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Old 11-10-2009, 09:35 PM   #1
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Default Is this healthy looking coolant?

Maybe I'm paranoid. I smelled coolant on the drive home, popped the hood and looked around with a flashlight for leaks, found none, smell seemed to be coming from the front of the bay. Got underneath after carefully popping the cap and saw slight moisture on the drain plug, (Godspeed rad FWIW, it's worth noting the rubber seal on the drain plug is very cracked and dry) and drained the coolant into a bucket.

Healthy looking? This isn't "chocolate milk" right?
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Is this healthy looking coolant?-img_0387%5B1%5D.jpg   Is this healthy looking coolant?-img_0388%5B1%5D.jpg   Is this healthy looking coolant?-img_0389%5B1%5D.jpg  
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Old 11-10-2009, 09:36 PM   #2
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Looks ok to me.
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Old 11-10-2009, 09:44 PM   #3
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Looks fine to me.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:02 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick responses dudes. I'll find a replacement seal for the plug and report back eventually...
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:20 PM   #5
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The radiator could have a pin hole in it. One of my cars always smelled like coolant, that's what it turned out to be. It leaked such a small amount it would just evaporate and never drip.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K20 Mini View Post
The radiator could have a pin hole in it. my car smelled like coolant, that's what it turned out to be.
This is what I gots....
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:42 PM   #7
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the coolant does look a little rusty. personally i would change it, but then again i'm a little paranoid.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:45 PM   #8
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Do a thorough flush while you're at it. The stuff to do it is like 5 bux.
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:11 PM   #9
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Looks like a little bit of cross-contamination from products of combustion. It's an old car with lots of boosted miles, and **** happens. Nothing to be concerned with.

Dump the coolant, pull the t-stat out (try real hard to not break the fan switch in the process), and stuff a garden hose into the radiator side of the lower rad hose. Turn the hose on and run the engine. It will probably take a couple of minutes until clear water runs out of the radiator. Refill with your favorite blend of purified water and antifreeze, and replace the t-stat. Will most likely require a new t-stat gasket.
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Old 11-11-2009, 04:25 PM   #10
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Thanks all. I replaced the coolant and put a new, better seal on the drain plug (the old one was pretty sorry looking). I'm going out of town for a couple days but when I get back I'll test to see if I still smell coolant. Based on the condition of the old seal that ought to have done it. Will flush thoroughly before heading to Texas.
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:02 PM   #11
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You need a manicure, thats what is wrong, just kidding.

Coolant looks ok, but I think you made the right call on putting new one.

If your Miata is happy, then you are happy!
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:29 AM   #12
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Okay, so the seal might not have been "better", lol.

It's now leaking worse than before. I really need to seal this up since I leave for Texas on Monday. The problem I'm having with the seal I used is that it's round (like a donut) and is too spongy to allow me to tighten the drain bolt properly. I probably need to use a flat-style seal like before, but don't know where to begin looking short of Home Depot and whatnot. Help!!!
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:56 AM   #13
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drain it, dry it, RTV the plug and let it dry. Then, you will have success. You're coming to the Dallas area, right?
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hustler View Post
You're coming to the Dallas area, right?
It's amazing how innocently these kind of horror stories start...



+1 on dry surfaces + RTV = win in every coolant system problem I've ever had.
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:57 PM   #15
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Will try RTV. Any old RTV? RTV the last few threads on the bolt?

Coming to San Angelo, bringing my helmet if I can find it.
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Old 12-03-2009, 03:38 PM   #16
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RTV saved my *** with a drain plug that didn't quite fit on my old radiator when I destroyed the original plastic drain plug. Never touched it and it never leaked.
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Old 12-03-2009, 03:49 PM   #17
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Look in the oil drain plug section at the auto parts store and get a flat rubber gasket and stop playing with it. Just spend a dollar on the right part and stop worrying with making the wrong part work. You want it to be reliable right?

Good luck.

Here's a value pack for $2.89. Use the big blue one.
Oil Drain Plug Gaskets by Dorman - Part 66221 - Advance Auto Parts
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:09 PM   #18
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Sixshooter, those are WAY too big, I ended up finding the right sized washer after the second auto parts store clerk recommended I get a fiber washer from home depot. So, now it's that fiber washer and a good bit of RTV.
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:08 AM   #19
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I'm glad you found something that worked. I guess my petcock is just larger.
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:19 AM   #20
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lol, must be. My rad is a Godspeed, just uses a generic bolt for its "petcock".
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