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Coolant level dropping #4441030
06/25/17 10:21 AM
06/25/17 10:21 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,478
NJ
Leo99 Offline OP
Leo99  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,478
NJ
The coolant level is dropping on my Rav4. About 12-16oz per 500 miles. I don't see any external leaks, no smell of antifreeze when I turn on the heat, no white smoke out the tailpipe, no chocolate milkshake on the oil dipstick or under the oil cap. A friend mentioned the intake gasket but the intake manifold is plastic so I don't think it's part of the cooling system. Just put a new radiator cap on it but I don't think that was the problem. I hear the sound of water flowing for about a second or two after first starting the engine. No problems with overheating....yet.

Any ideas where to look or how to troubleshoot this?

Last edited by Leo99; 06/25/17 10:25 AM.

Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles (RIP)
2004 Corolla 125,000 miles
2004 Rav4 370,000 miles
2015 Camry 70,000 miles
Re: Coolant level dropping [Re: Leo99] #4441050
06/25/17 10:47 AM
06/25/17 10:47 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,489
Seattle-ish, WA
Oro_O Offline
Oro_O  Offline
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,489
Seattle-ish, WA
If you can try to visualize the water pump, look for traces of white or red residue below the weep hole on the bottom side. It may only be leaking when hot and thus not dripping enough to leave a mark (on your driveway). Check all your system hoses for the same signs.

12ozs/500 miles is quite a bit, though. Has it done this numerous times, or you just noticed it once in that span?

Have you checked the overflow tank lines and that they are secured with clamps? I was recently losing a little bit or coolant in a car, and it was from these lines losing a small amount with each expansion. There should be two hoses in the tank cap, one coming in from the radiator cap overflow, another exiting and going downward as a vent. If the second one is missing, it will increase evaporation as a source of loss, also.

The gurgling sound is probably air in the system trapped at a high point in the heater; it probably got sucked into the system via the overflow tank when it was low. Once you figure out the source of the loss and repair it, you can then purge the system and that will go away.

Last edited by Oro_O; 06/25/17 10:56 AM.
Re: Coolant level dropping [Re: Leo99] #4441056
06/25/17 10:59 AM
06/25/17 10:59 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,478
NJ
Leo99 Offline OP
Leo99  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,478
NJ
I noticed the overflow reservoir was empty about 3 weeks ago. Filled it to the "cold" line. Notice it was empty again a week later and filled from the radiator cap. So, it's been about a quart in the past 2 weeks. It driven about 500 miles per week.


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles (RIP)
2004 Corolla 125,000 miles
2004 Rav4 370,000 miles
2015 Camry 70,000 miles
Re: Coolant level dropping [Re: Leo99] #4441063
06/25/17 11:08 AM
06/25/17 11:08 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,913
MIchigan
Warstud Offline
Warstud  Offline
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,913
MIchigan
2004 Rav4 320,000 miles....if theres no external leaks it must be internal.

Re: Coolant level dropping [Re: Leo99] #4441081
06/25/17 11:43 AM
06/25/17 11:43 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,123
Upstate NY
Donald Offline
Donald  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,123
Upstate NY
The radiator can leak when hot but evaporate the coolant so hard to detect. Weep hole for water pump.

The have adapters to pressurize the cooling system when cold. UV dye and UV light.


2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: Coolant level dropping [Re: Leo99] #4441085
06/25/17 11:45 AM
06/25/17 11:45 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,123
Upstate NY
Donald Offline
Donald  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,123
Upstate NY
When was the water pump last changed? Is it easy or part of timing belt?

If normal fan belt driven and you have not replaced it in last 100k miles, maybe replace it as PM.


2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: Coolant level dropping [Re: Leo99] #4441087
06/25/17 11:46 AM
06/25/17 11:46 AM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 22,168
Colorado Springs
Drew99GT Offline
Drew99GT  Offline
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 22,168
Colorado Springs
If it's the 4 banger 2AZFE, those are the ones that have head gasket/stripped headbolt issues. The headbolts strip in the block and the head comes loose and leaks antifreeze externally under the intake manifold at the back of the engine; you usually don't see the leak because there is some kind if diaper thingy to protect the engine and it soaks up the antifreeze.

http://www.rav4world.com/forums/88-4-2-f...eliability.html

VERY GOOD video detailing the issue and the correct fix:






Last edited by Drew99GT; 06/25/17 11:49 AM.
Re: Coolant level dropping [Re: Leo99] #4441104
06/25/17 12:03 PM
06/25/17 12:03 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 3,989
Manchester, England
Olas Offline
Olas  Offline
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 3,989
Manchester, England
+1 on the water pump but pressure test it when cold to confirm.


Cable ties should hold it
Re: Coolant level dropping [Re: Leo99] #4441107
06/25/17 12:05 PM
06/25/17 12:05 PM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 22,168
Colorado Springs
Drew99GT Offline
Drew99GT  Offline
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 22,168
Colorado Springs
If the water pump was leaking that much, it would be dripping on the ground and the front of the engine would be covered with antifreeze.

Re: Coolant level dropping [Re: Leo99] #4441119
06/25/17 12:14 PM
06/25/17 12:14 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,478
NJ
Leo99 Offline OP
Leo99  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,478
NJ
It's still the original water pump. It's not too bad of a job to replace it. It's just part of the drive belt. It's a timing chain engine.


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles (RIP)
2004 Corolla 125,000 miles
2004 Rav4 370,000 miles
2015 Camry 70,000 miles
Re: Coolant level dropping [Re: Leo99] #4441127
06/25/17 12:20 PM
06/25/17 12:20 PM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 22,168
Colorado Springs
Drew99GT Offline
Drew99GT  Offline
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 22,168
Colorado Springs
Which engine do you have???

Re: Coolant level dropping [Re: Drew99GT] #4441141
06/25/17 12:39 PM
06/25/17 12:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,478
NJ
Leo99 Offline OP
Leo99  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,478
NJ
Originally Posted By: Drew99GT
Which engine do you have???


It's the 4cyl 2AZ-FE15. Looks just like the one if the video above.


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles (RIP)
2004 Corolla 125,000 miles
2004 Rav4 370,000 miles
2015 Camry 70,000 miles
Re: Coolant level dropping [Re: Drew99GT] #4441154
06/25/17 12:58 PM
06/25/17 12:58 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,489
Seattle-ish, WA
Oro_O Offline
Oro_O  Offline
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,489
Seattle-ish, WA
Originally Posted By: Drew99GT
If it's the 4 banger 2AZFE, those are the ones that have head gasket/stripped headbolt issues.



Ugh. I forgot THAT engine and issue was in this y/m/m. That much coolant, that fast - if you can't see easy evidence at the WP or somewhere, this has to be suspect #1.

Re: Coolant level dropping [Re: Oro_O] #4441208
06/25/17 02:07 PM
06/25/17 02:07 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,478
NJ
Leo99 Offline OP
Leo99  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,478
NJ
Originally Posted By: Oro_O
Originally Posted By: Drew99GT
If it's the 4 banger 2AZFE, those are the ones that have head gasket/stripped headbolt issues.



Ugh. I forgot THAT engine and issue was in this y/m/m. That much coolant, that fast - if you can't see easy evidence at the WP or somewhere, this has to be suspect #1.


What's suspect #1?

I pulled the wheel and wheel cover so I could see the water pump. Nothing looks water wet under there. Some oil leak on the water pump but no water. Everything under the car is dry after running it for 30 minutes and then taking if for a drive. If it's a head gasket, we're getting a new car.


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles (RIP)
2004 Corolla 125,000 miles
2004 Rav4 370,000 miles
2015 Camry 70,000 miles
Re: Coolant level dropping [Re: Leo99] #4441218
06/25/17 02:17 PM
06/25/17 02:17 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,580
Toronto
PeterPolyol Offline
PeterPolyol  Offline
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,580
Toronto
Originally Posted By: Leo99
If it's a head gasket, we're getting a new car.

And undoubtedly a new Toyota.


Scambling for solutions is a hopelessly futile endeavour and potentially dangerous, without first coming to a solid, personal understanding of the problem. Beware riding the ideological hobby horse.
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