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Coolant leak
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skjeflo
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Joined: 03 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 1:47 pm    Post subject: Coolant leak Reply with quote

2001 MPV

I think I have this narrowed down, but want to check opinions here before committing to replacement.

Have had a coolant leak for a bit, seemed somewhat random in it's amount of leak and timing and couldn't track it down. Appeared to be coming from the passenger side. Side of engine would show as being wet, but not running down. Would not loose coolant for many days, then would empty the coolant tank in a day. Refill and go through the same thing, seemingly at random.

Then I noticed that, occasionally, upon startup I'd get a quick flash of condensation on the inside of the windshield, coming from the defrost vents. Didn't think too much of it at the time because it seemed, again, almost random occurrence.

Started running with the coolant tank cap only half way on to reduce pressure in the system.

Checked over the coolant tank over for the well known leaks at the seams, nothing. Checked the lines running to and from the same tank, nothing. Checked for a leaky radiator on the passenger side, nothing.

No coolant in the oil, no oil in the coolant, ever.

Topped up the coolant a couple days ago and last night went on a somewhat longer drive (80+ miles). Runnig fine with no drop in coolant level (checked a couple times on the drive). On the way home it was cooler so my son turned on the heater. Checked a bit later and the coolant tank had run empty. Refilled, turned off the heater (counter intuitive, I know, but the light was turning one in my head) and drove home and all was good, limited to no loss of coolant. No real smell, but since it's mostly water in the coolant system at this point because of the number of times I've refilled.

Finally put two and two together....I believe I have a leaky heater core.

Trying to confirm it now. Does anyone know where the drain line for the heater box comes out at underneath the van? Going to try testing it and if I'm getting water out of the drain line I'll run a bypass of the heater core to confirm my hypothesis.

Mark
Renton, WA
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alschnertz
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Joined: 17 Dec 2006
Posts: 1315
Location: CT, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Coolant leak Reply with quote

I'd agree that the symptoms seem to point to a failed heater core.

It sounds like you are looking at a drain under the heater core. Are you sure it's not the condensation drain for the A/C?
I don't remember anyone referencing a drain for the heater core itself. Frankly, I'd be surprised if the heater core had a separate drain - haven't seen one of those (a separate drain on the heater core) since the '60s.

Does this car have rear heat?
MPVs had a recall on early models for failing lines that ran to the rear heater core.
You can probably find it with a search. It was a big issue.

'06 MPV-LX, '10 Mazda3;
'60 Volvo PV544, '68 122S, '70 145S, '86 745T, '95 854T, '01 S40;
'84 Prelude.
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skjeflo
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Joined: 03 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Coolant leak Reply with quote

No rear heat.

The box that the heater core sits in has a drain line, not the heater core itself....now that I think about it maybe it is the same as the a/c drain line, since the condenser must be in the same box.

Overthinking it again....always look for the simple solutions first. Can tell you how many times I've told myself that one.

Mark
Renton, WA
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