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Think I have rear heater pipe problem
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vkc
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:09 pm    Post subject: Think I have rear heater pipe problem Reply with quote

Last Saturday, dw ran errands in the morning with the MPV then we all jumped into the van to go get some breakfast. I noticed a small trickle by the rear muffler then checked the coolant level ........ it was on the low pointer. Drove around for a bit (it was around 90 degrees so we had the AC running) and noticed that the trickle wasn't getting worse (like one drop every 15 seconds). Back home we noticed when the engine was cold there was no trickle......only when running. DW took the van out today for a quick run and mentioned that on startup, there was a spritz but the engine didn't get to operating temp and she didn't notice any leaks. The coolant level is still at the low pointer (coolant change was done at 30K .... van's now at 45K).

I have an appointment on Wed with the dealer for this. I'm suspecting the rear heater pipe (ldue to ocation/coolant level/symptoms) but am curious if anyone has any other thoughts on this.

Then: '79 Plymouth Horizon, '88 VW Fox Wagon, '92 VW Jetta GL (DW), '96 VW Golf GL (DW), '97 Jetta GLX - Green, '03 MPV ES - Blue Mica (DW)
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Olyts
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Think I have rear heater pipe problem Reply with quote

Could be condensing water comming from the rear A/C unit. I always get water when I run the rear ac in hot/humid weather. Have you smell and look and the liquid?
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vkc
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Think I have rear heater pipe problem Reply with quote

I was trying to put a bowl under it to get a sample but it was pretty hot - no collection. Couldn't get a determination from what was on the ground and it was a very small amount. Tomorrow's supposed to hit a heat index of 110 degrees F so maybe I'll try to replicate it early in the day.
Then: '79 Plymouth Horizon, '88 VW Fox Wagon, '92 VW Jetta GL (DW), '96 VW Golf GL (DW), '97 Jetta GLX - Green, '03 MPV ES - Blue Mica (DW)
Now: '15 Hyundai Elantra GT - Titanium Gray Metallic (DW), '10 Honda Civic Si - Polished Metal Metallic blake
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subearu
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Think I have rear heater pipe problem Reply with quote

Very likely AC condensation which is normal considering the high heat/humidity. DW's ES had 2 drip puddles in the garage when I came home from work - both water from the condensors.

If you had the coolant leak, you'll know - it'll be green.

-Brian

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vkc
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 10:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Think I have rear heater pipe problem Reply with quote

I would love nothing more than to top off the coolant and call it a day (and not have to go to the dealer). And I hear what you're saying about condensation.

Two things concern me: the drip is only over the right rear above the muffler where the dreaded heater hose is notorious for failure. I don't see any other droplets anywhere in the undercarriage. Second, the coolant's down to the low point after only 15K miles. And I guess a third would be what dw mentioned it "spritzing" on startup this morning but I need to see that in person.

I know other folks report that basically their coolant gets dumped from the source in one sitting which is why I'm curious if its a failure in the early stages.

Unfortunately there wasn't enough collection to say what the color of the liquid was and I was trying to see if it had the coolant smell but sample was too small/non-existent.

Then: '79 Plymouth Horizon, '88 VW Fox Wagon, '92 VW Jetta GL (DW), '96 VW Golf GL (DW), '97 Jetta GLX - Green, '03 MPV ES - Blue Mica (DW)
Now: '15 Hyundai Elantra GT - Titanium Gray Metallic (DW), '10 Honda Civic Si - Polished Metal Metallic blake
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subearu
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 10:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Think I have rear heater pipe problem Reply with quote

Coolant can leave an oily feeling residue and even a bit of a stain. Not to mention you may see some rust in the fluid too.

I also agree that if it was the coolant lines failing, it'd be constant and not hit/miss. Either it'll drip/leak or it won't. Only it'll get worse (leak more) usually.

-Brian

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vkc
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 4:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Think I have rear heater pipe problem Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback/recommendations.

I've removed the condensation possiblity this morning when I fired up the engine and it immediately started dripping behind the right rear wheel well. Its going into the dealer tomorrow morning and hopefully they can replicate the issue.

I'll report back on their findings (or lack thereof).

Then: '79 Plymouth Horizon, '88 VW Fox Wagon, '92 VW Jetta GL (DW), '96 VW Golf GL (DW), '97 Jetta GLX - Green, '03 MPV ES - Blue Mica (DW)
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subearu
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 9:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Think I have rear heater pipe problem Reply with quote

Yeah, even the AC should take a few minutes (at the least) in real humid weather to generate moisture.

Was what you saw dripping green colored? Just checking.

-Brian

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vkc
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 9:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Think I have rear heater pipe problem Reply with quote

subearu wrote:
Yeah, even the AC should take a few minutes (at the least) in real humid weather to generate moisture.
It was literally turn the key, walk to the rear of the van .... drip, drip, drip....

subearu wrote:
Was what you saw dripping green colored? Just checking.
Tough to say. I even tried taking a smell but couldn't really tell. Maybe in my old age the color differentiation and smelling is going.
Then: '79 Plymouth Horizon, '88 VW Fox Wagon, '92 VW Jetta GL (DW), '96 VW Golf GL (DW), '97 Jetta GLX - Green, '03 MPV ES - Blue Mica (DW)
Now: '15 Hyundai Elantra GT - Titanium Gray Metallic (DW), '10 Honda Civic Si - Polished Metal Metallic blake
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subearu
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 10:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Think I have rear heater pipe problem Reply with quote

Probably should confirm, just to keep the dealer honest. It can be possible that it's AC drippage I guess.

-Brian

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vkc
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 10:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Think I have rear heater pipe problem Reply with quote

subearu wrote:
Probably should confirm, just to keep the dealer honest. It can be possible that it's AC drippage I guess.

-Brian
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Then: '79 Plymouth Horizon, '88 VW Fox Wagon, '92 VW Jetta GL (DW), '96 VW Golf GL (DW), '97 Jetta GLX - Green, '03 MPV ES - Blue Mica (DW)
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vkc
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 1:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Think I have rear heater pipe problem Reply with quote

Update:

I get to the dealer bright and early this morning. When I started the van, no drip (!@#$%^&). But I go anyway. I describe the symtoms to the service type and he kept repeating the question if the drops were coming from the exhaust. After the 3rd time saying no, I repeated that the coolant is also going down (below the "L" point this morning). I sit in the waiting room then he comes in saying the tech type says its dry behind the wheel well. He asks me to come to the service bays with him to take a look. They took the plastic interior wheel well off exposing the pipes (not much between road debris and them except the plastic lining the well).

Then the tech type and the service type starts yelling at each other Shocked . Maybe its a good cop/bad cop thing I don't know but the service type was yellling at the tech type why he's only eyeballed it and haven't done the pressure test of the system (this after I reminded the service type for the 4th time that the coolant level has gone down in a fairly short period of time.) Service type asks that I sit tight while they run the tests.

Results all came back negative (no pressure loss) and they topped off the coolant. They even did the 23 point check at no charge. ($94/hr for labor!) And I was kinda having a positive feeling about the service at this dealer .... maybe they turned the corner. But at a stoplight on the way home I started going through the 2 pages of service report. I get to the results of the 23 point check and I see "Status: Yellow, front rotors needs replacement soon." Eh, I just replaced the rotors and pads 2 weeks ago Shocked . So I start to think if any pressure check was even done and if they only eyeballed it, topped off the coolant and sent me on my merry way. They obviously didn't execute the 23 point check.

Then: '79 Plymouth Horizon, '88 VW Fox Wagon, '92 VW Jetta GL (DW), '96 VW Golf GL (DW), '97 Jetta GLX - Green, '03 MPV ES - Blue Mica (DW)
Now: '15 Hyundai Elantra GT - Titanium Gray Metallic (DW), '10 Honda Civic Si - Polished Metal Metallic blake
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subearu
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Think I have rear heater pipe problem Reply with quote

I'm still thinking that if it was a coolant leak, it would be happening all the time and not hit/miss. AC condensation it must be.

Not too reassuring with their service. Maybe they just went by mileage and guessed the rotors need replacement. Other fluids topped off?

-Brian

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Think I have rear heater pipe problem Reply with quote

i bet a beer it's A/C condensation. Best way to tell is ride around for several miles w/o the A/C on (says the guy from Phoenix) and there shouldn't be any dripping. Also, if the drips dissipate right away, then it's just water
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vkc
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Think I have rear heater pipe problem Reply with quote

I kinda feel better that at least they looked at it (even if they may not have done the pressure test). Plus the rear heater pipes did have the warranty extended. My biggest concern is dw and little vkc driving around in this weather and the coolant going down as quickly as it did. I'm really hoping its condensation.

Has anyone else seen the dripping directly behind the right wheel well?

btw, while I waiting for the van today a guy pulled up in a Grand Cherokee (they also sell Dodge/Chrysler in addition to Mazda). It had a nice stream of liquid coming from the middle of the undercarriage. That looked definately like condensation (clear).

Then: '79 Plymouth Horizon, '88 VW Fox Wagon, '92 VW Jetta GL (DW), '96 VW Golf GL (DW), '97 Jetta GLX - Green, '03 MPV ES - Blue Mica (DW)
Now: '15 Hyundai Elantra GT - Titanium Gray Metallic (DW), '10 Honda Civic Si - Polished Metal Metallic blake
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