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My car keeps losing coolant. I changed the thermostat because i thought that was the reason it was over heating. I pressure tested and saw no leaks. I was thinking I had a cracked engine, but there’s no white smoke or power lost. Any suggestions? It’s a 2013 Dodge Challenger. 6 cylinder.
 

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How does the water pump look? I would drive up on ramps and remove the engine splash guard to look for traces of coolant.

If no signs then pull the plugs to see if one was cleaner than the others? Also, how does the motor oil look...if it is murky it is a sign that you have coolant in the oil.

Also, you sure it's not purging by some chance...although that would suggest overheating.




One other spot to check is the heater coil but you would definitely notice the coolant odor.
 

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Losing noticeably or does it just sit below the cold fill line?
Often these cars self level at lower than “cold fill max”.

Is it overheating?


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Pull the lower belly shield and look for dried up coolant down the block/trans.

As said above, coolant and oil look good?

Check the plugs.

No smoking at startup? Have someone else turn it on while you watch.


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My car keeps losing coolant. I changed the thermostat because i thought that was the reason it was over heating. I pressure tested and saw no leaks. I was thinking I had a cracked engine, but there’s no white smoke or power lost. Any suggestions? It’s a 2013 Dodge Challenger. 6 cylinder.

A cold pressure test often fails to turn up a leak.

A hot pressure test is better. You can do this yourself. When cold make sure the coolant level is good. Not too low but not overfilled either. Closer to the max line than the min line. Be sure the cap is on securely. It can take more force than one might expect to properly tighten a coolant cap.

Turn off the A/C. Drive the car around on city surface streets until the coolant gets hot enough to cause the radiator fan to come on. No need to beat on the car. My experience is just normal driving on surface streets, with the stop, idling, then acceleration and more of the same over 15 minutes or so will have the coolant (and oil) quite warm. Even on a mild day I can get my Hellcat's coolant temperature to over 212F and the oil temperature to 230F without trying hard.

Back on your drive way then raise RPMs to around 1K or so and hold until the radiator fan comes on. You might need a helper outside the car to signal when he hears or sees the fan come on. (With other cars I could hear/feel the fans come on but not with my Hellcat.)

When the fan comes on shut off the engine. The heat load in the engine will raise coolant temperature and pressure. Almost certainly the leak will make itself known.

Now you may only see coolant (hot coolant, so be careful) dripping if say the water pump is leaking, so you may afterwards need to get the car in the air to better look for leak sign from the water pump.

Common leaks: Water pump seals; T-stat housing gasket; radiator where the top portion or bottom portion join the core (but my Mustang's radiator had a pinhole leak right in the middle of core fortunately on the back side of the radiator); coolant tank can develop a split along its mold seam. (Had this leak show up doing a hot pressure test with another car. After a night of cool down I added over a gallon of distilled water to the tank to bring the level up and then started the engine. No leaks. Drove the car a couple of miles to the dealer and still no sign of any leak. But the tank was bad and it was clear it had been leaking for a while once the tank was out of the car.)

Less common at least in my experience is a hose or hose connection, heater core, or really anything that has coolant flowing inside it.

Oh, and check the cap. Put a tent of alum. foil over the cap and after a few minutes check for any water condensation. I had a cap leak water vapor (the anti-freeze stays liquid) when the engine was shut off hot and the cap leaking vapor under pressure would drop the coolant level nearly a gallon in less than a month's driving.
 

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Mine has always done this...
Are saying you filling past the cool fill line only to find it eventually levels just below the cool fill line? If so where does the extra coolant go? Is it being purged through the overflow tube?
 

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Are saying you filling past the cool fill line only to find it eventually levels just below the cool fill line? If so where does the extra coolant go? Is it being purged through the overflow tube?

No I never fill past the line, only to it. It will drop a half inch or so and stay there. No signs of a leak anywhere....
 

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A lot of cars seem to be delivered low on coolant, I know my 16 was a good bit below the cold fill line and many on the lot are the same way.

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My car keeps losing coolant. I changed the thermostat because i thought that was the reason it was over heating. I pressure tested and saw no leaks. I was thinking I had a cracked engine, but there’s no white smoke or power lost. Any suggestions? It’s a 2013 Dodge Challenger. 6 cylinder.
The 3.6’s are notorious for this. I also have a 15 Jeep Sahara and replaced the rad, oil cooler, water pump, timing chain cover, and thermostat housing all under warranty. They could never pin point it although I found the thermostat housing weeping coolant from the tiny valve located on the housing. I’m not losing coolant like I was before although the OAT antifreeze still smells a bit after standing near the Jeep or even idling. Just living with.
 

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The 3.6’s are notorious for this. I also have a 15 Jeep Sahara and replaced the rad, oil cooler, water pump, timing chain cover, and thermostat housing all under warranty. They could never pin point it although I found the thermostat housing weeping coolant from the tiny valve located on the housing. I’m not losing coolant like I was before although the OAT antifreeze still smells a bit after standing near the Jeep or even idling. Just living with.
I have spilled OAT in the engine bay and I swear it takes forever for that smell to go away. A good wash of the engine bay finally got rid of the coolant smell.
 

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FWIW I had a metal cap on my 2015. It would burp after the car was hot and sitting for a while (sounded like the road runner). Anyways, when I bought an OEM replacement it called for a plastic cap version which apparently replaced the metal cap version.
 

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I used to lose coolant with the metal cap. The dealer replaced it with a plastic one and that fixed the issue. Just saying. This was back in 2013.
 

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I just figured I'll ask and confirm - what antifreeze are you using?
 
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