coolant forming ontop of radiator
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This is a discussion on coolant forming ontop of radiator within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Just pulled my motor(03' WRX), used the Subaru Additive smoothy crap for the first time. I used long life(green antifreeze) ...

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    coolant system pressurizing

    Just pulled my motor(03' WRX), used the Subaru Additive smoothy crap for the first time. I used long life(green antifreeze) went and drove the car today and there is seepage forming on the top of the radiator where the metal fins are bent over, it looks pretty much consistent all the way across the radiator.


    I bled the system from the turbo reservoir with one of those no spill funnels, pressed the hoses etc while performing the bleed. The car is not overheating, but its obviously leaking from the top of the radiator.

    Is there still air in the system? How many times are you suppose to bleed it? Am I sol at this point with the radiator?


    Edit: I guess its a good thing it was just a short trip, l just looked at it again and my coolant pipes were pretty bulged, system is full of air. I removed the caps and it equalized. Should I re bleed it?

    How I did it:
    car running
    turbo reservoir cap off with no spill funnel attached and full of liquid
    radiator cap on
    let it warm up to normal operating condition, etc.
    removed the funnel put cap on.
    drove it.
    Last edited by Tooled; 10-09-2014 at 07:55 PM.

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    I always do it with the radiator cap off. and let it idle for a while

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    So its okay to leave the radiator cap off while the turbo reservoir + funnel is on there full of coolant?

    thanks for the prompt reply.

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    which is the highest point in the system? i dont remember lol
    you need to cap the lower point and fill from the highest.

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    Lowest point is from the radiator, the turbo coolant reservoir is the highest point. Which is how I did it. Do you think the system is sucking in air somewhere?

    Also on a side note, even doing a pure cold start, the radiator fans are kicking on instantaneously. I doubt its related, but wanted to ask on that also, I guess I'll try re bleeding it then.

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    it wouldnt suck in air, being under pressure with both caps on, it would push air/water out.

    I wonder if the fan relay is stuck on?

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    Yeah I dont know, I drove it yesterday when I did it and there wasnt any issue. Drove it to the store and back today and now the end tanks are just seeping. So is the radiator shot at this point then? I hate to keep re doing it if the radiator is shot now. I just dont get how the air pockets formed, bled the system for nearly a half hour.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tooled View Post
    Yeah I dont know, I drove it yesterday when I did it and there wasnt any issue. Drove it to the store and back today and now the end tanks are just seeping. So is the radiator shot at this point then?
    I would suspect so, yes.
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    take it to your local shop, or maybe autozone can do it, and have a pressure test done.

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    So its 50/50 from what I've read on the internet.

    People leave the radiator cap on, and fill the system with a no spill funnel from the turbo reservoir, which is how I did it - and what I thought was the proper approach.

    Others have said the opposite - put the turbo reservoir cap on, and fill it from the radiator filler neck with the no spill funnel.

    Which is it?

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    Fill from the upper reservoir.. but if it's leaking, it's just time for a new radiator.

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    That looks like the approach its heading. Ordered a new Koyo rad, should be here tomorrow....Unbelievable, but believable.

    Just curious though, I had topped off the coolant overflow container and it was nearly 1/4-1/2" below the "low" line, will that suck air into the system if its not completely full? I mean the system was packed full of coolant when I did the bleed, no more was going in from the no-spill funnel.

    Try again tomorrow and see where I'm at. Can't believe the system pressurized that bad though.

    thanks for the responses.

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    There doesn't need to be anything in the overflow.. that's just what it is, overflow, to keep it from spilling out on the ground when the car gets hot.

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    I'm thinking about doing the thermostat tomorrow as well while I've got this radiator out, I can't get a hold of an actual OEM one(gates?) from the dealer for a few days.

    Anyone have success with the brands "fail-safe" or "stant" - napa brand obviously. Or should I just wait it out and get the right one. I hate doing things twice, I can't imagine the thermostat being an issue at 83k though.
    Last edited by Tooled; 10-07-2014 at 07:11 PM.

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    I wouldn't worry about it.. I can't recall anyone having an OEM thermostat fail. I would just reuse it.. with new seals.

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