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Discussion Starter #1
I'm kinda baffled on this on. I changed the water pump and thermostat due to the old water pumps bearing shot it on me. Got it all back together and drove for a day with no problems then drove around 50 miles wit no problem but got backing to head home and started overheating 3 or so miles on the way back put about a gallon of 50/50 and made it home. Next day I have add a gallon again to try and find a leak to no avail. Will only leak when I drive which makes it hard to spot. It's drivers side leak( coolant everywhere on drivers side) but need ideas where to look or what it might be. I don't think head gasket no coolant in oil and no smoke at all. Any idea would be awesome.
 

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Please post vehicle model, year, and engine. And we can help you better. Thanks.
 

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I'm kinda baffled on this on. I changed the water pump and thermostat due to the old water pumps bearing shot it on me. Got it all back together and drove for a day with no problems then drove around 50 miles wit no problem but got backing to head home and started overheating 3 or so miles on the way back put about a gallon of 50/50 and made it home. Next day I have add a gallon again to try and find a leak to no avail. Will only leak when I drive which makes it hard to spot. It's drivers side leak( coolant everywhere on drivers side) but need ideas where to look or what it might be. I don't think head gasket no coolant in oil and no smoke at all. Any idea would be awesome.
Boy, this is nuts for sure. Its going someplace and I would suspect the pressure in the radiator is opening up something to let it down that side of the rig.

Just a thought, radiator shops used to be able to pump in pressure, 12 or more pounds of pressure, it might show up.
If you have time and have not tired this, start it up and let it get up to temperature and you might see it coming out some place.

If its coming out the tail pipe in the form of steam, that is not good.
 

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It is essential not to overheat this car, as you can cause great damage, head gasket, etc. Have you checked the condition of your oil on the dipstick? Clear oil, or milky (bad sign). If you do a pressure test on the cooling system, you should be able to find your leak. Or clean the engine thoroughly, run it, and trace where the color of the coolant is coming from. Hopefully this is just a hose somewhere - if your hoses are original. If you get under the car, you may be able to see more thoroughly where your leak is coming from.
 

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My guess would be that the coolant is escaping from the Coolant Expansion Bottle. If the overflow hose from that bottle is not properly routed or missing, its going to spray that whole side of the engine compartment instead of draining nicely down the inner fender well of the driver front.

If the above is true, you need to figure out why the coolant is boiling into the expansion tank and then out the overflow hose.

On my car, I was getting exact same symptom you describe. It would idle all day without overheating, but taking it for a drive would do it. Turned out to be my radiator was not getting good flow through all the internal paths.

A cheap Infrared Temp gun from Harbor Freight helped me realize the temps were not even across surface of the radiator.
 

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My guess would be that the coolant is escaping from the Coolant Expansion Bottle. If the overflow hose from that bottle is not properly routed or missing, its going to spray that whole side of the engine compartment instead of draining nicely down the inner fender well of the driver front.

If the above is true, you need to figure out why the coolant is boiling into the expansion tank and then out the overflow hose.

On my car, I was getting exact same symptom you describe. It would idle all day without overheating, but taking it for a drive would do it. Turned out to be my radiator was not getting good flow through all the internal paths.

A cheap Infrared Temp gun from Harbor Freight helped me realize the temps were not even across surface of the radiator.
Boy, now you said this, I remember now. Its the reason I had to replace my radiator. Most of them you could cook and they would rod them out. My Tracker radiator was so plugged it wasn't funny. Any kind of strain on the motor and she would start over heating.

I did like you with the harbor freight infrared temp gun and used it on my GMC pickup to find more than half that radiator was plugged and not flowing.

You are absolutely right, something is causing that water to boil off like that or once she builds up pressure, out it goes.
 

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You might have air trapped I the system. Try running it with the rad cap off until the thermostat opens and see if any air comes out.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sorry it's a 96 geo tracker I did find the hose to the expansion tank was not hooked up. It seems to have helped with overheating but the temp gauge is all over the place when driving.(goes from normal operating temp to almost red on the gauge and back down but still warmer the normal temp and continues up and down) any ideas? When I got it hot when the original water pump went out possible broke up build up and clogged
Part of the rad maybe? I don't know ideas would
Be great
 

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Sorry it's a 96 geo tracker I did find the hose to the expansion tank was not hooked up. It seems to have helped with overheating but the temp gauge is all over the place when driving.(goes from normal operating temp to almost red on the gauge and back down but still warmer the normal temp and continues up and down) any ideas? When I got it hot when the original water pump went out possible broke up build up and clogged
Part of the rad maybe? I don't know ideas would
Be great
 

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When you installed the thermostat, was it in the correct direction? And with the air bleed hole toward the front of the vehicle? If you think there's a chance of crud buildup you might wanna pull the thermostat and see if anything's blocking the air bleed.

To me the wild temp gauge swings sound like air in the system too, assuming no other problems. Don't think the 96 is different cooling wise but I never had a problem refilling mine, I just go nice and slow, pour a little bit, wait and listen for the air to escape, pour some more, etc. And it fills it almost perfectly full with very little needed to draw from the reservoir. Also helps to have it a bit nose up, but last time I did it in my dad's flat garage and still filled fine.

I would also check out the overflow, its hoses and cap, and the radiator cap to make sure they're clean and free flowing in both directions. I had sludge and dead bugs in the bottom of my reservoir that were screwing with it sucking coolant back into the system like it should and causing air in the system.
 

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I would drain and flush out the cooling system as well as check the radiator for blockages, etc., although you advise that this has only happened since you changed the water pump and thermostat. There is a 5mm gasket that goes around the thermostat that must be on it, (and may not be sold with the stat) as well as having the bleed hole facing the radiator. The thermostat must fit snugly into the housing. And the system needs to be 'burped' as well.
Frankly, if my needle ever went anywhere near the red, I wouldn't drive the car until I found out why. Overheating this car can cause tremendous problems, headgasket blown, etc. It is important that you get this sorted.
 
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