Why am I losing coolant

Tiny
CDHOP
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 DODGE INTREPID
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 86,000 MILES
My coolant is disappearing and when I checked my oil it looked like a milk shake. So I drained the oil and refilled it with five quarts of oil and just put water in the coolant container. It cranks up and runs but the oil looks like a milk shake again and the coolant container is dry. The way I found out I was having trouble when I would turn on the heater and I had to mash the accelerator For it to heat and the same way with the air conditioner. The car just sat out side and I would crank it up two or three times a week. What is possibly wrong? Is it an expensive job? Do I have to be very knowledgeable and what do I have to do to repair It? Is it hard to repair? Help please
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Sunday, October 14th, 2018 AT 7:45 PM

54 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
This is one of the less-common ways a cylinder head gasket can leak. More commonly the coolant will get sucked into the cylinder where it is burned, then appears at the tail pipe as white smoke. Coolant leaks into the oil in about only two or three percent of head gasket failures.

You did not list the engine size, but the Intrepids never came with four-cylinder engines. They only have V-6 engines, so there will be two cylinder head gaskets. It is customary to replace both. No conscientious mechanic would replace just one since the second gasket is just as old and just as likely to fail. Replacing them is a really big job; not one you would want to do a second time. This is not a job either for most do-it-yourselfers. Special tools are required, and proper "surface prep" is critical to give the new gaskets something to bite into and seal. Many mechanics are not qualified to do this type of engine work, and I would only recommend an experienced, competent do-it-yourselfer attempt it.

Your best approach is to visit a few independent repair shops that regularly do engine work, and get some estimates, but be sure when comparing them that the same things are included. Once the job is done, the oil will need to be changed. Be sure the oil and filter are included in all the estimates. Given the mileage you listed, most mechanics are going to recommend a new timing belt or timing chain to insure the quality of the repair. If that is included in one estimate, be sure it is included in any other estimates you are comparing.

Be aware that antifreeze in the oil will melt the soft first layer of engine bearings. That will lead to a catastrophic engine failure where it is likely to be less expensive to get a used engine from a salvage yard. To avoid that, have the problem repaired and get that oil out of the engine as quickly as possible.

One thing that can lead to head gasket failures is failure to replace the antifreeze every two years. Corrosion inhibitors, water pump lubricant, and other additives wear out in about two years, then acids will begin to form in the coolant. That can lead to corroded radiators, heater cores, and head gaskets.

Here is a link to an article about cylinder heads that might give you more information:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-a-cylinder-head-works
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Sunday, October 14th, 2018 AT 9:28 PM
Tiny
CDHOP
  • MEMBER
Thank you very much. I appreciate you answering my question. I am sorry it has a 2.7L engine.
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Monday, October 15th, 2018 AT 1:44 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Come back and see us again. Please post a follow-up to let us know how you made out.
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Monday, October 15th, 2018 AT 7:47 PM
Tiny
CDHOP
  • MEMBER
Thank you, it sounds like it is going to be a hard job for me. I guess I better be ready to put out some cash. Thank you I will look over everything you sent me.
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Monday, October 15th, 2018 AT 8:42 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Please let us know if you need anything else to get the problem fixed.

Cheers, Ken
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Thursday, October 18th, 2018 AT 7:17 PM
Tiny
CDHOP
  • MEMBER
Okay, thank you very much.
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Thursday, October 18th, 2018 AT 8:30 PM
Tiny
NETTYM12
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 DODGE INTREPID
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 90,000 MILES
There is coolant leaking from a small piece on the top of the engine. The car is not over heating but it does take a while to pick up when I press on the gas. What is this problem and will it be expensive to fix?
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 11:15 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Can you describe what the small piece looks like? Is it the thermostat housing, intake manifold?
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 11:15 AM (Merged)
Tiny
THOMAS1973
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 DODGE INTREPID
  • 112,223 MILES
I have a 2001 Dodge Intrepid that is dumping water in the block. It does not skip, knock, rattle or anything. Is motor shot or just the water pump?
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 11:15 AM (Merged)
Tiny
DRCRANKNWRENCH
  • EXPERT
If it is dumping water into the block it is probably a bad head gasket or crack in the block. The cooiling system can crack anywhere in the water jacket and get eater in the motor.
The head hasket can fail or the head can crack and water will get in to the engine.
Ways to check for this are, smoky or sweet smelly exhaust.
Milky substance in oil.
There is the possibility that your car has an oil cooler that is integrated into the radiator and it is getting in that way.

It will not necassarily knock or rattle until catasrophi failure. This has to do with the pressure differentials in the system.

More than likely the engine needs a rebuild or at least the head gasket repaired, it depends on a lot of factors.

There is a good tutorial on this particular situation that I think will help you. Follow the link bleow, you will probably have to paste it into brwser , and look it though.

It gives you all the possibilites, tests and decisions that can be made.

Here is the link;

http://www.2carpros.com/articles/coolantantifreeze-in-the-engine-oil

I hope this helps. Let me know if you need any mlore help with this situation.
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 11:15 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SDINEEN
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 DODGE INTREPID
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 175,000 MILES
Car is overheating on occasion. Stopped at lights, or left running in the driveway for a minute or two results in VERY near overheating condition.

1. Happens intermittently, although once 45-60 mins on average. Especially now in summer with AC running.
2. Condition is resolved (temporarily) by switching on heat, rolling down windows, and waiting 3 minutes, then car is fine again!
3. Car does not appear to be leaking antifreeze.
4. Overflow still has fluid (although I've added more, with troubles continuing).
5. Did notice that the car had a problem heating the vehicle end of winter. Assume this is related?
6. DON'T see milky crank case cap signs of leaking gaskets, etc.

Will shortly replace fluid/flush and thermostat just as quick attempt, but don't want to be completely wasting my time.

Any help would be super appreciated.
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 11:15 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RICHZOMBIE
  • MEMBER
It could be a small number of things. Try checking the heater core. Just make sure there is no fluid leaked into the floor board of the vehicle under the dash. Also, check your fan when it is overheating. The fan could have a bad relay.
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 11:15 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SDINEEN
  • MEMBER
Forgive my ignorance here but how exactly do I check the heater core. Locate it, look for leaks?

Also, on the fan, just catch if it's not kicking on at the times it's overheating?

And would you suggest a flush, thermostat as a first/quick hit (assuming 1. Above is fine, and 2, is going to be harder to pin point, happening once every hour)

THANK YOU!
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 11:15 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RICHZOMBIE
  • MEMBER
The easiest two ways to check the heater core is the feel the carpet under the dash board from the middle over to the passenger door. If it is wet it's probably the heater core busted. Also, you can check under the car in the same area on the firewall for fluid falling to the ground. The fan should be running fine when it is supposed to. If the fan isn't running when the engine is overheating then it isn't working properly. If these are not the problems, I don't know about a flush, but I would have a radiator shop check it out.
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 11:15 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SDINEEN
  • MEMBER
Haven't been able to overheat it yet at lunch, but in last 20 minutes running in the parking lot (after making sure it had ample fluid) I see:
1. Both radiator fans spin up and down as needed
2. NO moisture in the car, along floor boards that points to a heater core leak.
3. No leaking outside the car, period.

I'll keep trying to overheat it later after work.
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 11:15 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SDINEEN
  • MEMBER
I didn't notice this was leaking until I caught it in action. Pic attached. Can anyone help me with what exactly this is? Looks at first blush like it might be somewhat easy to replace, feedng back in to the engine block from the radiator, with a little vent on top. Is there a quick fix/gasket?


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/498521_IMG_2808_1.jpg

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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 11:15 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SALAZAR329
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 DODGE INTREPID
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 102,000 MILES
Car leaking coolant/water thought was termostat, replaced that and next to the bottom bolt of the housing is a screw hole or pin hole but anyhow thats where the water coming from what to do
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 11:15 AM (Merged)
Tiny
ERNEST CLARK
  • EXPERT
Not sure what you're referring to. There's two bolts, a bleeder screw on top and the radiator hose fitting/heater hose fitting.

When you thermostat, did you clean the gasket surface and install a new one? (O-ring on bottom of thermostat?) Are the screws tight? Are the hoses/clamps tightened correctly?
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 11:15 AM (Merged)
Tiny
INTREPIDMAN
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 DODGE INTREPID
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 250,000 MILES
Hi, I have a dodge intrepid 3.5L which is leaking coolant. The leak is not from the water pump or the heads, I am finding coolant on my transmission pan and the leak seems to be coming from a pipe located just above the starter on the drivers side. Is this a coolant pipe or is the coolant just running along from somewere else?
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 11:16 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi:
I can't think of any coolant lines that run where you described. However, there are freeze plugs on the side of the engine that may be leaking. Is it possible for you to send a picture of the pipe you are refering to so I can help identify?

Joe
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Friday, October 19th, 2018 AT 11:16 AM (Merged)

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