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Old 07-30-2002, 06:15 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 565
Question M103 - Testing for combustion leak into coolant

Battling coolant loss problem. Have yet to buy/rent pressure tester, but will likely do so soon.

I ran across something I saw posted @ search facility awhile ago and would appreciate any thoughts on the validity of this "poor mans" test for combustion leakage into coolant.

One removes the coolant tank cap and ties a rubber glove(I thought about using a latex glove-mechanic's type) around the expansion tanks neck. The article didn't say what to expect, but I assumed the glove would fill with air after idling the engine for awhile.

I started out trouble-shooting this as an "air in the system" problem. With car on a flat surface, I removed the cap and ran the engine with defroster on to run coolant thru the heater. After 15 mins or so, the coolant level rose some, but did not gush out as it does when doing this on some Asian models.

Won't the glove "expand" as the coolant also expands whether or not there's a combustion leak?

Would appreciate any/all learned thoughts.


Last edited by Mike Richards; 07-30-2002 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 07-31-2002, 02:31 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: New Bedford, MA USA
Posts: 1,583
If you had a communication between the cooling system and any of the cylinders, you would expect to see loss of coolant and high pressure in the cooling system. Remove the cap, start the engine and if there is leaking, it will usually show as bubbling in the tank. If no bubbling or high pressure, start looking elsewhere, as there are plenty of other available places for leakage.
Jeff Lawrence
1989 300e
2000 Dodge Grand Caravan SE
No matter what you fix, there will always be something else to fix..
"Warranty" is just another way of postponing the inevitable.
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