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Kind Of Odd


jcrome04
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I've noticed the level of coolant in my reservoir has very slowly been dropping. I know it's very rare and practically unheard of for the head gasket to go.

I'm just wondering if anyone has any thoughts or ideas, there are no leaks so it must be burning it off.. <_< I'm just thankful it's not a horribly fast leak.

vehicle is 1997 LS400 141k miles. level went from just under the MAX line to MIN line.

Thank you all :cheers:

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My car did the same thing last fall. It turned out my water pump was going out even though it only had 45k on it since it was last replaced. I didn't see coolant leaking anywhere, so I'm really not sure where it was going. I had to fill the tank just about weekly until I finally had time to get it checked out.

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There are a few threads on this. It seems the max-min lines on the expansion tank are set too high for the size of the tank....no room for all the expansion that takes place. Where does it go? Most likely down the overflow tube coming out of the tank while you're driving. I let my coolant level drop until it levelled off at a little below the min level. No further drop once it reached that level. As long as your tank is partly filled when cold and above max/full when hot, you're ok. You should make sure the reservoir cap will release at it's preset pressure point. Have it checked out. Cheap enough to replace. If your water pump was on it's way out, you'd be reading a high coolant temp. :cheers:

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I was also loosing coolant. I discovered coolant was on the passenger side floorboard, soaking the carpet.

I would assume this would be a leak in the heater core. I have not had a chance to look at the core. It is a big job just getting to it. I have bypassed the heater core, by rerouting the hoses connected to the heater control valve, located on the firewall inside the engine compartment. I have ordered a new heater core, just in case it is leaking. It is such a big job getting to the core, I wanted a new core to put there.

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Hello everyone- great forum.

I recently brought a 1990 LS400, and it runs like a dream, but I too have been losing coolant in my resorvior...about 2 cups a day...but the car is not overheating...it is dripping slowly down below..see it on the pavement...but just a little...rad hose?...Is it safe to still drive?

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Hello everyone- great forum.

I recently brought a 1990 LS400, and it runs like a dream, but I too have been losing coolant in my resorvior...about 2 cups a day...but the car is not overheating...it is dripping slowly down below..see it on the pavement...but just a little...rad hose?...Is it safe to still drive?

A little now a lot later? Maybe. Check that the hose clamps are tight and not leaking. Easy fix, just tighten. If it's not leaking from there, check the rad and rad draining valves, inlet hose to the thermostat, and reservoir cap. I wouldn't expect a head gasket. :cheers:

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THANKS ALOT-eatingblacktop!

monitoring the situation,again, it seems I have begun to lose more fluid....but I can't figure out where it is going!...not on ground...when I turn on engine...I hear it going somewhere...water pump?--Would there ba alot of water on the ground if it were the water pump?

:(

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Just an update to my coolant loss. What a noob move I pulled, when I removed my throttle body to clean it, I didn't put the clamp on far enough, for the coolant passage, so it was dripping out of there. hahahaha oh man, thank god it was nothing serious.

Changed my oil today with Mobil1 full synth 5W-30. Toyota Genuine filter. It was easy peasy! Just over $30 too :) A full synth oil change at the local jiffy lube is +$80 with tax.

:cheers:

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Just an update to my coolant loss. What a noob move I pulled, when I removed my throttle body to clean it, I didn't put the clamp on far enough, for the coolant passage, so it was dripping out of there. hahahaha oh man, thank god it was nothing serious.

Changed my oil today with Mobil1 full synth 5W-30. Toyota Genuine filter. It was easy peasy! Just over $30 too :) A full synth oil change at the local jiffy lube is +$80 with tax.

:cheers:

Good detective work Sherlock. Just "lemon squeasy". Still think she should make that her signature, but for now don't mind if I use it myself. :cheers:

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THANKS ALOT-eatingblacktop!

monitoring the situation,again, it seems I have begun to lose more fluid....but I can't figure out where it is going!...not on ground...when I turn on engine...I hear it going somewhere...water pump?--Would there ba alot of water on the ground if it were the water pump?

:(

Well there's only so many places coolant can go ... out the exhaust, into the engine, outside the engine.

Check your exhaust for white smoke. If you've got it then you're most likely leaking coolant into the cylinders. Another scenario is the coolant leaking internally and mixing with the oil. Have the oil checked for traces of coolant. The best outcome for you would be an external leak that's burning up on the exhaust manifold and never reaches the ground. You need to find out what kind of leak you have. On the positive side, you mention that you've seen puddles on the floor and that it's not overheating. Those symptoms would most likely indicate a hose connecton, a hose itself, or the cap for the expansion tank . Also look at the rad for any bent fins that happen when rocks/stones or road debris hit the rad. (good reason for not following trucks too closely). A good shop should find your leak without too much trouble. Do you know if the water pump was replaced with the timing belt last time it was done? :cheers:

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THanks- EUBT again, well I have given up and will take it in for a check up.

The problem is I don't trust mechanics, hmmmm.

But anyway, I will let everyone know, so that any others who have this problem will have an idea.

:cries:

..adding, the expansion tank cap looks functional, no erosion, or rust, seems to be holding pressure, but that would be nice if it was just that!

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THanks- EUBT again, well I have given up and will take it in for a check up.

The problem is I don't trust mechanics, hmmmm.

But anyway, I will let everyone know, so that any others who have this problem will have an idea.

:cries:

..adding, the expansion tank cap looks functional, no erosion, or rust, seems to be holding pressure, but that would be nice if it was just that!

Don't know if you're going to your own mechanic. If not, I would suggest Toyota over Lexus ... a lot cheaper ... same techs ... many similar parts. Example - oil change w filter - Lexus $108, Toyota $52.

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THanks- EUBT again, well I have given up and will take it in for a check up.

The problem is I don't trust mechanics, hmmmm.

But anyway, I will let everyone know, so that any others who have this problem will have an idea.

:cries:

..adding, the expansion tank cap looks functional, no erosion, or rust, seems to be holding pressure, but that would be nice if it was just that!

Don't know if you're going to your own mechanic. If not, I would suggest Toyota over Lexus ... a lot cheaper ... same techs ... many similar parts. Example - oil change w filter - Lexus $108, Toyota $52.

I live about 200 miles from a toyota mechanic, so I have to rely on local guys...which is scary.

they see you coming with a lexus..and you have had it!!!

not looking forward to this....like going to the dentist! ha ha!

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I live about 200 miles from a toyota mechanic, so I have to rely on local guys...which is scary.

they see you coming with a lexus..and you have had it!!!

not looking forward to this....like going to the dentist! ha ha!

I'm sure you know to get a written estimate before authorizing the shop to do any repairs. Once you have it you can post the details here if you like for some feedback. There a lot of knowledgeable members who would be glad to give you their opinion. You can even do some research yourself before taking it in. There are a lot of threads on this site dealing with that problem. Having some idea of what the possible causes might be would give you leverage with the mechanic when you talk to him. Letting him know that you've done some research and understand something of the problem makes it less likely for a mechanic to pad the estimate. Good luck.

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I live about 200 miles from a toyota mechanic, so I have to rely on local guys...which is scary.

they see you coming with a lexus..and you have had it!!!

not looking forward to this....like going to the dentist! ha ha!

I'm sure you know to get a written estimate before authorizing the shop to do any repairs. Once you have it you can post the details here if you like for some feedback. There a lot of knowledgeable members who would be glad to give you their opinion. You can even do some research yourself before taking it in. There are a lot of threads on this site dealing with that problem. Having some idea of what the possible causes might be would give you leverage with the mechanic when you talk to him. Letting him know that you've done some research and understand something of the problem makes it less likely for a mechanic to pad the estimate. Good luck.

YES, THANK YOU.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally getting back....well I had a local mechanic do a pressure test, and he says I need new water pump, ...a friend just told me that they are very hard to work on..now I am concerned about letting him do it...he also quoted me $700 for the water pump only...is this high?

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Finally getting back....well I had a local mechanic do a pressure test, and he says I need new water pump, ...a friend just told me that they are very hard to work on..now I am concerned about letting him do it...he also quoted me $700 for the water pump only...is this high?

I would ask the mechanic if he has ever worked on an LS and specifically

what kind of work he has done. Doing a water pump is an involved repair

that I would reserve for a qualified Lexus/Toyota tech and not someone

who has never done this kind of repair or who has never been trained for it.

If the nearest dealership is too far from you, then you'll have to ask around

to find a mechanic who has the experience to do the job. If you can't find

one who has done the job before, then my suggestion is to bite the bullet

and take it to the dealer closest to you. Unfortunately, this is one repair

I wouldn't trust to a local shop that has never seen a Lexus.

Do you know the history of your car? Specifically when the timing belt

was last changed? The reason being that the water pump should have

been done at the same time since the same amount of labour in engine

disassembly is required to do either. If you're pump requires replacing

you should consider replacing the timing belt along with all pulleys/tensioners.

To give you an idea of the size of the job, here is a link describing the work involved:

http://www.lexls.com/tutorials/engine/timingbelt.html

One thing I have always asked myself before buying a car is "how and

where am I going to get service for anything I don't plan to do myself?"

You can call a dealership to compare prices. Hope this helps.

Good luck and let us know how you make out.

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thank you again eatingup black top!

again, you have been very helpful...yes, i realize that the timing belt should be changed along with the water pump...it was changed at 80,000 supposedly, but not the pump...the car has 150K...so the water pump is probably due.

looks pretty ominious..however...hmmmm.

thank you for the information, very helpful to reason just why it is soooo expensive..will be $1100 with belt...I have been told that the car is still drivable as long as I keep water in it...but the Lexus dealer is 250 mi away...thinking of having it towed.

anyone wanna buy a Lexus? :blink:

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