Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: I'm losing coolant, but I don't know from where

asked by on

My van is losing coolant, but I can't figure out from where. The timing belt and water pump were changed around 100,000 miles. I usually change the oil every 5000 miles or so. I waited a little longer than usual on this - almost 7000 miles. Sometime between the last oil change and this one, my coolant reservoir went from the halfway mark all the way down to the "add coolant" line. It was at the halfway mark every since the timing belt change, and until now the level as never budged. There aren't any leaks that I can see. Two oil changes back, I had an oil analysis done, and I was told there were some indications of possible coolant contamination in my oil. However, the brand of oil I was using sometimes has those particles in it, and the percentage is so low it's not supposed to be anything to worry about. I'm having the oil tested again, but are there any other common areas I might lose coolant that wouldn't be very visible?

A: The loss of coolant can be determined with ...

The loss of coolant can be determined with a couple tests. The coolant overflow bottle can have a combustion tester put on it. This will allow you to see if there is any combustion getting into the coolant, indicating a possible head gasket leak. The system can also be pressure tested to see if any coolant leaks are found or if the system's pressure goes down, indicating a leak in the cylinder head or an external leak.

If you need assistance with these tests, a certified technician will gladly help you find the source of your coolant leak.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: it has no power at all

Hi there: Some times when the battery has run it's course, it can't be recharged or even jump started. This typically occurs when it's starting to get colder outside; when cold cranking amps on the battery have worn out. It's...

Q: I found a small puddle of coolant underneath my car. Today I opened the hood, and I see a puddle of coolant.

Hello, thanks for writing in. If you are finding puddles of coolant underneath your vehicle then there is likely a coolant leak somewhere on the engine. A few places that leaks can occur at are at the hoses, the water...

Q: Drive shaft replaced, now van won't go forward

I am not aware of any problems about removing and replacing a driveshaft when the vehicle is warm. I however have seen transaxle damaged from not installing the axle all the way into the transmission and engaging the axle fully...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.