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  1. #1

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    Default Antifreeze Leak - or normal operation?

    Alright...time for me to drop some more questions!!

    We maintenced my truck the other day (Last Thursday) -- we put new oil in it, added anti freze to the radiator (I think) and the antifreeze canister (which was empty), we also replaced the radiator cap (the one that is under pressure) just in case it was leaking...

    So its been since Thursday and I popped the hood and took a peak at the antifreeze level in the canister...

    It is low, it is down to where the Canister slants downward..

    Now to what I understand, the radiator takes the Antifreeze as it needs it, then when it dosnt - it puts it back...

    Could the vehicle be in the stage where it has taken alot in and hasnt put it back yet??

    And if there is a leak somewhere, where are the most likely places it could be?

    And for those that dont know, I drive a 91 F150.

    Thanks in advance.
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  2. #2

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    you said the the reaserve tank was empty, and you said you weren't sure if you filled the radiator. now that you know you have added fluid to the system, and most all the air that was or could have beem in the system has been burped out, you have a lower level in the reserve tank. Now fill it back to where it should be, and monitor it from now on. If it stays where it should, your ok, if it keep dropping in level you have a leak. minor refillling is still not a problem it's an old truck, just stay on top of it, major loss of fluid you may neeed it repaired.
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  3. #3

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    Well we filled both up...

    But the reserve was empty when we filled them both up, so Im hoping it was starved for it and just used a large amount... I filled it back up to half way - Ill check it again in the morning, then again after school and look for any drastic change...
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  4. #4

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    Sid,
    You probably should have replaced the antifreeze while you were at it too. The corrosion inhibiters only last a couple of years. Many people forget about the antifreeze replacements in their routine maintenance schedules.

    After running the truck for a while and you park it do you see any leaks or drips?
    Places to look would be the hoses, radiator, drain plugs, radiator cap (which you replaced), and water pump. Worst case is you have a head gasket leak and are leaking into the oil. Did the oil you remove look normal or milky looking?

    I would just top off the overflow reservoir again to the fill line and see what happens. Look for those leaks. If you have original hoses might be time to replace those as well.

  5. #5

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    The oil we replaced was dark, not milky... so I dont think that is it...

    I couldnt really see the fill line on the tank since its dark outside, I filled it to about half way though...

    Ill report back tommorow sometime and let yall know where its at to see if yall can further diagnose it...

    Thanks
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  6. #6

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    Sid,
    I recommend you go to the store and pick up a Chilton's or Haynes repair manual for your truck. It is full of valuable information to keep up the maintenance on your vehicle and great for small repairs you can do yourself. You seem to be pretty hands on with your carpentry work so I'd guess you'd make a good shadetree mechanic.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vr3MxStyler2k3
    The oil we replaced was dark, not milky... so I dont think that is it...

    Thanks
    Well that's good news. Could be what Hoosier said and nothing else. My '94 Mustang I had to replace the radiator after 8 years due to a leak in a weld that kept failing every time the radiator shop would reweld it. Their company moto is funny... Regis Radiator..."Best Place to Take a Leak."

  8. #8

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    Well Im hoping it was just starved for some antifreeze and by tommorow it wont have gone down... lol

    Thanks for your help/suggestions, like always - Im going to look into each one....

    Will report back tommorow with some info on the situation...
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  9. #9

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    Another thing you can try is with the engine totally cooled off (to prevent injury!) is take off the radiator cap and top off the radiator and the reservoir. Now with the cap off turn on the engine in a ventilated area (carbon monoxide) and let the engine idle and heat up until the thermostat opens. The upper radiator hose will get hot when the thermostat opens. Now turn off the engine and let it cool; add more antifreeze if necessary. Another trick is to squeeze the upper radiator hose to get rid of the air. Add more antifreeze if necessary. Put the radiator cap back on and see what happens to your level in the overflow reservoir after you run the engine again.

    Leaks can be very small like a steam leak and you can go a long time with no problems (just have to top off every once and a while). Look for white or rust colored stains on hoses. Also check that your clamps are tight.

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the suggestions - these are things Ill of course try with my Grandpaw if its needed, of course - lol...

    Hows that area doing Paul? Everything shaping up around you?
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  11. #11

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    A good black light will show an antifreeze leak. Also don't forget about the heater core. They can leak too. Like already mentioned, fill it up for a couple of days and then keep a watch on it.

  12. #12

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    Well...

    I popped the hood today after school and took a look...

    The antifreeze level (from what I can remember) hasnt gone down, if it has, it hasnt gone down much...

    Im going to keep an eye on it...
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  13. #13

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    Well - it is MOST DEFINITELY an antifreeze leak...

    Today when I got home from school, I went inside to get some food, came back outside and noticed two large puddles that had formed under my truck -- it was kind of raindbowy when it hit the lights...

    I got up under the truck and noticed alot of green puddling up getting ready to drip on some select pieces...

    We've done decided it isnt the reserve canister, and we've narrowed it down to the radiator - the question is where in the radiator...

    But it is most definitely leaking VERY large amounts - I was very surprised to see those two large puddles...
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  14. #14

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    That sucks. You may have to just take it to a radiator shop.
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  15. #15

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    Don't let any animals get around the stuff on the ground........they love it, but it can take them down in a hurry.

  16. #16

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    Whats the best way to clean it up??
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  17. #17

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    Soak it up with rags, then scrub area with soapy solution.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vr3MxStyler2k3
    Well - it is MOST DEFINITELY an antifreeze leak...

    Today when I got home from school, I went inside to get some food, came back outside and noticed two large puddles that had formed under my truck -- it was kind of raindbowy when it hit the lights...

    I got up under the truck and noticed alot of green puddling up getting ready to drip on some select pieces...

    We've done decided it isnt the reserve canister, and we've narrowed it down to the radiator - the question is where in the radiator...

    But it is most definitely leaking VERY large amounts - I was very surprised to see those two large puddles...
    Well. That kind of sucks. You need to top off again and run the engine until it is hot. Pop the hood and a soda pop and just wait and see where the leak is. High probability it is 1) radiator 2) water pump 3) hose. If you are getting puddles of antifreeze you should be able to pin-point the problem.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vr3MxStyler2k3
    Whats the best way to clean it up??
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  20. #20

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    i didn't read the other replies but...

    Proper way to service radiator...
    --------------------------------
    1- turn truck on, let it warm up so that the thermostat opens up (has to get hot)

    2- turn the HEATER on... if the climate control fan is turned on, but the knob is set to cold, that's no good... turn it to full hot, and any fan setting will work.

    2a - pull the radiator cap off (use a towel or something to hold the cap just in case you get splashed.

    3- rev the motor a few times... let it run for a couple minutes.

    ... this will fill up the heater core with coolant

    4- kill the motor

    5- fill up the radiator itself... replace the cap.

    6- fire up the motor... leave the heater on.... let it run for a few minutes

    7- pop hte cap... let it run some more

    8 - check the level... if it went down, add some more and repeat steps 5 through 8 until it stops dropping.

    9- finally replace the cap and then look at your reservoir / canister. it will have a "full cold", "full hot" lines... or it may just have a singel full line.

    10 - if it has both, add fluid till it's at the "full hot" line. if it has just a full line, add fluid till it's at the "full" line. add directly to the reservoir, not through the radiator cap.

    11 - you're done.

    always use 50% antifreeze / 50 % distilled water... or use the premixed 50/50 stuff.
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  21. #21

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    There is a reason the cap is marked "Do not remove when hot", Hot (220 degree water at 16 lbs pressure) can make for a bad day.

  22. #22

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    ya, but a nasty air lock in the coolant system can make for a worse day -- i'd rather get burned than cook a motor... skin grows back, iron doesn't.
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