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I have to admit I've owned a Legend (well, technically, two at this point) for FAR too long without understanding how the cooling system works as completely as I should.

Last weekend I bled the cooling system per Mike Diaz's instructions because I could hear trickling through the motor when I drove the car around. I've been watching the system carefully since and I'm a bit baffled by it's behavior at this point.

So... the questions:

For starters, when bleeding the system, I was losing coolant primarily from the open radiator cap. Is this unusual? Having never done it before, I was really expecting to get fluid out the bleeder screw instead.

Secondly, why is bleeding done with the cap off? It seems to me it'd make more sense to leave the cap on and fill the reservoir, forcing the car to leverage its own facilities to keep the fluid level regulated and then you'd just have to keep the reservoir full.

Anyway, all this comes from the fact that I believe I'm losing fluid. I'm not seeing anything in the tail pipe, I'm not seeing any evidence of leaking so I can only theorize that either the system is still trying to stabilize air out of itself or the coolant is disappearing into the cumbustion chamber and I've got some serious work cut out for me on this engine in the not terribly distant future. Of course, it should be noted that the car has NOT been overheated... but I guess that's not necessarily a reliable factor in dismissing head gasket failure given that the trickling noise I was hearing indicates air in the cooling system.

Help's appreciated. I'm sure I could search my way through this question but sorting through the overheating and cooling system threads around here is pretty helacious :hide:

Sorry for the novel!
 

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You're not kidding about the difficulty in sifting thru the Cooling section of this forum!

Here's one possibility regarding the loss of Coolant. The top of the radiator is plastic, and is simply crimped to the body of the radiator. Both my Legends experienced seepage where the two meet. I can see coolant residue all around the perimeter of the plastic radiator top - where it's crimped down.

I didn't notice it at first - dunno why not - but it tends to dry fairly quickly, so there's no real 'puddle' of liquid.

Hope this helps.
 

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I have to admit I've owned a Legend (well, technically, two at this point) for FAR too long without understanding how the cooling system works as completely as I should.

Last weekend I bled the cooling system per Mike Diaz's instructions because I could hear trickling through the motor when I drove the car around. I've been watching the system carefully since and I'm a bit baffled by it's behavior at this point.

So... the questions:

For starters, when bleeding the system, I was losing coolant primarily from the open radiator cap. Is this unusual? Having never done it before, I was really expecting to get fluid out the bleeder screw instead.

Secondly, why is bleeding done with the cap off? It seems to me it'd make more sense to leave the cap on and fill the reservoir, forcing the car to leverage its own facilities to keep the fluid level regulated and then you'd just have to keep the reservoir full.

Anyway, all this comes from the fact that I believe I'm losing fluid. I'm not seeing anything in the tail pipe, I'm not seeing any evidence of leaking so I can only theorize that either the system is still trying to stabilize air out of itself or the coolant is disappearing into the cumbustion chamber and I've got some serious work cut out for me on this engine in the not terribly distant future. Of course, it should be noted that the car has NOT been overheated... but I guess that's not necessarily a reliable factor in dismissing head gasket failure given that the trickling noise I was hearing indicates air in the cooling system.

Help's appreciated. I'm sure I could search my way through this question but sorting through the overheating and cooling system threads around here is pretty helacious :hide:

Sorry for the novel!
*sigh* I have the same symptoms :( . I also bleed per MD's instructions and lose some coolant that 'swells' out of my radiator because the cap is off and have wondered the same thing myself (about bleeding with the cap on instead and why it's not done). I have no white smoke, no residue in the reservoir, no signs of 'washing' on the spark plugs and about 1/3 of a cup (small amount) of coolant disappears every couple of weeks (it goes from the max to just above the min line in the reservoir between bleeds/top ups) and no overheating. No visible or pressure test leaks apparent in the system. I guess next step is a hydrocarbon test, but I don't know where to get one around here :confused: Would anything show up in an emissions test from my tail pipe (such as a super high HCO count)? Or is it HC radiator test only? I'm gathering funds/parts for an OEM HG job/cooling system overhaul as we speak damn $500 kits!
 

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IF you're getting air in the cooling system then there is a leak somwhere (HG included). There was a crack in the bottom of my radiator which led to loss of coolant and air in the system. Everytime I bled the system, I noticed that the coolant level would rise and air bubbles would pop up in the radiator filler neck. I don't think it means that you have a BHG. Any air in the system has a lot of places to get trapped in the Legend's elaborate cooling system and you see it escape when you're bleeding it.

Sadly I have a new problem, my radiator didn't come with a cap. The OEM one didnt fit tight and I seemed to be loosing pressure and coolant to evaporation. I got a prestone rad cap last week, it fit tight the first time but after taking it off and putting it back on a few times, it seems to be getting loose too (I check the coolant levels every other day just to be sure). Atleast I have 2 months of warranty left on my new engine just in case I have an SHG.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I guess next step is a hydrocarbon test, but I don't know where to get one around here :confused: Would anything show up in an emissions test from my tail pipe (such as a super high HCO count)? Or is it HC radiator test only? I'm gathering funds/parts for an OEM HG job/cooling system overhaul as we speak damn $500 kits!
Any local mechanic should be able to do it: I've had it done every time I've had the cooling syste worked on for the last 3 years (costs about $40 each time.)

I'm very willing to consider the possibility that the head gasket is leaking... but I'm not quite ready to bring it to a shop just yet. I'll probably run hydrocarbon and compression tests on it in the near future so I have a little more diagnostic info.

Obviously, I'd love for this to be a leaky hose someplace and I think it is a distinct possibility... I figure anything's a viable solution at 211k miles and counting. Do not that I'm not sure how the air got in in the first place... but since having bled the car and kept it freshly topped off with coolant, I've seen nothing to suggest that more air is entering the system: only that the coolant level in the reservoir is falling below max.

What struck me is that I checked Dad's 6MT and noticed his reservoir was empty too. His car has just recently been in for cooling system service and the work was done successfully, curing several symptoms he was having (rough idle, coolant spray on the block, puddles below the car, etc). When i asked him about it, he said he's tried to keep up with it and the car just doesn't keep the reservoir full - neither does my sis' honda. I'm willing to chalk it up to miseducation of how to use the cooling system but I refuse to believe all 3 of these cars have major cooling system issues: every last one of them runs beautifully with no signs of overheating, abnormal exhaust, poor fuel economy or anything of the sort.

Keep the ideas comin' folks... what gives? And sure, reasonable explanations that tend toward BHG will be entertained: I'm not bashing the car here, I'm just confused and really trying to achieve an understanding of what's going on that I have not been able to accomplish in my years of reading threads on this board.
 

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Any local mechanic should be able to do it: I've had it done every time I've had the cooling syste worked on for the last 3 years (costs about $40 each time.)

I'm very willing to consider the possibility that the head gasket is leaking... but I'm not quite ready to bring it to a shop just yet. I'll probably run hydrocarbon and compression tests on it in the near future so I have a little more diagnostic info.
If the hydrocarbon test shows hydrocarbons don't bother with a compression test.

Obviously, I'd love for this to be a leaky hose someplace and I think it is a distinct possibility... I figure anything's a viable solution at 211k miles and counting. Do not that I'm not sure how the air got in in the first place... but since having bled the car and kept it freshly topped off with coolant, I've seen nothing to suggest that more air is entering the system: only that the coolant level in the reservoir is falling below max.

What struck me is that I checked Dad's 6MT and noticed his reservoir was empty too. His car has just recently been in for cooling system service and the work was done successfully, curing several symptoms he was having (rough idle, coolant spray on the block, puddles below the car, etc). When i asked him about it, he said he's tried to keep up with it and the car just doesn't keep the reservoir full - neither does my sis' honda. I'm willing to chalk it up to miseducation of how to use the cooling system but I refuse to believe all 3 of these cars have major cooling system issues: every last one of them runs beautifully with no signs of overheating, abnormal exhaust, poor fuel economy or anything of the sort...
After replacing my gaskets (the second time around, lol:giggle: ) and then replacing a few leaky hoses and bad clamps my reservoir level has always stayed the same after the car fully cools down. Check the ends of all the hoses for small amounts of moisture (on both your Dad's and your Legends). What was done to your Dad's Coupe? Maybe it wasn't bleed well enough or a hose clamp wasn't tightened as tight as it needs to be? It should not be loosing coolant.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If the hydrocarbon test shows hydrocarbons don't bother with a compression test.
That I understand.

After replacing my gaskets (the second time around, lol:giggle: ) and then replacing a few leaky hoses and bad clamps my reservoir level has always stayed the same after the car fully cools down. Check the ends of all the hoses for small amounts of moisture (on both your Dad's and your Legends). What was done to your Dad's Coupe? Maybe it wasn't bleed well enough or a hose clamp wasn't tightened as tight as it needs to be? It should not be loosing coolant.
Dad's coupe had a leaking housing on the back side of the block... despite asking here, I never really came to understand what the purpose of the silly thing was - it was only called "coolant housing" on the parts diagrams. :(

I'll have to double check the hoses... I do know that my mechanic was not able to source OEM primary upper hoses for either car when those hoses were last replaced (not long ago... maybe a year?) so I can certainly start there.

At this point, I think I'm a hydrocarbon test away from investigating where the culprit is. If the stupid gaskets are already dead, I'm just going to have an aweful nice car for sale for awful cheap :(
 

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yup the back of the radiator has a few hoses and they leak onto the exhaust and you will never see a puddle just a lose of fluid. and my radiator was doing the same thing i had a newer one so i just threw that in and looks good
 
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