: Losing water with no visible leaks


89sasyoter
02-20-2011, 01:06 AM
I have been losing coolant with no visible leaks, not getting warm yet? Any ideas? I was thinking head gasket just want a few more opinions

Wainiha
02-20-2011, 01:58 AM
Check your oil...is there water in it?

cruncher316
02-20-2011, 03:09 AM
blown headgasket could be leaking into one of the cylinders. maybe try a block test

Red2003
02-20-2011, 10:23 AM
blown headgasket could be leaking into one of the cylinders. maybe try a block test
Wouldn't that produce noticeable white smoke from the exhaust?

rworegon
02-20-2011, 11:00 AM
Wouldn't that produce noticeable white smoke from the exhaust?

Not always...if the breach is slight and/or in the early stages there may not be visible smoking. Like OP, I was slowly losing coolant for some months, no smoke in exhaust when running after normal warm-up....upon teardown, defintely a blown HG.

Sometimes a radiator will have a pin hole leak that can be tough to see too.

TacoDell
02-20-2011, 12:10 PM
possibly a small water pump leak (seep)...

anti-freeze might be drying up before it hits the ground and becomes noticeable.

look for scale build up around the WP :2cents:

Red2003
02-20-2011, 12:12 PM
Not always...if the breach is slight and/or in the early stages there may not be visible smoking. Like OP, I was slowly loosing coolant for some months, no smoke in exhaust when running after normal warm-up....upon teardown, defintely a blown HG.

Sometimes a radiator will have a pin hole leak that can be tough to see too.
Yeah that makes sense. I too had the same problem with my 92 it had a small leak in the radiator and the water was being soaked up by some foam crap that was between the rad and where it was mounted so I never noticed it until it overheated one day.

89sasyoter
02-20-2011, 01:30 PM
There is no dampness anywhere that I can see. I spent an hour looking a few days ago with it running up to temp. What leads me to believe it is a head gasket is the amount of moisture coming out of my exhaust

sasaholic
02-20-2011, 01:58 PM
Yeah that makes sense. I too had the same problem with my 92 it had a small leak in the radiator and the water was being soaked up by some foam crap that was between the rad and where it was mounted so I never noticed it until it overheated one day.

um thats why ur supposed to check your fluid levels frequently:rolleyes:

89sasyoter
02-20-2011, 02:01 PM
I have been and it is constantly running low.

sasaholic
02-20-2011, 02:10 PM
I have been and it is constantly running low.

that wasnt directed to you thats why i quoted Red2003. he didnt know he had a problem till all the antifreeze was gone and he overheated

Red2003
02-20-2011, 03:58 PM
um thats why ur supposed to check your fluid levels frequently:rolleyes:
Thanks for the tip!

mrtucker80
02-21-2011, 10:03 PM
My money is on the head. I had the exact same thing happen a few years ago. Losing water, no visible leaks, no water in oil, no heavy white smoke. One of the water jackets next to the #3 cylinder had eroded over to the edge of the cylinder and was leaking ever-so-slightly. I guess it was pulling in some with every down stroke and burning it off with the up stroke. I had the head reworked and it has been good ever since. If I had it to do over though I would just order a new one from engnbldr and get one of his cams to go with it.

If you open the radiator cap and take a look inside while the engine is running, sometimes you will see the water pulsating as the engine turns over. IIRC that is how I got to the problem with mine. Ultimately the head will have to come off to confirm, but that would just give you a chance to replace the HG and timing chain while you are in there.

Oh, mine was on a 22RE.

Good luck,

Tucker

89sasyoter
02-22-2011, 12:36 AM
thanks for the help, thats what i am going to have to do. I think right now its at a point where only the head gasket needs replaced so i plan on doing it soon before it gets bad and warps my head.

Metalhed
02-23-2011, 09:28 PM
Had the same problem with my sons truck. New head gasket= nothing, looked everywhere. cylinder leakdown test = nothing pressurized the cooling system= nothing

Found it one day wheeling, coolant dripping out of the back of the thermostat housing. Pulled the housing and found the gasket was pinched and melted allowing water to leak when at operating temp

Replaced the gasket with a Toyota gasket, not a drop missing since

etc.
02-25-2011, 11:53 AM
I would try pressurizing the motor while its cool and look for seepage and to see if it hold its pressure.

It could be as simple as a radiator cap or as extreme as a cracked head.

Genlrony
02-27-2011, 07:04 PM
my 89 would use water as well a couple years ago. Ended up being the HG and no white smoke on it either. I did a compression test and found my problem to be #6 cylinder.. Good Luck

Ringwraith
11-21-2011, 01:56 AM
Reviving an old thread, as I might be having a similar problem.
Whenever I go wheeling, I always check the water level and it always winds up below the 'low' line. So I've put in probably 4-5 bottles of water over the course of me having the truck (since March). The thing is, my truck never overheats, the engine temp gauge always stays right in the middle, and there are no visible cooling leaks on the ground. I looked around the engine too, can never see any fresh fluid. One thing I have been noticing though is that the exhaust has a fair amount of white smoke in it, at least until it gets up to the running temp, but then it seems to go away. That could also be because the weather is getting really cold too...

Just wondering what I should look for, and if this is a bigger problem than I think. I just find it weird that there are no leaks (that I can see, anyway), and my truck isn't overheating, yet fluid is disappearing. And this is a re-manufactured 22re, has about 85,000 km's on it, so it's not that old either...

fast frank
11-21-2011, 10:28 AM
A couple important points:

1. Never, ever, never never NEVER run water in your radiator. Proper coolants have stuff in there to prevent corrosion. ALWAYS use a good antifreeze/coolant. Corrosion is most likely the cause of many of these blown headgaskets.

2. A blown headgasket will not make the motor blow white smoke. A blown headgasket will put steam in the exhaust. There is a big difference, and it matters. White smoke in the exhaust is caused by oil, and does not disperse. It comes out the tailpipe and is carried away by the wind or hangs in the area. If you start a motor making white smoke in the garage, it will fill the garage with white smoke.

A motor with coolant in the exhaust makes steam in the exhaust. It's completely different. It disappears quickly after it hits the air . Steam in the exhaust is only there until it cools. Steam in the exhaust will not build up, and you can't watch it be carried away on the wind.

Yes, steam in the exhaust is white, but it looks nothing like white smoke whatsoever.

3. Coolant in the exhaust has a distinct smell. Even a teeny tiny bit of coolant will be quite noticeable.

Think you have coolant in your exhaust? Go stand next to your tailpipe and take a whif. If there's coolant in that exhaust it will be obvious.

What does coolant smell like? Good question and I'm glad you are paying attention. :) Take your bottle of antifreeze/coolant (You aren't putting water in your radiator, are you? surely you have some antifreeze, right?) and pour a little bit into the cap.

Now take that cap full of antifreeze and pour it on your hot exhaust manifold. There. That's what antifreeze smells like.

Now that you are familiar with the smell of antifreeze you can use that to help locate where the coolant is going.

Good luck and have fun!

Ringwraith
11-21-2011, 11:44 AM
Thanks for the tips.
And I guess it is steam, not smoke, because it dissipates almost as soon as it leaves the tailpipe. I looked at it with my dad today, and when we opened the rad cap it was up to the top so there is still coolant in there. We're going to flush it and put some new stuff in there, just because I've added so much water. My oil was also down quite a bit (I'm terrible at checking it regularly), so we topped that up. We'll do some more investigating later.

Ringwraith
11-22-2011, 04:51 PM
Just flushed all the rad fluid out, didn't look bad at all. maybe a little diluted, if that. And that drain plug at the bottom is a bear to take off, there's like no room to move your hand in there!

1990dlx
12-19-2011, 02:05 PM
A couple important points:

1. Never, ever, never never NEVER run water in your radiator. Proper coolants have stuff in there to prevent corrosion.

2. A blown headgasket will not make the motor blow white smoke.



FALSE.

First of all, with many antifreezes you must mix distilled water with it, for it to work correctly. (read the bottle)

Second, a blown headgasket most certainly will produce white smoke. It will be a heavy, thick white smoke that just hangs.

Back to the orginal question...always looks for the most obvious and cheapest solution first when diagnosing. Losing water does not automatically mean you have a headgasket failure.

Check all your hoses, your radiator, areas around the thermostat, water pump, and even your heater core. When you are certain none of those are leaking, i would look at the headgasket.