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Old 06-27-2005, 04:20 PM   #1
junehhan
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Question normal drop in coolant resevoir and coolant smell

Hey guys, I was curious what would be considered normal as to how much the coolant resevoir drops? Ever since we bought this car, it has made a slight coolent smell when idling for a long time with the a/c set to bring in outside air. I marked the level on the bottle at 500 miles, and we now have 2000 miles on the car. In those 1500 miles, the level appears to have dropped about 2 cm. Is this normal? The coolent level was checked with the car on a level surface after the vehicle has been sitting overnight.

BTW, has anyone else noticed a slight coolent smell when idling a long time in hot weather with the a/c bringing in outside air?


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Old 06-27-2005, 04:55 PM   #2
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If you smell anti-freeze, you have a leak somewhere. The coolant recovery tank is sealed on the Focus. My '04 PZEV is about 1 1/4 years old and there is no perceptable drop in the coolant level.
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Old 06-28-2005, 11:11 AM   #3
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If that is a leak, it is a small one, going to be tough to find. When the car is cool stick your under under it and look for a telltale drop of coolant somewhere. If you find one follow it back to its source.

The other thing you can do is there is an additive you can get for your coolant that will make it glow under a black light ( mechanics use it to detect leaks). You could try that or have someone do it for you at a shop.
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Old 06-28-2005, 08:15 PM   #4
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I'm hoping that it's not a leak. The car did have the a/c compressor replaced twice on it, and i'm wondering whether they had to remove any of the hoses to gain access to the compressor. If any hoses needed to be removed, it's possible that air was introduced into the system, which can take a while to remove. Even a little bit of coolent can really smell bad for a long time, so who knows.......

I'm just going to have the dealership take a look at it when I take it in for an oil change in roughly 1000 miles. I just topped it off again, so I should definately know for sure if the level drops again.
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Old 06-28-2005, 10:10 PM   #5
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If you do have a leak, it is a small one and can wait till then. Just keep an eye on things.. Let us know later what you find out.
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Old 06-28-2005, 10:34 PM   #6
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you didn't happen to have had your exhaust bracket replaced under warranty did you?

That was what they did to my SVT right before I bought it..

I took it over to my shop after I bought it and was looking it over and discovered when they did that repair, they left the heater hose loose and it dropped onto the hot exhaust bracket and it melted, not all the way through, but enough that the coolant was seeping some under pressure. It wasn't too difficult to find and repair, but then I have the advantage of a lift
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Old 06-29-2005, 10:06 AM   #7
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It's actually the 05 Focus that is having this issue. The SVT fortunately seems to be one of the few out there that are rock solid reliable. I still get a sweet smell from the SVT when idling, but the coolent level never drops and it was determined to be coming from the catalytic converter on it. They offered to replace it, but why bother when it's not causing any trouble................
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Old 06-29-2005, 10:12 AM   #8
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I found my resivoir tank cracked on the bottom, I reccomend taking the resivoir out and inspecting it for small cracks and seepage, I found a leak and I got some plastic tank repair and it fixed the coolant smell that your talking about, hope this helps.....

[edit]
keep in mind, It WON'T leak if it's not hot (usualy) Heat expansion causes the cracks in the tank to spread open just enough for a small drip that usualy evaporates before hitting the ground. - hence no coolant puddle under your car.
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Old 06-29-2005, 10:47 AM   #9
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Very good info ^^^^ Thanks!!!
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Old 06-29-2005, 06:17 PM   #10
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Sometimes real small leaks will leave a white, powdery deposit where the leak is. It looks a little like battery terminal corrosion. Might help you find it.
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