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brent 09-19-2011 12:09 PM

Coolant loss
It was time to change the oil so I popped the hood and checked the levels. I noticed the coolant reservoir was EMPTY! I don't recall actively checking it in the past, but I think I would have noticed if it were empty. My question is, how much coolant can you expect to lose from evaporation from the reservoir?

I added about 3/4 of a gallon which brought me back to the full mark. However, now it's about midway between full and add. I drove it about 150 miles this weekend.

I looked all over for leaks, can't find any. Both engine and trans dipsticks look OK. I hesistate to change the oil just yet for fear of a head gasket issue. It does blow a little steam when I first turn it on and dribbles water out the tailpipe. I'm not sure how much condensation/steam is normal from the exhaust. And if it is a head gasket issue, would it definitely show up in the oil or is it possible for it to evaporate and go out the exhaust before hitting oil?

Billyb.cpt 09-19-2011 12:42 PM

Re: Coolant loss
Do you smell anything different inside the cabin? Check the front passenger floorboards and see if they are wet (mine were wet with coolant), it could be your heater core leaking. What mileage are you at? That's what happened to me (coolant reservoir was empty) 2 weeks ago and I'm at 102,400 miles, it cost me $850 to replace because the whole dash and steering column had to come off just to replace the $82 heater core!!! Hopefully this isn't the case with you. It could be as simple as a cracked/leaky hose. Check the heater hoses running into the firewall in the engine bay on the passenger side to see if they are loose. Also check the radiator cap, upper and lower radiator hoses, coolant reservoir hose to the radiator, etc. If you see dried white stains, that's most probably dried coolant. Hope this helps and let me know your findings!

longboy 09-19-2011 03:02 PM

Re: Coolant loss
Do you park it somewhere dry overnight? Mine leaks a touch overnight on chilly nights (like 45 F) from the thermostat housing. I've read that it is most likely just the gasket, but I haven't torn into it yet to see.

Keep an eye up front to see if it's dripping on the front of the engine-

SupWiz17 09-20-2011 09:57 PM

Re: Coolant loss
I have the 5.7 hemi also and this is my first winter with it. Do these engines generally have a lot of white smoke or condensation coming from the exhaust in the winter? If it doesnt effect the engine in a negative way I dont really care with a little white smoke at stoplights in the winter but I also dont want to fog out the intersection every time I hit the gas lol.

brent 09-21-2011 09:14 AM

Re: Coolant loss
No smell of coolant from exaust and the floor board is dry. I looked all over with a flash light and a black light in the engine compartment and don't see any signs of a leak.

I'm taking it into the dealer today to see what the deal is. I'll post back and let you know what they find out. Going through a gallon of coolant seems a little more loss than what you'd expect from evaporation from the reservoir tank.

brent 09-21-2011 04:18 PM

Re: Coolant loss
Dealer said it was the radiator cap! It didn't look like it was leaking from there, but maybe it steams out with a slow leak when the engine is hot? Weird.

Got a laundry list of things fixed, including a TSB which addresses the clunk on the transmission at ~ 20mph. Sweet!

Billyb.cpt 09-22-2011 01:15 AM

Re: Coolant loss
How much did all this come to if you don't mind me asking? what year is your WK? And what did they fix?

brent 09-22-2011 12:35 PM

Re: Coolant loss

Originally Posted by Billyb.cpt (Post 488340)
How much did all this come to if you don't mind me asking? what year is your WK? And what did they fix?

I have an extended warranty, so it'll end up costing me 100 bucks. The cap isn't expensive. But they also replaced the strut for the hood lift, one of the shocks, and the TSB TCM update. It'd probably cost me what the warranty cost (~1000 bucks).

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