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 low coolant

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morgan9283




PostSubject: low coolant   Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:17 am

I did a coolant replacement last weekend on my '12 which I bought new.  This is my first coolant replacement and the coolant was substantially low, the radiator was probably half full.   I've never had an overheating issue but that seems alarming.

I put in new coolant, ran it to work out air bubbles and rode it.  I used Yamaha oem coolant FWIW.

I didn't put the cap on all the way and all but 12 or so oz seeped out past the radiator cap in a 15 or so mile slow, rocky ride. The temp light didn't come on.

I re-filled, installed the cap correctly and rode ~40 miles of slow to moderate rocky terrain.  The temp warning light came on for the first time ever so I stopped, let it cool down and rode back to camp on the street.  The temp warning light stayed off.

Coolant isn't seeping over the cap this time but the coolant is low.  I haven't drained it yet but no coolant is visible with the cap off.

I'm hopeful for a coolant leak though I don't see any evidence of one.  The bike is not blowing white smoke.  I did once have an sv650 that was sucking coolant into the head with no sign in the exhaust.

I'm going to inspect closely for a leak but if I don't find one am I checking the head gasket?  The only thing I can think of is that the coolant got so low that the temp warning indicator wasn't in coolant so the bike overheated without me knowing it.

Does anyone have any insight?  I don't see any mention of a head gasket here suggesting it isn't a common issue with WRs

thanks,

-morgan
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rsteiger

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PostSubject: Re: low coolant   Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:59 am

morgan9283 wrote:
I did a coolant replacement last weekend on my '12 which I bought new.  This is my first coolant replacement and the coolant was substantially low, the radiator was probably half full.   I've never had an overheating issue but that seems alarming.

I put in new coolant, ran it to work out air bubbles and rode it.  I used Yamaha oem coolant FWIW.

I didn't put the cap on all the way and all but 12 or so oz seeped out past the radiator cap in a 15 or so mile slow, rocky ride.  The temp light didn't come on.

I re-filled, installed the cap correctly and rode ~40 miles of slow to moderate rocky terrain.  The temp warning light came on for the first time ever so I stopped, let it cool down and rode back to camp on the street.  The temp warning light stayed off.

Coolant isn't seeping over the cap this time but the coolant is low.  I haven't drained it yet but no coolant is visible with the cap off.

I'm hopeful for a coolant leak though I don't see any evidence of one.  The bike is not blowing white smoke.  I did once have an sv650 that was sucking coolant into the head with no sign in the exhaust.

I'm going to inspect closely for a leak but if I don't find one am I checking the head gasket?  The only thing I can think of is that the coolant got so low that the temp warning indicator wasn't in coolant so the bike overheated without me knowing it.

Does anyone have any insight?  I don't see any mention of a head gasket here suggesting it isn't a common issue with WRs

thanks,

-morgan

I seem to recall a couple of folks having issues with water pump seals. I believe if it leaks at that point the coolant will go into the crankcase so keep tabs on your oil level. If the oil looks like chocolate milk then there is a good chance water got into the oil.
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morgan9283




PostSubject: Re: low coolant   Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:13 am

rsteiger wrote:
morgan9283 wrote:
I did a coolant replacement last weekend on my '12 which I bought new.  This is my first coolant replacement and the coolant was substantially low, the radiator was probably half full.   I've never had an overheating issue but that seems alarming.

I put in new coolant, ran it to work out air bubbles and rode it.  I used Yamaha oem coolant FWIW.

I didn't put the cap on all the way and all but 12 or so oz seeped out past the radiator cap in a 15 or so mile slow, rocky ride.  The temp light didn't come on.

I re-filled, installed the cap correctly and rode ~40 miles of slow to moderate rocky terrain.  The temp warning light came on for the first time ever so I stopped, let it cool down and rode back to camp on the street.  The temp warning light stayed off.

Coolant isn't seeping over the cap this time but the coolant is low.  I haven't drained it yet but no coolant is visible with the cap off.

I'm hopeful for a coolant leak though I don't see any evidence of one.  The bike is not blowing white smoke.  I did once have an sv650 that was sucking coolant into the head with no sign in the exhaust.

I'm going to inspect closely for a leak but if I don't find one am I checking the head gasket?  The only thing I can think of is that the coolant got so low that the temp warning indicator wasn't in coolant so the bike overheated without me knowing it.

Does anyone have any insight?  I don't see any mention of a head gasket here suggesting it isn't a common issue with WRs

thanks,

-morgan

I seem to recall a couple of folks having issues with water pump seals.  I believe if it leaks at that point the coolant will go into the crankcase so keep tabs on your oil level.   If the oil looks like chocolate milk then there is a good chance water got into the oil.

That's right, I'd forgotten about this, thanks. I did check my oil level after the first time through the sight glass and it didn't look milky but I'll drain the oil tonight and look again.

-morgan


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rsteiger

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PostSubject: Re: low coolant   Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:27 am

On another note I was chatting with an old time Enduro racer and wrenchman, he swears by Caterpillar Extended Life Coolant ( http://www.bmgs.com.tr/doc/GucSistemleri/MusteriDestek/CAT-ELC.pdf ).

Uses it in all his bikes and Dodge Ram Diesel and send out samples to a lab regularly. The tests come back good unlike the standard coolant he used before.

I may give it a shot on the WRR when I change the coolant out next.
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morgan9283




PostSubject: Re: low coolant   Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:39 pm

morgan9283 wrote:
rsteiger wrote:
morgan9283 wrote:
I did a coolant replacement last weekend on my '12 which I bought new.  This is my first coolant replacement and the coolant was substantially low, the radiator was probably half full.   I've never had an overheating issue but that seems alarming.

I put in new coolant, ran it to work out air bubbles and rode it.  I used Yamaha oem coolant FWIW.

I didn't put the cap on all the way and all but 12 or so oz seeped out past the radiator cap in a 15 or so mile slow, rocky ride.  The temp light didn't come on.

I re-filled, installed the cap correctly and rode ~40 miles of slow to moderate rocky terrain.  The temp warning light came on for the first time ever so I stopped, let it cool down and rode back to camp on the street.  The temp warning light stayed off.

Coolant isn't seeping over the cap this time but the coolant is low.  I haven't drained it yet but no coolant is visible with the cap off.

I'm hopeful for a coolant leak though I don't see any evidence of one.  The bike is not blowing white smoke.  I did once have an sv650 that was sucking coolant into the head with no sign in the exhaust.

I'm going to inspect closely for a leak but if I don't find one am I checking the head gasket?  The only thing I can think of is that the coolant got so low that the temp warning indicator wasn't in coolant so the bike overheated without me knowing it.

Does anyone have any insight?  I don't see any mention of a head gasket here suggesting it isn't a common issue with WRs

thanks,

-morgan

I seem to recall a couple of folks having issues with water pump seals.  I believe if it leaks at that point the coolant will go into the crankcase so keep tabs on your oil level.   If the oil looks like chocolate milk then there is a good chance water got into the oil.

That's right, I'd forgotten about this, thanks.  I did check my oil level after the first time through the sight glass and it didn't look milky but I'll drain the oil tonight and look again.

-morgan



Alas it's not the water pump seal. I dropped the oil and it was clean.

I'm going to get it good and hot and really go over it with a fine toothed comb to see if I can find a leak but excepting that is there anything left save pulling the head and replacing the head gasket?

thanks,

-morgan
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rsteiger

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PostSubject: Re: low coolant   Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:10 pm

You may want to have a shop perform a leak down test on the cooling system before you start pulling the engine apart.
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morgan9283




PostSubject: Re: low coolant   Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:45 am

rsteiger wrote:
You may want to have a shop perform a leak down test on the cooling system before you start pulling the engine apart.

That's a very good point, thanks. Is this as simple as hooking up a compressor to the coolant cap? Shops are busy around here this time of year and I have a compressor.

-morgan
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rsteiger

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PostSubject: Re: low coolant   Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:57 am

morgan9283 wrote:
rsteiger wrote:
You may want to have a shop perform a leak down test on the cooling system before you start pulling the engine apart.

That's a very good point, thanks.  Is this as simple as hooking up a compressor to the coolant cap?  Shops are busy around here this time of year and I have a compressor.

-morgan

I think it is a bit more involved than that but you could probably Google it.

I know when I have had coolant leaks on my vehicles the shop runs one and they have been able to isolate the leak every time. I don't think you need a lot of pressure but you do need to monitor the pressure over time.
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rsteiger

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PostSubject: Re: low coolant   Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:59 am

One other quick suggestion.

You may want to try a new radiator cap. if it doesn't hold the system pressure you will bleed out coolant when the bike gets warm.
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morgan9283




PostSubject: Re: low coolant   Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:03 am

rsteiger wrote:
morgan9283 wrote:
rsteiger wrote:
You may want to have a shop perform a leak down test on the cooling system before you start pulling the engine apart.

That's a very good point, thanks.  Is this as simple as hooking up a compressor to the coolant cap?  Shops are busy around here this time of year and I have a compressor.

-morgan

I think it is a bit more involved than that but you could probably Google it.

I know when I have had coolant leaks on my vehicles the shop runs one and they have been able to isolate the leak every time.  I don't think you need a lot of pressure but you do need to monitor the pressure over time.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/radiator-pressure-test

I happened to talk to my car mechanic and he said he might have an adapter.

-morgan
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