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Old 03-12-2012, 11:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Opinions on what causes coolant to dump out overflow

The car's been in the garage all winter, but just before I put it into hibernation the lower radiator hose came off on the highway and the engine overheated. Next day I changed the oil and refilled radiator and it started up just fine. Drove it for a month before storing it and it did just fine but I had to keep adding coolant. I had assumed it was burning (prolly head gasket), but then I noticed the puddles.

So I discovered when the engine reaches normal operating temperature, the coolant overflow reservoir fills up completely and the overflow hose starts dumping the coolant below the car.

The car is NOT overheating.

I thought the thermostat might be stuck, so (to confirm) I took it out and hollowed it out so coolant can always pass straight thru. No difference. And the car still runs at normal operating temperature...

Any ideas? Waterpump? Blockage? Head Gasket?

I was thinking about taking it somewhere that will actually flush the whole coolant system, but before I bother I want everyone's expert opinions.

Not sure if it's related... but I notice the angry little red dot now comes on when I try to use my A/C as well.

Thanks in advance for any feedback and ideas!!
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions on what causes coolant to dump out overflow

Never run with out a thermistat. That will cause over heating. Thye coolent must stop flowing and set in radiator in oder for it to cool. Constant flow will never cool coolant.
Next. Radiator cap could be crap. Also these radiators are too damn old to cool. You can get a nice 3 core all aluminum for $160 buks from ebay. Next is head gasket. Easy enough to check for bad head gaskets. Just get a kit from ORilleys or about zone. It is a chemical test that checks for exhaust in coolant.
That and you may need a 60K. But you have given us no clue to your milage or when you had your last 60K. Read up on 60Ks as in includes a new water pump.
You are not looking for Opinions. You need to look for a cause and correct it. That fact that you removed your thermostat trying to improve water flow say you are way out of your leage here. That is backwords thinking. Get yourseld a sevice/repair manual and start reading before you cause more damage to your car.
Good luck.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default

I had an issue where my car would push coolant to the overflow tank and it turned out to be the cap. Replaced it for 6 bucks!
Thanks,
Joe


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Old 03-12-2012, 12:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions on what causes coolant to dump out overflow

Thanks for the responses guys. Sounds like I should start with the cap!

For additional info... car has about 200k on it now. Still original engine. I did 120k tune up a few years back (probably at around 160k), included new water pump, oil pump, timing belt, tensioner, etc... May be coming up on time again though. Already have a nice new aluminum radiator.

Removing the thermostat was a suggestion from a few different people I asked. They explained it opposite as you are, as they referenced people down in Florida running without one to keep engine cooler. Made sense to me that, since it opens when it reaches a certain temp. Interesting discrepancy in feedback there, so I'll definitely be reading more about the effects of running without one, thanks!

I didn't realize there was a "kit" to check for head gasket. That will definitely be worth the time and money, so thanks for the tip there. Will be doing that as well.
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions on what causes coolant to dump out overflow

Bad Cap,

I had a bad one on my TT and as soon as I replaced it with new $7.00 cap car no longer overheated. Just look at the gasket on the cap. You will know right away.

On my NA timing was off 1 tooth and and car was overheating. Corrected timing and no over heating.

Always something so small that causes such big issues!
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions on what causes coolant to dump out overflow

Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthDude View Post
I thought the thermostat might be stuck, so (to confirm) I took it out and hollowed it out so coolant can always pass straight thru. No difference. And the car still runs at normal operating temperature...
Oh boy!

If that is true you really DO have problems. Exactly what they are we cant tell yet. If you want to confirm if a thermostat is good or bad- Boil it! Its easy to see it open and close. Most common defect is it gets "stuck" halfway.

Most common problem form the title of this thread would be a head gasket leak. I have seen testers in the parts stores now to test for combustion gases in the coolant. DO THIS NEXT! After that it can be any of the other things that GT wizard mentioned.

EDUCATE yourself better if you want to work on your own car without causing a major engine/financial catastrophe.

-SP
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions on what causes coolant to dump out overflow

I have a new thermostat to put in anyways, so I figured I'd hollow out the old one to see how it acted. Was hoping it would run COOLER, but sounds like you agree that that is backwards thinking then?

FYI, I'm NOT driving the car like this, just to clarify Sitting in the garage until I figure it out. All testing has been done either extended idling or driving up and down my street.

Thanks again all, I have somewhere to go from here now.
Test Coolant for Combustion Gases + New Cap.

So nobody thinks it could be a clog / blockage? Any other suggestions? Again, thanks all.
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions on what causes coolant to dump out overflow

Like I said its too soon to tell what all the problems are. Get to work and make some of them NOT the problem anymore. When you do maintenance on a 20 YO car there can be more than one problem.

-SP
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions on what causes coolant to dump out overflow

Genious suggestion regarding the cap... new cap is about 6 bucks and it fixed the issue. I'm going to test for combustion gases anyways, but HUGE help guys, as always

FYI, I did more research on the thermostat thing... lots of mixed reviews. Sounds like both sides are right, thermostat will both provide heat as well as allow coolant to pool in radiator to cool it down. I let the car idle today for almost an hour, stayed under half-way. I've read posts from people who run without thermostats and have no problems so I think I'll give it a try and see how it goes, but will absolutely be keeping a very close eye on it.

Thanks again all!
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions on what causes coolant to dump out overflow

Also keepin mind that with out a thermestat, the motor will take aa much longer while to heet up. This is not good good as cold oil does not flow well. You want your motor to heat up as quickly as it can. When cold your fuel is way, way rich. Rich is not good for cylinder ware. The reasons to run a thermostat are plenty. and plenty more than to not.
And if live in a cold climit, for get about heat. mever going to happen. Even though a doubt you live in Alaska. LOL. Also keep in mind that many new cars require a minimum of 195 degress, or you will not even pass emition tests. Lots to think about here. And way to much to list. Keep your motor set up as Mitsu intended and designed it for. That will keep your ride most reliable. Like I staed before, you don't care about people opinions, just the engineering facts.
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