Sonic coolant consumption

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#16
Looking for coolant leaks when the engine is hot is of limited use; the hot coolant "flashes" to vapor as soon as it leaks out and pressure on it is reduced. You have little chance to see leaks. Find a way to pressurize the system cold.
I didn’t realize it vaporized that quick, but that makes sense. I don’t have a way of pressurizing it here, so it looks like I’ll have to get it pressure checked or even fixed by a reputable shop. It has to get done somehow, it’s not going to get better. I was contemplating selling the car, but I’m not going to knowingly sell someone problems. I’d hate to think I sold it to someone for their son or daughter and it broke down somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Don’t even want to think about that. I don’t have any diagnostic tools so that leaves me stuck. I bought it from
a dealership and the 5 year 100,000 mi
warranty expired on 7/31. Do you think that’s worth a try or just take it to an ASE certified independent shop and have them check it out? Thanks for your help here.
 

billr

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#17
Umm... 7/31 of 2018? that's still a week away. Maybe the warranty covers it. If not, borrow a pressure-tester from your FLAPS, it is an easy tool to use. You may find something obvious and easy to fix.
 
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#18
Umm... 7/31 of 2018? that's still a week away. Maybe the warranty covers it. If not, borrow a pressure-tester from your FLAPS, it is an easy tool to use. You may find something obvious and easy to fix.
Yes, 7/31/18. I didn’t type that right, it might have sounded confusing. I’ll try the pressure tester first. I think I can get one. Does the tool put positive pressure on the system or a vacuum? So either way it will leak down if I have a leak in the system right? If the system gets flushed out good, can I put the green antifreeze back in once this problem is resolved?
 

billr

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#19
It will apply pressure (about 15 psi) and you will be able to see fluid leaking out, as well as a pressure drop. The system must have liquid in it to see a leak, of course. If the old coolant doesn't look bad you can re-use it, but I wouldn't unless it is almost brand new already
 
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#20
It will apply pressure (about 15 psi) and you will be able to see fluid leaking out, as well as a pressure drop. The system must have liquid in it to see a leak, of course. If the old coolant doesn't look bad you can re-use it, but I wouldn't unless it is almost brand new already
Got it. Seems easy enough. Coolant like 1 y
old. Will change it,
Thanks billr
 
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#21
Poor man's radiator pressure test... Fill up completely with cold engine (do NOT spill any fluid on radiator!)...Cap on...Squeeze upper hose to feel how hard/soft it is...start engine...as soon as hose firms up, shut off engine and look for leak. If thermostat has not opened yet, radiator will not be hot.
 
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#22
Sorry it took so long to get back with outcome, life happens. The car is fixed. It was the radiator. No more coolant smell. Thanks for everyone's help.
 

grcauto

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#23
Looking for coolant leaks when the engine is hot is of limited use; the hot coolant "flashes" to vapor as soon as it leaks out and pressure on it is reduced. You have little chance to see leaks. Find a way to pressurize the system cold.
Look around the cap area. Do you see evidence of coolant? The first thing to test when doing pressure tests of a colling system is the cap. Pressure test the cap. That's likely the problem. If not here's the proper way tho test the cooling system.
Do the test with a cold engine and monitor the pressure for several minutes. I like to use a pressure above the cap pressure....ie....cap pressure is 15 lbs...I use 20 lbs. In the first few minutes you many see the pressure slowly drop a touch. This is likely the hoses expanding under the pressure. After a few minutes this should stabilize if you need to keep pumping more pressure into the system there's likely a leak....not all leaks are external.
Let's say there's no leaks cold......start the engine (still under pressure) and watch the pressure as the engine warms up. What happens as it warms?
 

jd

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#24
If it was radiator you're fortunate. I set out to put a water pump on one of those biters. Daughter's friend, pro bono job.
Found a failed O-Ring near or on the pump!
Dollar or so, done and done. Everyone happy.