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  #1  
Old 08-16-2003, 12:25 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New Jersey
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Mysterious Antifreeze Leak - 86 300E

Hello Board,

This is strange. My wife pulled into the garage yesterday and ALL the antifreeze leaked out of the car. I can not find where the leak is. It appears to have come from near the front passenger door. If I didn't know any better, I would say the strut was losing antifreeze.

I have since replaced it with water and it appears to be holding the water. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Any ideas?

Confused.
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  #2  
Old 08-16-2003, 01:29 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
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There is a heater control valve under the hood - passenger side - way in the back - in between the 2 firewalls. Coolant hoses lead to it. This unit could be leaking or the small rectangular plate on top is not snugged down. 4 screws hold it down.

The overflow tank has a hose that leads outward into the passenger side wheel well, but if that's where it went, it would mean the car overheated. Did that happen?

I would rent a cooling system pressure tester from Auto Zone or other parts house and find out what's happening. There is no simpler, sure-fire way to find out where "external" leakages are.

Remove the large encapsulation panel underneath the car. 126 cars with the M103 motor use four - 8mm fasteners to secure this panel. I "think" the 124 cars have a few more. You want this out of the way so you can see where the leak is coming from.

Engine must be cold. Remove pressure cap from coolant expansion tank. Attach adapter to the tank if needed, then connect the pressure tester. It's sorta like a bicycle pump. You pump it up 'til you're at about 17 lbs. The system uses a cap that's about 20 lbs. I like to back off about 10% so as to not blow out the seal in the water pump.

After you get it to 17 lbs., start looking underneath for dripping coolant. If you see it landing on the ground, trace upwards for point of origin.

That's all there is too it.

It costs about $75 to rent the tester, but you get all of you're money back when you return it.

Guessing and "eye-balling" are a waste of time unless you have something very obvious in front of you.

Last edited by 1991300SEL; 08-16-2003 at 01:48 AM.
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  #3  
Old 08-17-2003, 01:30 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New Jersey
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Guys,

Thanks a lot for the suggestions. It's been about three days now and "knock on wood", nothing has happened yet. I will try looking for the overflow tank first and then do a pressure test.

I'll let you all know what I uncover.

Vaanii
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86 300E
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85 380SEL
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  #4  
Old 08-17-2003, 09:48 AM
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Location: Evansville WI
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If the pressure cap on the upper tank (what you would normally refer to as "the radiator cap") had a weak spring or bad inner gasket, you could also fill up the "puke tank" without a serious overheat, just a little hotter than normal could do it. Monitor the coolant level closely.

The puke tank can be removed without removing the entire fender, just the liner and (preferrably) the rf wheel.

Gilly
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  #5  
Old 08-17-2003, 04:33 PM
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Sorry for the slang thang.

YES, the fluid WILL return to the pressure tank out of this puke tank when the engine cools off, like other manufacturers.

Gilly
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