Radiator pressure test

c bausch

Original poster
Member
Jan 13, 2012
183
Hey guys i just did a pressure test because a suspicion on a sweet smell from my vents ( heater core leak) when my truck was cool i took off my rad cap and my coolant was flowing out of the cap . The truck was off for about 4 hours after i drove to work before i cracked it open . Now i font mess with the radiator enough to know if its suppose to flow when its slightly warm or it is not and something's wrong any idea?
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
I am guessing some extra air got in from the pressure test. would eventually work it's way out, but you got there first.

or you could just be on a hill when it is level and cold, mine does not leak when you take the radiator cap off.
 

c bausch

Original poster
Member
Jan 13, 2012
183
I wasn't on a hill at all . And im not sure how air could of gotten in because its the first time in having this issue
 

Playsinsnow

Member
Nov 17, 2012
9,727
Slightest incline or tilt (pass side a hair higher) will cause this too. Does this happen often?
When the truck was off for four hours, did the gauge on dash read "cold"?
 

c bausch

Original poster
Member
Jan 13, 2012
183
Yes the gauge read cold . I cant say if it happens often i didnt check the coolant for a long time , the oil change place did
 

Playsinsnow

Member
Nov 17, 2012
9,727
Can only suggest to check it visually with the reservoir min/max marks. If there's coolant in reservoir, there's coolant in tye radiator. This way you can check it regardless of temp. Fill it and monitor.
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
the way this works, is that coolant will expand when warmer. this will, when it exceeds 15 psi, be let past the radiator cap into the overflow. any air should work it's way out too. when you turn off the engine, a vacuum will develop as the coolant decreases in volume, pulling from the overflow tube back into the radiator.

if the coolant coming out of the radiator cap came the first time you opened it (in a while, like after a few weeks of daily driving) i would expect a fully cool system not to overflow at all.

it may just be that there was more residual heat than you might expect after being off for four hours.


try it again first thing in the morning and see if it does the same thing.
 

c bausch

Original poster
Member
Jan 13, 2012
183
Tried it first thing in the am after cooling over night and no over flow at all . Now even thou my coolant was just slightly warm to the touch it can over flow like that ? Im guess with a little pressure from the heat

Back to my issue in the first place i did the pressure test and it held but still smell a sweet smell in the vents not horrible but ( im craving pan cakes :c) ) . I looked under the dash to feel any leaking and nothing what should i look for next or is there something i can do?
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
Well, it is hard to fix a leak that is not there.

and if it did leak, it probably will get worse.

I think it is quite a project to get to the heater core, so if it was me, I would wait to see if it gets worse.

you could put a pan under and catch some of the AC condensate (water that comes out of the air like on the outside of a cold beer can on a hot sticy day) and see if it smells anything like what you smell. should drip like mad on a warm humid day.
 

Playsinsnow

Member
Nov 17, 2012
9,727
:I agree:

Is the level in the reservoir fluctuating/dropping?


If you did not rinse the coolant off thoroughly when it spilled you can smell it for a while, weeks for me when I changed water pump:mad:
Especially when parked in the garage or on a warm day.
 

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