pressure test. Found that the seals at the bottom of the radiator are blown. grrr. Need a whole new radiator. Kinda unusual for a car with only 34,000 miles on it.
    ~My wife says I drive like a "grandpa", but she drives like a "bat out of hell"
    03 Wrx
    04 2.5RS

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    It's certainly not unheard of. My radiator failed at roughly 6,000 miles. There is some novelty to the failure being on the bottom admittedly; most failures I've heard of occur on the top seam.

    OK so you have a coolant leak. This leaves us with the other question -- what happened to the oil? Either it was never there to begin with (poor service at the oil change place), it leaked out, it burned off, or the dipstick is hard to read. First, get under the car and look for juice. Make sure the drain plug and the filter are dry, and that there's no oil anywhere else either. Do this ONLY when the car is cold.

    Since we know for sure the dipstick is hard to read, find a nice flat spot and park there for a long time, ideally overnight. Use the same spot every time, and check the oil stone cold at that spot. Repeat.

    Have fun.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Registered User Hubiethesubie's Avatar
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    That shouldn't be a problem. My car isn't going anywhere til the new radiator arrives and is installed.

    Checked the oil again this morning, still reading full. Got under the car noticed a little bit of oil on the filter. Tightened the filter a little bit. Hopefully thats it. we'll see over the next couple days.
    ~My wife says I drive like a "grandpa", but she drives like a "bat out of hell"
    03 Wrx
    04 2.5RS

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Great. When the new rad comes in, have a close look at the hoses. The top hose tends to be a cause of seepage, and the clamps used on both the top and bottom hoses are not the best I've seen around. If there's any doubt, now's the time.

    Don't forget to burp the system to make sure there are no air pockets, and pick up genuine Subaru coolant. It's no more expensive than aftermarket formulations anyway. Dilute it with distilled water (super markets have it).
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

  11. #10
    Registered User Hubiethesubie's Avatar
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    I put in the new radiator today. Everything is running great. Hoses were in good condition and there is no more oil leak. sweetness.

    Also did the silencer delete. No noticable hp gain. Boxer rumble is more prominant now. Going to buy that $40 elbow, cuz I'm worried about dirt and water getting into my engine.

    Thanks for your help
    ~My wife says I drive like a "grandpa", but she drives like a "bat out of hell"
    03 Wrx
    04 2.5RS

  12. #11
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Good to hear! Enjoy.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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