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12 SE running hot? (Warning: long and with weak humor)

253 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Gatorsailor
Anyways, TLDR- I'm losing coolant, I smell coolant, not a lot, but I can't find any place where it's coming out. I mean, it must be, but where?

So lately I have been smelling coolant.

The car seems like I need to keep adding antifreeze, so I do.

The car tends to run hot, 218-223 in town the summer. I saw posts where others were running lower, so I worry. This car has to last another 50k miles, and I love the car. I don't drive it hard, because I'm still finding things wrong and I don't want to mess it up (busted seat belt latches, occupant sensor in passenger seat disabled, a bunch of stupid stickers on it etc.). I'm limited on cash because I'm on disability retirement.

Anyways, I found that a previous owner put Prestone in it, which from what I'm reading is a tsk tsk and a naughty naughty. I have to keep using that from what I've read, until I can get the radiator flushed. I got some of the proper antifreeze waiting for me when I can do this.

I've fixed what I could, right down to proper torque on bolts. I do a lot of reading, YouTube vids, and asking friends.

(Oh, sorry for wandering, second scotch of the night).

Back to my question.

I checked to see if I had oil in antifreeze and vice versa. No. I didn't see any. And I haven't seen any blind dogs so there are no puddles of it under the car. I tried using a blacklight and dye to find leaks, but no dice.

When I bought the car, it was giving me a code for the thermostat, so I changed it and the housing, which cleared up the check engine light, but still, there's that whiff of coolant and what I think is the engine running hot. I smell it in the cabin and outside when I park. Not a ton, but it's noticeable.

(The light came back on, it's saying oil pump or solenoid, but it isn't flashing and I only drive it when absolutely necessary. That's another post later on.)

I could be wrong of course, so be gentle with me here (I work on letter sorting equipment and just got into cars, they aren't that different,right?)

I did have an issue which turned out to be the coolant tank cap coming loose, so I replaced it, and after reading the forum, got the air out of it.

Thanks, guys, btw.

Also, should I be concerned that the fan on the radiator is loud?

I hear it click on, but it's loud to me. I guess I'm touchy because I use an ultrasonic probe to find bad bearings at work. However, they'd frown on me for borrowing a $10k probe to fix my car, as well as all the things you have to do to get reading.

Anyhow, since I'm less experienced, but eager to learn, I appreciate any help. Hopefully, some time I can give back, but for now, thanks for any advice.

Oh yeah, if any of you live in AntifaHomelessville, I mean Portland, OR, wanna grab a beer? If you read this far, I owe you one.
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As far of the temperatures are in the higher limit of fine, but since you mentioned it was in town and in summer you are good, my car was doing similar temperatures and i changed the thermostat now it maxes at 218. Best way to check for leaks is performing a pressure test. The vehicle might not leak while idle but it might if the rpm rise, leave the car in P and press the accelerator around 2000-2250 rpms, is possible you find a leak.
I'll give it a shot. Thanks!
Check under the car to see if you see signs of a coolant leak towards the rear of the engine and along the top of the transmission. If so, its the engine oil cooler. I had a leak for almost two years until I found that it was the oil cooler. If so, take the upper intake off as if you were changing the plugs, if you see liquid in the valley surrounding the oil
Well, dammit.
Say for instance I changed that out already. I do confess to using aftermarket parts. When I put the replacement in, there was a puddle.

Now at the time I thought it might have been coolant in the the old pump that spilled out when I pulled it. I'll pull the manifold off tomorrow.

Well, it seems I have found an issue.

Need to go get a thermostat housing.
This one is leaky. Found a freshly made drop under the housing.
I'll swap it out, and watch the coolant level.

Thanks everyone.
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