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Discussion Starter #1
I tried searching for some information about my coolant loss but found nothing. I am loosing coolant but there is no leak. I suspect the worse which is leaking head gasket and the coolant is being burned off when i start the car?? When i first start it in the morning or when cold it seems a bit rough for a few minutes. It still seems to run fine but I keep having to put coolant/water in the radiator. Any information about this would be greatly appreciated. :confused:


Thanks,

Z
 

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You probably have a small coolant leak that's dripping on the block, and by driving it every day, the block warms up and the coolant evaporates before making a puddle on the ground. Look around the engine very well - pull off the cover plates on the bottom. Look for spots that look like a dried up leak. This might be easier if you don't drive the truck for a couple of days and then look for coolant as well.

I had the same mysterious coolant leak on my 2000 Taco. Couldn't find it for months, but coolant was definitely going somewhere. I finally determined it was the water pump leaking at about 86,000 miles. Had the timing belt and water pump replaced, and now it's OK.

If it's a bad head gasket, one sign of that would be white smoke coming out of the exhaust consistently. Be careful - don't diagnose water vapor as white smoke. Water vapor is normal in the exhaust, and in cooler temperatures you'll get water vapor to condense out of the exhaust and sort of look like smoke. Another sign would be oil contamination - pull off the oil fill cap and make sure it looks like plain old oil inside.

The leak is more likely than the head gasket, unless you've got lots of miles/years on it.
 

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Offical TN Hillbilly
2002 Silverado
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What motor is it? What is the rate of coolant loss? The head gasket can be easily checked with a compression tester.
 

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2002 toyota Tacoma
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I agree with both sinarios, I have seen both (leaking and burning off before dripping and exhaust or head) In my years behind the wrench there are four types of head gasket leaks,
1. oil leaking through the gasket and out.
2. coolant through the head gasket and burned the the white smoke
3. coolant leaking to oil thus the milk oil.
4. exhaust leaking through the gasket to the coolant building up pressure in the coolant system.

You will not have all, only in the worst case sinario. I would reccomend putting a coolant system checker on the radiator and build the pressure up to the proper pressur then observe for the leak. you will know you have a leak especially when the pressure guage starts dropping if there is no leak then the system will maintain the the pressure on the guage. If you still drive the care with out big problems then that is good and the problem is still small.

Lance
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you very much for your input. To clarify I have a 1996 tacoma 3.4L v6 4x4 with 156,000 miles on it. The oil is not milky. i will look closer at the water pump, ususally when it starts to weep you can see some on the ground. I think testing the pressure in the cylinders and cooling system might be where i should start.?? Thanks again for reading and replying with helpful information. Any other hints/tricks/starting points would be greatly appreciated.

Z
 

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Offical TN Hillbilly
2002 Silverado
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V6 makes a difference. Check the hoses that run to the heater core. They are on the back of the block. They have been known to leak. The coolant drips onto the hot exhaust cross over. No puddle to find. Also check your carpets for wetness.
 

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What part of the cooling system is beyond a pressure tests loope ? Answer.......the radiator overflow tank . Check on its' bottom for slick antifreeze that keeps reappearing when you wipe it off or for a tank that keeps dropping to a certain level but never runs dry because the leak is on its' side, up higher . Mine was baffling....before I noticed this... on my 97 Camry . Hope this helps you or another. Good luck !
 

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I had a very similar problem with my dads 22re. Had a very small leak into #4 cylinder. Temp gauge would do weird stuff but ran fine. The temp would go like 3/4 up then down to normal quick. Almost seemed as if the gauge was messed up. I tried drilling a small hole on the thermostat to see if it had air in the system.

The way I diagnosed it was to pull the thermostat and put everything back together. After 15-20 minuets of running around without the thermostat like that. I checked the coolant res. I had 1 bubble come out of the tube every 5-10 sec. It was very hard to see. i opened the coolant res cap and left the tube so it was just under coolant. Then I stuck my nose to the coolant res and smelt raw fuel/exhaust . Compression test didnt work for my situation, block test didnt work ether. That was a I4 tho. v6 could be a little harder to diagnose since it has two banks.
 

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I have a 2006 Tacoma 281,500 miles 4 x 4 6' bed full 4 door cab. It has shown no major issues I went to change the oil and it's milky -- I understand that means water in oil . Is it more commonly Head Gasket ? or water pump issues ? Jim Hudson
 

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I anywhere but not to wrenching.
I recently purchased a 95.5 tacoma with 3.4.
I knew it had engine problems when I bought it, honest seller , and my experience.
I had coolant in the oil, and 2 cylinders misfiring .
But it did run.
Got it tore down, and both heads were cracked.
As I did more research, early 3.4, from 95 to 98 or so have bad castings.
And they almost always are the center cylinder , either head.
They crack between the valves and water enters the combustion chamber and the crankcase .
 

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If it's any input, when our 3.4l T100 blew a head gasket it kept blowing the radiator cap from too much pressure :l
Eventually just kept over heating until a engine swap (honestly the worse thing to do on the 4wd version)
 
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