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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m stumped on where to look next.
Coolant level in the secondary tank is dropping fairly quickly; estimating I lost a full secondary tank over 2-3 weeks, ~100miles driving. I’ve inspected everything I can see from the top, put it on jackstands and got under it, no visible leaks or green residue on the engine, coolant hoses, or radiator (new rowe triple installed may 2022). I’ve also taken it to a shop and they did the same as me, pressurized and tested the system, and checked for head gasket leaks. All negative. They checked and tightened hoses just in case, all good. Drove ~30 miles since getting the car back and coolant still disappearing from the secondary tank. Any ideas on what I could be missing, what to check?

p.s. car is running at normal temp, not overheating (per temp gauge),fan is working, and no coolant level issues for ~4 months between new radiator +thermostat gasket in may through September. Noticed the drop in October and have been monitoring after every drive since then.
 

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Did you remove the front coolant tank and inspect for holes? Mine had that screw hit the lower part of the tank and put a tiny hole in it. It didn't leak until I applied pressure to the coolant tank.

Bought a new one at Rock Auto for $20.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The shop pressurized the system and it held for 30 minutes before they moved on.
I did not check the tank for holes, but that seems like the next logical step. Does the bumper have to come off?
 

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Yep. It's pretty easy to remove except for those pesky Xmas tree fasteners. I should probably order new ones.

See my prev post. There's a bottom screw that sits really close to the bottom of the resovior.

 

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If you're not finding and water under the car and the exhaust is not showing any sign of burning fluid then it could just be that the system had air and is replacing it with fluid from the tank. When the system has air and the motor heats up it will take a big gulp of fluid from the tank. Just check it before you go for a drive, fill when necessary. Eventually it will no longer need any fluid. I stopped burping the system and just continue filling the tank over a few weeks until it no longer requires fluid. 200K + miles here.
 

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If the tank is empty then it's probably not this issue but, especially if you have a pre-99 car, I would check the oil to makes sure their is no coolant in it. It's not uncommon for the timing cover to develop an internal coolant leak to where it goes into the oil pan. Find that issue to late and it's new engine time.

I think it was 99 when that risk level changed.

I too think it's air in the system still but I wanted to offer up one other thing to check for, just in case.

Also, what temp setting is your HVAC system on? When trying to purge the coolant system it's critical you have that set fully to the right (warm side). In a Viper the AC/Heater will go off the heater or AC setting and not the temp dial. So you can still run cold AC with that dial set to full hot. I drive with mine in full hot setting 100% of the time to keep coolant flowing through the heater core too. If your dial is set to cold that make the air bubble possibility even greater IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So, part of why I’m stumped here is that Ive seen no fluid externally (e.g., reservoir leak) And another reason why is that the reservoir levels were stable for 3-4 months / summers worth of driving after changing the coolant back in May 2022 (e.g., air pocket).

its odd to me there would be a reservoir leak with no visible fluid. Its also odd to me there’d be an air pocket showing up months and hundreds of miles later.

no matter, i’m going to pull the fascia and check the tank for anything suspicious. Just as soon as a fastener plier gets here.

next step after that will be draining and checking the oil for any milkshake-iness. Mine is a 2001, so hopefully not susceptible like pre 99. But if it were that, would it show on a pressure test i.e. pressure drop?
 

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Mines also an 01'. Yes milk chocolate engine oil happens when mixed with coolant. I had a head gasket leak on a prev car it looked like a Wendy's Frosty.

Of its a small leak you might not see discoloration. You could take a oil sample and get it tested. I always wanted todo this. Heard its not expensive.
 

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Sounds like a slow head gasket leak or a small leak in the radiator, evaporating before it hits the ground. Stock radiator? Check the seams on the back of the radiator when the vanes meet the tank.
 

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Sounds like a slow head gasket leak or a small leak in the radiator, evaporating before it hits the ground. Stock radiator? Check the seams on the back of the radiator when the vanes meet the tank.
Ive ones several vehicles where you could never find the leak but smell coolant on occasion. One brand new.
 

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Because the makeup bottle is always vented to atmosphere, you are liable to catch a whiff of coolant every now and then during the radiator cap pressure bypass condition. This is precisely when you DO NOT want to open the cap to investigate. The vent opening is clearly visible on the upper left of the photo I posted above.

Other places to check are all hose connections, the radiator tank to core solder areas - AND - the water pump seal weep hole below the shaft. It is virtually impossible to actually see this, but the telltale is coolant trails down the lower pump inlet hose, or pooling on top of the oil filter, which is where mine was collecting.

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sounds like a slow head gasket leak or a small leak in the radiator, evaporating before it hits the ground. Stock radiator? Check the seams on the back of the radiator when the vanes meet the tank.
New radiator installed in may 22. Stock one was shot to hell.

took the fascia off and doesnt look like the tank is leaking.
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I’ve got a new tank from rockauto, going to change it out since I’m in this far anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Because the makeup bottle is always vented to atmosphere, you are liable to catch a whiff of coolant every now and then during the radiator cap pressure bypass condition. This is precisely when you DO NOT want to open the cap to investigate. The vent opening is clearly visible on the upper left of the photo I posted above.

Other places to check are all hose connections, the radiator tank to core solder areas - AND - the water pump seal weep hole below the shaft. It is virtually impossible to actually see this, but the telltale is coolant trails down the lower pump inlet hose, or pooling on top of the oil filter, which is where mine was collecting.

View attachment 154407
Sooooo. Might be this…

looked a little wet on the lowest inlet hose. And, that line inlet looks cruddy.

if its the seal weep hole…new water pump?

p.s. I’m on my second pump after the original one crapped out in 2016.

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2nd one since 2016? Rookie 😀 I went through 4 in the past 3 years. Gave up on the crap Cardone reman. units and had my old Mopar one rebuilt by flowkooler. Don't think they are doing rebuilds right now though.

If your pump is bad again, find a Mopar unit, if you can.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have rebuilt pumps with billet impellers installed for sale. PM me if you need one.

View attachment 154431
Whoa mama that’s beautiful.

I’ve cleaned up the water pump lines and am going to run it and monitor for leaking. If confirmed, I’ll be coming to you. I’d rather get a billet rebuild than another plastic impeller POS time bomb.
 
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