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Low coolant level in 2000 MPV - normal?
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tgeraci
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 7:01 pm    Post subject: Low coolant level in 2000 MPV - normal? Reply with quote

I have a 2000 MPV that has been mine since new, now with 67K miles. Ever since new, the coolant level stays below the "low" mark, in fact stays just above the hose from the reservoir to the radiator. If I add coolant, the level falls again after a single drive. Yet, no sign of a leak anywhere. I figured well, this is just what this vehicle does. But it is less than comforting to see the coolant level this low all the time.

Can anyone confirm for me this is normal? If not, where could the coolant be going? Oil and cap look normal, doubt it's a head gasket and it's been this way for at least a couple years.
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subearu
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Low coolant level in 2000 MPV - normal? Reply with quote

As long as it's consistent and not losing, then you should be ok. You can always check the level in the radiator - that should be always near the top of the cap.

Do you know if they did a coolant flush/fill before you got it? How's the heat - nice and toasty? If not, maybe there's an air bubble in the coolant system. There's a way to 'purge' or 'burp' the system if that's the case.

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Kiwimpv
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 11:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Low coolant level in 2000 MPV - normal? Reply with quote

Isn't the tube that discharges into the bottle when the engine is hot also supposed to reclaim the fluid after the engine cools down. Check that the tube is still fitted and is sitting below the fluid level when cold.

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RedWingsGuy
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 12:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Low coolant level in 2000 MPV - normal? Reply with quote

Another thing to check is the condition of the reservoir. I had a cracked one in my '85 Nova. Took a long time to figure that one out.

The terrible thing about the hose and reservoir leaks is that you never can see it happening.

Considering how fast you are losing coolant, you would know if it were going out the tailpipe, and that much can't get into the oil, so the only place it can go is on the ground.

Duh? I almost forgot. Do you have rear heat? You might want to check the condition of the coolant pipes going back there. The latest thread on this one is http://forum.mpvclub.com/viewtopic.php?t=5836. Alex took some nice pics for that one.

Good Luck and let us know what you find!

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tgeraci
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 7:12 am    Post subject: Re: Low coolant level in 2000 MPV - normal? Reply with quote

RedWingsGuy wrote:

Duh? I almost forgot. Do you have rear heat? You might want to check the condition of the coolant pipes going back there. The latest thread on this one is http://forum.mpvclub.com/viewtopic.php?t=5836. Alex took some nice pics for that one.


I do have rear heat. I have checked the lines and although they have some corrosion I see no leaking coolant. Probably will have them replaced soon anyhow since it seems inevitable that they will rust through at some point.

This is perplexing...that coolant has got to be leaking somewhere!
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steve12955
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 8:22 am    Post subject: Re: Low coolant level in 2000 MPV - normal? Reply with quote

I was baffled by very slight coolant loss but an increasingly more noticeable odor of hot coolant whenever I pulled our '00 into the garage. I inspected the radiator and all the easily visible hoses but all appeared tight and leak-free. During the last oil and filter change I noticed some green scaling (coolant residue) on the underside of one of the hoses going into the water pump. It is on the driver's side under the emissions controls and isn't easy to see. This hose appears to have been weeping for some time. It's hard to get to but I removed and replaced the spring clamp with a conventional worm gear clamp and all is now well. You may want to check there too.
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03sageLX
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 5:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Low coolant level in 2000 MPV - normal? Reply with quote

The fact that it drops after one drive is not encouraging. You have a sigificant leak somewhere. If it's truly limited to the reservoir, then it may well be the reservoir tank. If it continues to drop, then the problem lies elsewhere.

Are you sure you have coolant in the radiator ? I had a bad head gasket once on a Plymouth Sundance (2.2 liter) that was hard to figure, because I rarely drove the car far enough to actually open the thermostat. Unless the thermostat opened, everything seemed fine, but as soon as it did, the back pressure from the leak in the head gasket would blow all of the coolant out of the radiator - which I didn't see because I was on the road every time it happened.

So I'd go weeks with no apparent problem, and then suddenly find no coolant in the engine (and believe me, I was checking). Not good. Because the defect was between the cylinder wall and the coolant line, but did not progress to the outside edge of the head or involve an oil line, the car ran fine and the oil looked good. We had to do a compression check on the engine to confirm.

We fixed the head gasket and moved on. No engine damage. Got lucky on that one.

Good luck to you.

-brianV

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tgeraci
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 7:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Low coolant level in 2000 MPV - normal? Reply with quote

Well, still can't figure it out. Called the dealer today and had them order the parts to replace the rear steel heater pipes with the improved aluminum ones...$435 just for parts, ouch! I figure this has to be done before the rust on mine pokes through the pipes anyhow, and if I'm lucky there will be a tiny leak in this part of the system that I've missed, to explain the dropping coolant level.

Just for kicks I went to KBB to see what trade in value would be if I were to trade up to a 2004. Only $8200. Yikes, looks like this will be our van for a while yet. I really like the van, but I hate dealing with maintenance stuff that I can't do myself.
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hockless
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 8:38 am    Post subject: Re: Low coolant level in 2000 MPV - normal? Reply with quote

I have been having the same problem since new. Recently I found out it is those cheap hose clamps! They leak just enough that you will not see any coolant on the ground because it evaporates so quickly, but you notice the coolant level is low and the faint smell of the coolant.
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tgeraci
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 7:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Low coolant level in 2000 MPV - normal? Reply with quote

hockless wrote:
I have been having the same problem since new. Recently I found out it is those cheap hose clamps! They leak just enough that you will not see any coolant on the ground because it evaporates so quickly, but you notice the coolant level is low and the faint smell of the coolant.


Wow, that's a great, simple solution! Did you replace all of the clamps, or was there one or two specific ones that were problems? And how did you find out that was the problem?

Thanks, TG
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hockless
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 7:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Low coolant level in 2000 MPV - normal? Reply with quote

Help!!!! I took the dive and decided that since I was doing so well with IAC and spark plug changes... I felt I could conquer the thermostat and upper/lower radiator hoses and those stupid clamp hoses. Well the day was going pretty good. The upper hose connected at the radiator proved to be most difficult. After that the hoses that make up the thermostat housing was just as difficult. My problem is when I was done, it did not appear that I was able to put back in as much coolant that came out (I let it idle for quit awhile while I was draining the radiator as I wanted to get out as much of the old stuff out as possible). Now the temp gage goes to about midway when the fan kicks in. Then, it continues north to the hot reading where it seems if the fans kick in to turbo mode! I suspect that I have quite a bit of air then the system that will not allow me to get the proper coolant level. Has anyone done this yet? Please help! DW is looking at me like I'm toast for touching her MPV! BTW, I have the four seasonís package with the rear air/heat. I know that the manual states to take it to the dealer for this service, but I am over 150 miles away from closest Mazda dealer!
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subearu
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 7:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Low coolant level in 2000 MPV - normal? Reply with quote

Hang tight, there's a few members with access to the service manuals that should be able to get you in the right direction.

IIRC, there's a procedure to 'burb' the system. I think it involves running with the radiator cap off, but am not certain.

-Brian

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 8:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Low coolant level in 2000 MPV - normal? Reply with quote

Check this out http://forum.mpvclub.com/viewtopic.php?t=5322&highlight=bleed
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hockless
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 8:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Low coolant level in 2000 MPV - normal? Reply with quote

Thanks! You guys are great! Smile I'll try taking the radiator cap off first since it's getting dark here in Texas. Sad If that does not work, then I'll go with the bleed on the rear heater in the morning...I wish I knew about this earlier in the day! Shocked
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hockless
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 11:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Low coolant level in 2000 MPV - normal? Reply with quote

I think I may have just found the problem. I noticed that the upper coolant hose is very hot. Then I touched the bottom hose where the thermostat housing is connected and it is cold. I think I may have purchased a defect thermostant. I know for sure that I out it in correctly since there is only one way it fits in. The engine got so hot that the check engine light came on and I had to "limp" home.
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