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ARGH!!!! New leak just before road trip.....what to do?
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Simpdog5
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:00 pm    Post subject: ARGH!!!! New leak just before road trip.....what to do? Reply with quote

Merry Christmas Eve everyone! Hope today finds you warm and happy with family and friends. Since it's Christmas Eve I don't expect to get much response but am lobbing it out there regardless.

After 6 months of no leaks, no issues, and limited gremlins appearances, I just today noticed a little leakage coming from my 87 Vanagon. Not sure exactly what it is, but I'm scheduled to be leaving at 5:00 am the day after Christmas to go on a 4 day surfing/camping trip with my 12 year old son. total mileage roundtrip will be about 600 miles..... Obviously no shops open today or tomorrow, so I'm going to need to self-diagnose.

Any ideas judging by the looks of the leakage? light green, watery substance.

Thanks in advance Samba Community!
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HBB
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:04 pm    Post subject: Re: ARGH!!!! New leak just before road trip.....what to do? Reply with quote

Coolant is the only light green liquid I can think of that is likely to spew out of a Vanagon.
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joetiger Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:09 pm    Post subject: Re: ARGH!!!! New leak just before road trip.....what to do? Reply with quote

I'd start checking every hose connection in the engine bay. A lot of times it looks like a head seal at first glance but turns out to be something much more easily repairable.

Good luck and Merry Christmas!
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:34 pm    Post subject: Re: ARGH!!!! New leak just before road trip.....what to do? Reply with quote

I agree, looks like coolant. Get the engine dried and look closely to spot the exact source.

Sometimes a really cold night can bring on a morning leak that will go away once it warms up. Still cause for investigation though as it can be the first sign of trouble some time later.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:53 pm    Post subject: Re: ARGH!!!! New leak just before road trip.....what to do? Reply with quote

Coolant leak. Open the engine bay. Take more pictures to show us. Dry it up with paper towel. Start car. Try to pin point area. Take pictures. Post. How low is your reservoir? Like others said could just be a 2 minute fix if Santa is around.
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Simpdog5
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 5:32 pm    Post subject: Re: ARGH!!!! New leak just before road trip.....what to do? Reply with quote

Thanks guys. Off to a Christmas dinner with the family but sounds like a fun Christmas day project for me (in all seriousness). You know Christmas Day you sit around with family and eat and drink and get fatter? Well this gives me something to do!

Hope Santa drops off a little good news for me tonight and I can sort this out tomorrow!
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0to60in6min
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 5:58 pm    Post subject: Re: ARGH!!!! New leak just before road trip.....what to do? Reply with quote

if you could, get 3 bottles of Subaru Coolant conditioner... remove some coolant and pour them in.....while waiting for a better diagnostic (ie. replace head gasket)

in the meantime check all the clamps related to coolant hoses...

https://www.amazon.com/Subaru-SOA635071-Coolant-System-Conditioner/dp/B00IGZP2UE
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jocoman
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:15 pm    Post subject: Re: ARGH!!!! New leak just before road trip.....what to do? Reply with quote

Mine always leaks a bit from the head seal only in cold weather. Once it warms up its fine. The Subaru conditioner will address that if this is your case.
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:12 am    Post subject: Re: ARGH!!!! New leak just before road trip.....what to do? Reply with quote

Hopefully just a hose clamp leaking...

jocoman wrote:
Mine always leaks a bit from the head seal only in cold weather. Once it warms up its fine. The Subaru conditioner will address that if this is your case.


Agreed. I have found that one bottle can do the trick. I'd only use one bottle at a time.
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E1
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:19 am    Post subject: Re: ARGH!!!! New leak just before road trip.....what to do? Reply with quote

Yep. If there's even a tiny chance of radiator clogging, less is more.

Standard protocol is two bottles with our 16 liters of coolant. We have a head gasket leak that had me pondering an engine six weeks ago, so I asked the mechanic to throw two bottles in. He only did one, and it's holding -- so far.
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vanagonjr
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:24 am    Post subject: Re: ARGH!!!! New leak just before road trip.....what to do? Reply with quote

One place to check, as you look at hoses, is the level sensor in the pressurized expansion Coolant tank inside the engine compartment, as these crack over time.

If it is such, you can fill the underneath with JB Weld and run it a while (BTDT)


Tank -(On Left)
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Sensor -
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Inside the threaded area is hollow - that is what I filled wit JB weed after cleaning it on a trip and it held for about a year (Forgot to replace it)
I always carry a spare tank with a new sensor in the van. Fits behind the glove box BTW.

Give us an update, when you can.
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 9:06 am    Post subject: Re: ARGH!!!! New leak just before road trip.....what to do? Reply with quote

Neat place to stash your weed....doesn't it get wet though? Wink Cool
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https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=620646

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WestyWanter
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 10:17 am    Post subject: Re: ARGH!!!! New leak just before road trip.....what to do? Reply with quote

I had a leak coming from the head seals that would only occur when the motor was cold during winter mornings once I started the van it would go away. I still however pulled heads and resurfaced them but felt like i could have driven it.
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Simpdog5
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 3:47 pm    Post subject: Re: ARGH!!!! New leak just before road trip.....what to do? Reply with quote

Confirmed location fluid on/around the coolant expansion tank. Doesn't appear to be very much as tank is full. Going to fire her up and let her run for a bit a check it with the engine bay open. Please stand by.


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DanHoug
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 4:03 pm    Post subject: Re: ARGH!!!! New leak just before road trip.....what to do? Reply with quote

looks like you might have an oil cooler, nice addition. your fuel lines look like they've been replaced once but also look very old. wouldn't hurt to redo those.
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Simpdog5
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 4:14 pm    Post subject: Re: ARGH!!!! New leak just before road trip.....what to do? Reply with quote

OK, ran the engine for 15 minutes. Dripped a little bit at first (it's been cold the past 24 hours) then after a few minutes no leak at all.....I'll drive her around town a bit and see if she leaks upon my return home.
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Simpdog5
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:34 pm    Post subject: Re: ARGH!!!! New leak just before road trip.....what to do? Reply with quote

Interesting.

Drove around town running a few errands. Parked at a friends house. Level ground. No leak. It was only when i pulled in at home, where I back DOWN a short decline into our carport that a little bit began leaking out again. From where I've seen the leaking before it occurs when the van has been angled with the rear end DOWN so perhaps the coolant is escaping out the top of the coolant expansion tank.

Checked coolant level and all good there so will head off on the road trip tomorrow morning and just monitor it. Thanks everyone for the advice.
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vanagonjr
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:54 pm    Post subject: Re: ARGH!!!! New leak just before road trip.....what to do? Reply with quote

Simpdog5 wrote:
it occurs when the van has been angled with the rear end DOWN so perhaps the coolant is escaping out the top of the coolant expansion tank.
.

When my coolant level sensors cracked, there was a pool of coolant in the recessed area of the pressurized coolant expansion tank.

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blockhead squarewheels
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:53 am    Post subject: Re: ARGH!!!! New leak just before road trip.....what to do? Reply with quote

My coolant junction leaked when i got cold last christmas. Changed it out for a stainless one and left for a 2500 mile road trip an hour later. First big (1k plus)trip i had with no breakdowns. Cool you got this.
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Abscate Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:11 am    Post subject: Re: ARGH!!!! New leak just before road trip.....what to do? Reply with quote

Take the trip, ignore the Nervous Nellies, come back and post how awesome it was. Drive it like any other car over 10 years old, with situational awareness and checking systems on a regular basis.
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