Intermittent Coolant Leak At Running Temp - Land Rover Forums : Land Rover and Range Rover Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Intermittent Coolant Leak At Running Temp

This will probably be a stupid question for people here, but I've searched the site and not found my problem, specifically. Also, I'm not much of a mechanic (though owning a '95 Discovery is forcing me to learn) so please bear with me.

I own a 1995 Land Rover Discovery that has 180K miles. It has a pretty heavy coolant leak somewhere near the front right (facing the engine) almost under the power steering reservoir. It seems to only leak after reaching running temp and only when I'm stopped (as far as I can tell). It flows out into a pretty big puddle, but stops before I can get my hood open to look for it. And it's intermittent. I ran it today for 20 mins at running temp and not a drop.

I'd like to be able to say it should be easy to spot where it's leaking because my engine compartment is so clean, but it's not. I also have a chronic power steering leak that accumulates a bunch of crud in the general area. But I'd like to focus on just the coolant leak. I'm pretty broke, so I'd like to find out exactly what is leaking and get it fixed the first time. Any ideas?

Also, while I have your attention; I drive this truck for work. It's approx. a 150 mile round trip, Mon-fri (It's a lot of stopping and starting). Any quick tips to help prevent problems like this from happening too often and get more outta her? I realize it's an old vehicle with a lot of miles, but I love her and she's gotta last me till I get my credit fixed and can buy a commuter.

Thanks for your time.

Marc
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 02:26 PM
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If you find coolant under the power steering reservoir I would look at the radiator(especially with 180K miles). First check the condition of the upper rad hose, and also be sure the clamp is tight. Then look at the radiator itself where the tank meets the core. It's easy to see if you remove the upper fan shroud(2 clips). Probably won't need to but you can also try a small amount of coolant dye w/ a black light. Like this Tracerline Engine Coolant Dye-Lite Leak Detection Dyes TP-3900-0601 - SummitRacing.com

If you can't see the leak then you will have to pressure test the system. But if this beast is leaving a puddle it shouldn't be to hard to find the source.

Do whatever you need to, fix/find the leak before this rig overheats. Trust me you don't want to have the problems related to that mess.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 05:16 PM
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Rise the area with a garden hose, then the next time it leaks look for the the different color liquid (engine coolant)
It could be a bad radiator or just a loose hose clamp.
If you are desperate buy a bottle of K-Seal, follow the directions.

2nd owner of a '97 Disco with a ARB winch bumper, SD roof rack, Rover Racks ladder, Cooper S/T's and 220,000 miles on the clock and still a daily driver.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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I've tried my damnedest to get that sucker to leak again, and I just can't get more than a few drops on the ground now. Nothing like the coolant pool I had the other day. Engine temp is fine. Tomorrow is gonna be the first day that I can get elbows-deep in there and I plan to pull every hose I can reach and check them out.

But why would it leak only when I come to a stop? (Sorry, I'm learning.)

Anyway, thank you both for taking the time to answer my thread.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 07:13 PM
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These kind of leaks can be a pain in the ass. Years ago I had to chase a leak on a 94 RRC for a while. I could drive it for hours and only after it was parked overnite it would leak. It turned out to be at the top of the tank on the Pass side. Coolant would drip down the side, then aross the bottom of the radiator support. The drip ended up in the same area that you have.

Here are a couple of pics. First remove the top plastic fan cover and look for coolant at the bottom support. The next pic shows the side of the tank where it meets the core(that's the pass side). If you can use some compressed air to clean/dry the area. Have at it tomorrow and I bet you find this bastard. Post some pics of what you are looking at if you need help.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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I found the leak. Facing the engine, it's at the bottom right, inside (engine side) corner of the radiator. I guess the reason it wasn't continually leaking is because that metal hose/tube (in the picture) was pressing against it, essentially plugging the hole in the radiator. When I pull that metal hose/tube away from the radiator, it leaks freely.

Now, it appears to be a pinhole leak. Does anybody see anything wrong with applying a little solder to it?
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 01:28 PM
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Solder away.

2nd owner of a '97 Disco with a ARB winch bumper, SD roof rack, Rover Racks ladder, Cooper S/T's and 220,000 miles on the clock and still a daily driver.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Everything's good (for the time being, anyway). Thank you guys for taking the time to answer me. I realize my problem was on the more boring side of engine repair, but as inexperienced as I am, I needed help.

Attached is a picture of a hot chick as my way of saying 'thanks'. (Fully clothed because I didn't know how inappropriate I could get on this forum.)
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 09:47 AM
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Good to see you got it fixed. Hope you gave the radiator a good flushing while it was out.

Reading your orig. post re: the steering box/fluid leak. I'm sure you checked the power steering hose that was laying on the tank for leaks, but also have a look at the 2 hose clamps on the reservoir. They tend to get loose over time. When they leak looks like crud/grease build-up near the clamps and down the hoses.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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In the interest of full-disclosure: I didn't get to solder the radiator. I found myself in a situation where I had to drive the Rover relatively far and wasn't going to have time to drain the radiator and solder it, much less flush it. So, I swung by AutoZone, and bought some of that radiator leak-stop stuff. They didn't have K-Seal. Anyway, it seems to have done the trick, at least hopefully until two weekends from now, when I can do it right.

And yeah, I believe I found the power steering leak. It was as you said - a loose clamp; but on the other end of one of the hoses, away from the reservoir. Just like everything else, it was the clamp that was the hardest to get to.

I hope you guys have a good weekend.
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