Coolant consumption, 3.8L - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 Old 05-30-2015, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Coolant consumption, 3.8L

Is there a "normal" amount of coolant usage, specifically on the 3.8? I've got about 30K on mine and I've had to top it off 2-3 times. I've never really noticed this on other vehicles I've owned. The engine has been treated well, never overheated or anything like that. The stuff is maybe just evaporating? Hopefully not leaking or being burned up...

2011 JK Rubi Unlimited, 6 spd, 2.5" TF Springs, 15" MB72's, 35" KM2's.
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post #2 of 19 Old 05-30-2015, 11:39 AM
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I would have to say that doesn't sound normal. We bought our JK's around the same time, we have close to the same number of miles, and we store them around the same climate conditions and I have not had to refill my overflow once yet. Maybe a water pump weep hole leak?

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post #3 of 19 Old 05-30-2015, 01:27 PM
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Got an estimate as to how much you put in to top off?

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post #4 of 19 Old 05-30-2015, 01:30 PM
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interesting im interested in seeing what the problem may be.... I haven't had any issues with coolant evaporating. I have a hood louver on my hood, Plus AZ heat never had a problem. Hope you get it figured..

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post #5 of 19 Old 05-30-2015, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Got an estimate as to how much you put in to top off?
About one gallon since new I believe.

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post #6 of 19 Old 05-30-2015, 06:45 PM
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If you're mechanically inclined you should run a pressure test or you can run a dye test. Some of the auto parts stores will rent you a pressure test kit just tell them what your problem is. Do a smell check under the glove box. I had a leak close to the firewall where the rubber tubing rubbed on the firewall. One problem with some leaks is that while the system is pressured up they may spray on a hot engine surface and evaporate leaving no evidence of leakage. Using the dye you will be able to see with a UV light where any leakage has been even if the coolant evaporates there will still be enough dye residue left to id the spot. You should also check your exhaust pipe and pull your dipstick an hold it under the UV because if you have coolant in your oil it will show up as little specks. You should also do a search on the forum for coolant leak. Good luck.

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post #7 of 19 Old 05-30-2015, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I certainly see no obvious evidence of a leak. I believe I'm still under warranty, so I'm going to keep a close eye for the next month or so and think about taking it to the dealer under the 5 year wire.

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post #8 of 19 Old 05-31-2015, 07:11 AM
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Mine was using coolant with no evidence of a leak, but over time I had steam and then a leak. I had to replace my radiator. Take it to the dealer for a leak test.

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post #9 of 19 Old 06-01-2015, 07:32 AM
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Since new mine has used about 1/4 of a gallon of coolant, and I suspect it has been lost through the drain tube on the reservoir bottle during trail runs. Mine has had a sticking radiator cap, where I open the hood and the upper radiator hose is collapsed. Releasing the cap vents the system and all is ok. In recent months that has stopped and at one point the coolant was at the "min" mark. I have a gallon of the factory coolant, mixed a 50/50 spritz and put just a bit in there to get the level in the reservoir just a bit below the "max" mark when fully warmed up. I have read that some guys had head gaskets replaced for this issue, time will tell I guess. I'm at 48k miles now and this doesn't seem like a lot of coolant loss to me. No running problems that would indicate a bad head gasket.

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post #10 of 19 Old 06-01-2015, 08:47 AM
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cooling systems on new vehicles are closed, pressurized systems. you should not see a loss of coolant at all. even if it "evaporates" (turns to steam) it would remain within the system and once cooled return to a liquid state.
if you have a loss of one gallon, you are loosing it somewhere. your system is not properly sealed and pressurized.
bad cap? head gasket? water pump? hose leak? have your replaced the coolant recently? (not added, actually drained and refilled)
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post #11 of 19 Old 06-01-2015, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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cooling systems on new vehicles are closed, pressurized systems. you should not see a loss of coolant at all. even if it "evaporates" (turns to steam) it would remain within the system and once cooled return to a liquid state.
if you have a loss of one gallon, you are loosing it somewhere. your system is not properly sealed and pressurized.
bad cap? head gasket? water pump? hose leak? have your replaced the coolant recently? (not added, actually drained and refilled)
There's an overflow "drain" on the reservoir which is open to atmosphere. Theoretically, there will be some evaporation there.

I have never drained/replaced the coolant. I had an accident recently where I rearended someone and the jeep was in the shop for a while. I drove away from the accident though, the cooling system did not seem damaged. Its possible the radiator was compromised subtly, though I was noticing the coolant loss prior to that.

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post #12 of 19 Old 06-01-2015, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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I should mention that for a while I've had this thing where I can hear a swooshing/gurgling sound when first firing up the engine. I surfed on it and it didn't seem serious, but I wonder if it's related. It surely indicates air in the system.

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post #13 of 19 Old 06-01-2015, 09:44 AM
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May have over looked this...., Have you been topping it off with Stock stuff? or adding with Universal stuff?

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post #14 of 19 Old 06-01-2015, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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May have over looked this...., Have you been topping it off with Stock stuff? or adding with Universal stuff?
I've been using the proper stuff. Had to order on-line since I couldn't find it anyplace. I'm still unclear on whether it's critical. I mixed types on our old Dodge van (didn't know about it at the time) and it seems okay.

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post #15 of 19 Old 06-01-2015, 12:29 PM
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I had this happen to my Jeep over the winter. Turned out The water pump seal was leaking. A common problem on the 3.8. Not a large leak where you could notice any fluid on the ground. Just enough where it would burn off the block and I would get that gurgling noise when it was low. Wasn't pulling fluid from the resevior either since system wasn't sealed . If you look at your water pump is the block a darker color below there like you ran through a puddle and never dries, if so it is probably the cause.

Takes about 1/2 hr to change out and only cost about 39 dollars for new pump with seal from napa. since it wasn't my pump I just kept the old one for a spare. Mine block was pitted a little where it was leaking so I used some High temp water pump sealant on the seal also and let it sit overnight to cure. If yours isn't pitted you don't need to. I just put a little on block where the seal sits and spread it with my finger. Then torque your bolts to 8.75 lbs ft or 105 a inch, run your belt and fill and bleed your system. I use Extended Life Universal antifreeze with no problems.

Took longer to bleed the system than anything else. You want to park facing up a hill and block your tires if your in a manual. Fill The Radiator and jug. Leave your cap off and start you jeep and let run at idle. Set your heater fan to low and hot. When It reaches operating temp and kicks the fan on it will pull fluid through the sytem and you top it off agian. I also squeeze the top hose to burp it when it was at a lower temp. I let the fan come on 3 times and added about 1/2 gallon more fluid to it. On the 4th cycle the fluid in the radiator no longer dropped down and looked good. Some will spill out the Cap as it warms up so be prepare to clean it up some how. I threw down a couple of folded old towels on top of each other so it wouldn't seep through I had under my jeep and burned them with my regular burn garbage.

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post #16 of 19 Old 06-01-2015, 01:01 PM
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Ive had my reservoir dump coolant in very steep/off camber situations.
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post #17 of 19 Old 06-01-2015, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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I looked around the pump, but I'll look again more closely. It took me a minute to identify it, it's so puny compared to a Chevy small block. The whole thing is behind the pulley. Anyway, it looks easy to change, so I'll be glad if that's the only problem.

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post #18 of 19 Old 06-01-2015, 03:19 PM
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I looked around the pump, but I'll look again more closely. It took me a minute to identify it, it's so puny compared to a Chevy small block. The whole thing is behind the pulley. Anyway, it looks easy to change, so I'll be glad if that's the only problem.
Water pump on these are very very easy to change, Have changed 2 so far.

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post #19 of 19 Old 06-02-2015, 10:05 AM
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a radiator shop can pressure test your radiator and tell if it is compromised.

water pump weeping may look like discoloration on the block no actual liquid
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