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Chevy Forum: losing antifreeze??
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  #1  
Old 09-23-2017, 09:23 PM
gmguy gmguy is offline
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Default losing antifreeze??

I have a 2009 HHR 105,000 miles. have been fighting disappearing antifreeze. replaced all of the following: all hoses and clamps, radiator, thermostat, radiator cap.
pressure tested at 15PSI and it held for an hour. (cold engine)
pulled all plugs, look good and the same.
mechanic shop tried die and black light. no luck.
no white smoke from exhaust.
tried head gasket sealant out of desperation. no luck.

never any wet spots under car and car runs flawlessly with no codes. does not overheat and fan works.

Antifreeze did turn brown and thick and turned old hoses soft. Cap was defective. also thought tranny cooler may have leaked leading to the radiator change. all oil and tranny fluid is normal with no lose of fluid.

was told to pull bottom o ring from cap and try running without pressure on cooling system. This seemed to stop my lose of fluid, however my brown film started to return again.

I had driven the car for 1500 miles from first brown sludge till now with only losing fluid. within 150 miles of running with no pressure the brown started again?

Long story, but I am stumped.

Thanks for reading

Last edited by gmguy; 09-23-2017 at 09:26 PM. Reason: more detail
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  #2  
Old 09-24-2017, 10:39 AM
zora zora is offline
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Default Re: losing antifreeze??

did you or your mechanic do a hydrocarbon test on the engine coolant?
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Old 09-24-2017, 01:19 PM
gmguy gmguy is offline
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Default Re: losing antifreeze??

did not do that test

Last edited by gmguy; 09-24-2017 at 01:20 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 09-24-2017, 03:16 PM
zora zora is offline
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Default Re: losing antifreeze??

well that is how you check for an interally leaking head gasket and a compression test might be a thought.
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Old 09-24-2017, 05:41 PM
gmguy gmguy is offline
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Default Re: losing antifreeze??

appreciate the advice. Will likely take to dealer. Service Dept will evaluate and find the answer for $90.00. I just don't like admitting defeat and do not have the tools for the mentioned tests.

I suspect the head gasket and am willing to take that job on. Was thrown off when engine did not overheat.


Nothing ventured nothing gained.
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  #6  
Old 09-25-2017, 11:32 AM
zora zora is offline
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Default Re: losing antifreeze??

The coolant test kit you can buy at an auto parts store you dont need a mechanic
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Old 09-26-2017, 04:49 PM
gmguy gmguy is offline
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Default Re: losing antifreeze??

thank you for that, I will go tomorrow and pick one up. I repeated the pressure test on the coolant system and left it overnight this time. It was down to zero in the morning. Obviously losing it somewhere.

I pumped it up again and went to work and again it was at zero. No wet spots underneath. unhooked the coils and turned motor over quick and no wet plugs.

Pulled tranny line off radiator and it did not bubble or allow pressure to drop fast, thinking this is not the problem.

I am now thinking its going into the oil pan.

Will synthetic oil turn milky when its mixed with coolant?

Intake gasket vs head gasket? Will get test from auto supply
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Old 09-26-2017, 06:22 PM
zora zora is offline
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Default Re: losing antifreeze??

have you looked in the oil filler cap and do you see a milky brown substance?
why intake gasket if you see something in oil?
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:16 PM
gmguy gmguy is offline
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Default Re: losing antifreeze??

found my missing fluid. in the oil pan. Synthetic oil must not turn milky like conventional.

Any ways I have at least solved half the mystery.

Is this indicative of intake gasket? or I suppose a cracked head too.

Next step I guess is start turning wrenches.

Any other suggestions before tearing it down and getting head tested, surfaced and replace the gaskets?
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  #10  
Old 09-27-2017, 06:21 PM
gmguy gmguy is offline
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Default Re: losing antifreeze??

Are there special tools needed for this engine(2.2L). Was told that with Dual Overhead Cams there might be. none of the local mechanics want to touch this job.
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