collant reserve bottle empty

Old 11-13-12, 09:59 AM
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Question collant reserve bottle empty

2002 bonneville changed my waterpump, hoses ,belts, bypass coolant elbows, thermostat flushed radiator but still coolant is not staying in the reserve bottle the car is running fine not running hot but it seems like if i make a long trip the reserve bottle is empty i dont see ant leaks or water on the ground after i park no anti freeze in the oil or smoke from tail pipe what could be the issue...confused..
Old 11-13-12, 10:06 AM
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Sounds like you may have an air bubble? It's pushing air into the reservoir and after it cools, sucks water back in? If the water is gone while the engine is still hot...then there has to be a leak somewhere and the water is being replaced as it's lost.

I'd say you need to do a pressure and dye check on the system. It could be leaking as you drive and being evaporated off of hot components so nothing visible when you stop.
Old 11-13-12, 01:16 PM
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Coolant is a closed system. Coolant should neither enter not leave that closed system while the vehicle operates- it's not like motor oil that gets subjected the combustion on the sides of the cylinder walls or gets burnt in the crankcase because of ring blow-by.

If you actually are losing coolant then there has to be a leak somewhere. It could be an outside leak that only leaks under high pressure and temperature, like a hose with a pinprick that sprays a fine mist or stream while driving, it could be an internal leak in the heat exchange system, like in the radiator where the tranny cooler is (which would put coolant into the transmission), or it could be a leak in the engine, like a crack in the block, a cracked head, a bad head gasket, or a bad intake manifold gasket.

I helped a friend with a '95 LeSabre with the 3800 motor do his intake manifold gaskets. One of the valley gaskets had failed and it was leaking coolant into the the intake ports, sucking it into the combustion chambers along with the air/fuel mix. His car stumbled, slightly, and only at idle. The job was a pain because of all of the crap bolted on to the intake manifold, but we did finish it in a day.

I advise doing compression and leakdown tests. Compression will tell you if you have an immediate problem with a cylinder, and a leakdown test may tell you if you have a slower, smaller leak. You can also pressurize the cooling system to see if that leaks pressure.

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