is a coolant leak worth a trip to coombs?

Does your Mitsubishi L300 make a strange noise? Need wheel alignment specs?
jthom
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is a coolant leak worth a trip to coombs?

Post by jthom »

Coolant was completely empty. Topped it up. This morning the ground beneath the van was wet, the overflow reservoir was almost empty (though still a fair level of fluid in the tank itself).

I can't seem to pin point the source of the leak.

I'd like to avoid spending the $ to get up to coombs if I can. Is this something E4 in Duncan could fix? Or maybe even marigold?


Any advise greatly appreciated.
:)
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Artacoma
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Re: is a coolant leak worth a trip to coombs?

Post by Artacoma »

I would put some dry cardboard under and fill it up and look for the leak before going anywhere , good chance it's just a blown hose or loose connection. I thought my tranny cooler was blown but it was just a couple of turns on a hose clamp and I was good to go.
Just use water until you find the leak I had a pet cat die from coolant poisoning years ago ..... my fault....

If you are in an L400 its also a good chance your overflow bottle is the culprit, most dealers replace these at import.
Rik
97 Series 2 V6 LWB
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Re: is a coolant leak worth a trip to coombs?

Post by jthom »

thanks Artacoma - sorry to hear about your cat.

when you suggest using water until i find the leak, does that include driving around? i was under the impression that non-distilled water could be damaging?
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Re: is a coolant leak worth a trip to coombs?

Post by jthom »

p.s. it's a '93 L300
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snelson
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Re: is a coolant leak worth a trip to coombs?

Post by snelson »

How old are your rad hoses? Are they the ones that look braided on the outside or are they all smooth. If they are the braided ones, they're most likely originals and could be your source of leaks.
These are super easy to replace and could be done yourself (top and bottom hose).

Find the source of your leak first, and don't try to use that cooland leak stopper stuff - will cause you more headached down the road.
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Artacoma
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Re: is a coolant leak worth a trip to coombs?

Post by Artacoma »

I don't think potable water will be damaging for short term troubleshooting as long as you drain and refill with new coolant once you source the leak.
Rik
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Re: is a coolant leak worth a trip to coombs?

Post by dfnder »

Could very well be your expansion bottle, my coolant leak was...

#1 blown upper rad hose while going up the cut in North Van (noticed it right away, whew)
#2 pinhole in Rad
#3 clamp on upper rad hose was a tad loose

cheers
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Re: is a coolant leak worth a trip to coombs?

Post by jthom »

thanks everyone.

the hoses are the braided ones, yes.

i noticed today that the rad is remaining full while the reservoir level is ever-diminishing. also, there are a bunch of blueish-greenish flecks all over and around my upper rad hose. so i'm thinking that the hose is leaking (spraying actually?), and the rad is pulling backup from the reservoir to compensate.

so if i want to replace these hoses myself, what's the first step? where can i get new hoses?
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Re: is a coolant leak worth a trip to coombs?

Post by FalcoColumbarius »

Contact Glen at CC Autos and get him to send them to you. I remember when I first got my wagon and there was such neat and well built technology crafted into the vehicle that when I first saw the pattern on the radiator hose I assumed that it was kevlar. It was after that I learned that I could see the pattern because the insulation has melted some, and that what I had were really old hoses that were on the verge of potentially bursting.

So I replaced them. Glen is a good guy.

Falco.
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Re: is a coolant leak worth a trip to coombs?

Post by snelson »

Drain the remaining coolant you have and set aside. There's a drain hose/valve on the bottom on the rad.
Once it's all drained, get a screwdriver, remove the hose clamps on each end, remove hose, replace with new hose.
Really simple. The ends of the old hoses will most likely be 'melted' to the rad and engine output, so you can gently pry the hose loose with the screwdriver.
The bottom hose is a little tricky just due to it's location, and you'll probably have coolant in that hose that didn't drain so watch your face/eyes when removing that one.
Fill up the rad with coolant,and burb a bit with the upper hose to get all the air out (just squeezing the hose a few times).
Start up the van, burp the upper hose some more and check for leaks.
** The hoses may not be the cause of your leak, though they should be replaced anyways. I'd still try to determine the source of your leak 100%.
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Re: is a coolant leak worth a trip to coombs?

Post by lrp374 »

Had my first 'puddle' yesterday and only after the block heater had been on for a few hours. Tried it again today. No puddle in the morning – block heater on for 2 hours and a small puddle. I thought for sure it must be related to the block heater so I was prepared for a lot of cursing and swearing as I remember how much fun it was to install. Once up on the blocks I was happy to find the drip was from a heater hose. I tightened every hose clamp I could find after the leaking one. Every one needed a few turns to snug them up – even the new rad hoses. What a relief.
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Re: is a coolant leak worth a trip to coombs?

Post by Aciled »

Artacoma wrote:most dealers replace these at import.






you mean 'some dealers' :-(
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Re: is a coolant leak worth a trip to coombs?

Post by DelicaDJ »

I think if I were replacing the rad hoses, just for the fun of it I would go for the stainless steel ones! :-D
Daniel

I'm car-less at the moment... Moving to Virginia USA
Looking forward to getting a Deli in the US, prefer a 1986+ L300
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Re: is a coolant leak worth a trip to coombs?

Post by jthom »

(i'm the original poster)

after cleaning off the 'blue-green flecks' i mentioned, they have not returned yet the coolant continues to drop whenever i am driving. so the leak is not the upper rad hose as i originally suspected.
under the van i can see little droplets of coolant ready to fall, just beneath the radiator. does this help narrow down possibilities, or not really?

i can't tell if it's the lower rad hose because of the huge metal plate under the vehicle - is this thing easy to take off and put back on? is there some way around taking it off?

forgive my novice questions, i'm, well...a novice.

thanks again everyone - this has been extremely helpful.
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Re: is a coolant leak worth a trip to coombs?

Post by snelson »

Hey jthom, that plate can be removed just by simply removing the bolts that hold it in place. There's about four or maybe six bolts. just remove it - but watch it doesn't clunk you on the head. It's not that heavy. I removed mine and haven't gotten around to putting it back for about a year and a half how. Definitely remove that and have a look-see. If it's not your hoses, could very well be the actual rad leaking.
Many guys here have had the rad replaced.
And again, you could do that yourself too if you have a simple set of wrenches and screwdrivers. Nothing tricky there, just some bolts.
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