Van Troubles (Yeah, I know...) - OT

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khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Apr 17, 2013 - 06:28pm PT
I don't know why I'm bothering to reply since you will just ignore all advice anyway... maybe as a former van dweller... I dunno.

 Have a pressure test. If you are leaking coolant and can't maintain pressure of course it's gonna run hot. Last time I had one done it was like $10. You need to pinpoint the leak.
 Fix the leak. If it's something really heinously expensive (ie not a hose) use alumiseal. There is NO point in you trying to guess where the leak is.
 If it's running at the top of normal, it is still "normal". In older vehicles radiators become less efficient. Puddles of coolant on the ground, obviously not normal.
 It's not rocket surgery. It's a leak.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 17, 2013 - 07:51pm PT
Khanom -I don't know why you had to take the wanker route when responding. Maybe next time, consider to refrain.

The pressure test was suggested last fall when this issue started. The pressure test was done. My first post even mentions that to recap the issue. You're right - it's not expensive, comparatively. It was $40 when I had it done.

The "top of normal" ISN'T normal when the car overheats and boils over at that level(which is what happened yesterday). The "top of nomal" isn't normal when previously the gauge ran at less than halfway up.

You're right- it isn't rocket science. But it does not make me a dumbass and deserving of vitriol that I don't know how to diagnose automotive issues. I have read every post ever made in a thread where I asked for help, and I followed through whenever I could. Sometimes, believe it or not, I was simply unable to follow every suggestion made. It wasn't that I ignored anything.


I did the "burping" thing, though we did run it after the thermostat change. There may very well be air in it now, but I have to think that was not what's causing it to run hot.

So, it took quite some time to heat to normal, and once it went to about the A on the word, it started gurgling. Slowly at first and the level rising up into neck and then sinking. Then it started to really gurgle, over. I was stupid, and didn't lay down anything to capture the mess(I would have needed a huge sized dish anyway). I was not in an area where it would be considered acceptable to pollute like that, another thing I hadn't considered. But as it was gurgling, it began making some banging sorts of sounds. I did not continue, because like I said, I was in a place where it would not have been cool to have someone come over and ask why the hell I was letting coolant drain all over the place. So, I stopped.


Oh, and the fan is circulating. The dust thing worked - thanks Julia!
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Apr 17, 2013 - 07:59pm PT
Just got on board here but I have learned to listen to hoss julia. :D Hope things go well Happie. Will you be at Face Lift? I guess not if yo driving all the way to the east coast. Best, lynnie
Captain...or Skully

climber
Apr 17, 2013 - 08:00pm PT
Never turn the heat off. This gives just a bit of extra cooling for the engine. Khanom is right. If it leaks, the whole system is compromised.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Apr 17, 2013 - 08:51pm PT
Will you be at Face Lift? I guess not if yo driving all the way to the east coast. Best, lynnie

Especially since she can only drive 100 miles at a time.

Happie, seriously, ditch that piece of junk. It's done. I have experience in this arena. If you want to get back East, that thing ain't going to do the job.

My advice? Get a job in Flagstaff. It's a cool town, great location, beautiful area. You could do a lot worse.

Best of luck.
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Apr 17, 2013 - 08:51pm PT
If I'm a wanker for pointing out that you're about as thick as a brick, then at least I'm in good company.

There is no mention of a coolant pressure test in your OP but in truth I can only stand to read about every other word of your babble so I may have missed it.

You have coolant spilling on the ground yet you say the temp gauge is not shooting up into the max range and/or you are stopping soon. Assuming it's working you are not "boiling over". Again, if there is a leak and the system can't maintain pressure it will run hotter than normal. Do I need to repeat that for you? There are a very limited number of ways coolant can escape the engine and end up directly on the ground. Hoses being the most obvious, water pump and timing chain cover being less so.
You may have had a pressure test but clearly either it wasn't done properly or this is a new problem. Or more likely you decided to ignore the problem.

You do not have the expertise to determine the cause, and nobody here on the inner-tubes can hand you the neat, specific diagnosis you seem to be expecting. Pretty much whatever any of us says concerning possible causes is a shot in the dark. But unless your description of the temp gauge or the gauge itself is way off, you have a leak. Air in the system can cause the gauge to shoot up and act irratically, but will not cause coolant to spill on the ground. A boil over will force coolant out but you have to be really freakin' hot for that, and probably not have a 50/50 mix either. But hey, I'm not a mechanic. I could easily be completely wrong.

Get another pressure test, hopefully without over-paying this time, and have the mechanic tell you the specific cause. Get it fixed or ignore it and limp back to NY so you can sell the van and buy another junker next year.


Edit: Gary, the van could make it just fine. But you have to actually solve the problem first.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 17, 2013 - 09:04pm PT
As may be recalled, the van had an overheating issue last fall. After much help in the forums, I got coolant system check which indicated the radiator cap was bad, and it was replaced.

There has been NO leaking while the car sits, no dripping when it is running and standlng. It overflowed - as I wrote- when it went right to the top on a hill and I could not get safely off the road before it hit the line.

The coolant ON the GROUND has EACH TIME(twice) come out of the overflow hose.
I have SAID I am calling mechanics TOMORROW MORNING. I SAID the reason I was asking for advice was to aid me when I speak with the mechanics. I never said I expected anyone to perform a telepathic diagnosis.



Dude - seriously. F*#k off. If reading my thread raises your blood pressure so much that you cannot control the way you speak to me, then do yourself a favor and don't click on the thread.
hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Apr 17, 2013 - 09:10pm PT
(WTF is Eric's problem?)

Reading comprehension, meh, it's a lost art, but really?
ruppell

climber
Apr 17, 2013 - 09:10pm PT
WOW. Just WOW.

BUY A BETTER VEHICLE or LEARN HOW TO FIX THINGS YOURSELF.

I'm hoping the caps makes that clear. I wish you the best of luck but this is a recurring theme with you and your vehicles. You know they do have vehicle forums out there in cyberland. Maybe ask those folks as well.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 17, 2013 - 09:13pm PT
Whew, girl. Take a deeeep breath. Sorry to hear.
hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Apr 17, 2013 - 09:27pm PT
eh well happie you got some great advice before this turned into an I-told-you-so chest thumping fest.

Seriously? "Just buy a newer better vehicle" I think if someone were to tell me that over my 22 year old car, I would punch them.

ya think I'd be drivin this junker if I could afford anything else?

Damn, bunch of rich pussies who don't know, never did, or forgot what it's like to REALLY dirtbag. On your own, with no back up. I personally would love to have a Tacoma with a HARD SIDED SHELL (Bears)but have never even been close to affording one.


When my trusty Accord finally dies, I will NOT have the money to replace it, and plan on asking my Mom or brother to co-sign a used car loan for me. If I can find steady enough work I can stand, and that is a big if.

GhoulweJ

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Apr 17, 2013 - 09:31pm PT
Sooo why be mean to Happie???

She has a beater van and she's trying to fix it.

Jeez. No reason to attack her.

Happie, overheating is diagnosable. Toughest thing is finding a good shop... Ask around.

Best of luck to u
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Apr 17, 2013 - 09:38pm PT
There has been NO leaking while the car sits, no dripping when it is running and standlng. It overflowed - as I wrote- when it went right to the top on a hill and I could not get safely off the road before it hit the line.

It overflowed b/c it overheated.

"leaking" isn't always visible. Sometimes it's a drip onto the ground, sometimes it's a drip onto something hot which then evaporates, sometimes it's "steam" straight out of a hole (not visible steam, but evaporation directly from a hole in the system).

"leaking" could be going into the interior of the van from the heater core -- invisibly onto the floor, into the heater fan box, etc.

So, it could very well be "leaking" invisibly when the car sits, when it is standing, and / or when it is running.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Apr 17, 2013 - 09:41pm PT
Okay all you troubleshooters, I heard this van running just before she left on the road. The engine sounds good. Actually it sounds great. Throaty, even and strong as it should. It started instantly with authority and it sounded perfect with no trace of a misfire. I highly doubt that she has a head gasket problem.

100 miles before it starts to heat up? Hmm...

I haven't turned wrenches for a while but I would suspect a combo of a clogged up radiator and a leaking water pump shaft seal (at the point now where it leaks under pressure.)

Good luck and safe travel Terrie.

Edit in response to above: It's not really a beater van. Looks good and sounds good. As I recall Terrie told me it was a new engine when she bought it.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Apr 17, 2013 - 10:01pm PT
How is your oil looking, water in the oil will turn the oil into a milkshake light brown color. Look at the inside of the oil cap on the engine, water evaporating from the oil will leave a milky ring.

This sounds like more of the same problem from your trip out west, hard to believe a head gasket would be the problem, but if you did not drive too much over the winter it could be. A trip across country will certainly reveal the problem, hopefully near civilization.
ruppell

climber
Apr 17, 2013 - 10:11pm PT
Seriously? "Just buy a newer better vehicle" I think if someone were to tell me that over my 22 year old car, I would punch them.

hoss

I don't know you and you don't know me. So before you call me a rich pussy how about getting some facts you arrogant sh!te. i never said "new" I said better. There's a big difference. I drive an 88 Toyota with 330,000 miles on it. I would drive it coast to coast any day. But I also know how to fix the things that go wrong with it. I've been a dirtbag living on the road for over 1/4 of my life on this planet. So how's that foot taste.
jabbas

Trad climber
phx AZ
Apr 17, 2013 - 11:03pm PT
Ok - couple of ?? Running a v8 - right ? 2nd - how long after your 1st overheat episode did it overheat again? It sounds like you found the problem, got and used good advice and fixed your van in the past ( before JT) and are now again overheating( after JT }. Is this correct? Think back to when your steed did not give you problems at all( time wise). Engine cooling is one of two items; 1: coolant and sufficient volume thereof and 2: flow of coolant past required parts that heat up and need cooling down to avoid material failure. I always look to make sure radiator is full and water pump is pumping( engine running after a bit of running and look into top of radiator with cap off, you should see coolant sorta moving about to the left or right -- turbulence . If the radiator is clogged up or the water pump is not pumping you will not see any turbulence when you look into the opening of the radiator. Thermostat must be good also (opening of thermo allows water to circulate in the system. Overview -- coolant , sufficient -- good, Waterpump and radiator, working and providing adequate flow -- good. Thermostat opening allowing flow of coolant --good. Hope this helps
John M

climber
Apr 17, 2013 - 11:10pm PT
Edit: wasn't talking about you jabbas



Ease up. Julia just gets tired of people bagging on Terri. Why do people have to be pissers on these threads. If you don't want to help Terri, then how about just shutting up. She first bought a beater vehicle. It gave her a bunch of trouble and died pretty quick. She saved her money and did her due diligence and bought a much better vehicle. She doesn't know that much about vehicles and hopefully some day she will learn. She is learning, But she lived in NYC for years without needing a vehicle, and now has some catching up to do.

Good luck Terri with fixing it. Hopefully yourfinancial situation will improve soon, so these little adventures aren't quite so trying.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Apr 17, 2013 - 11:50pm PT
If you're going to live in your vehicle, you need a vehicle that works

This was my knee jerk....any chance of offloading the non-mobile mobile unit for an on-purpose non-mobile unit?

From my POV as a fairly solvent/FT employed DINK, the van plan has always seemed really spendy every time I've priced it. Is there a cheaper way to rent/find temp. housing and run a cheaper and more reliable economy rig (or so close that it's not needed) and ditch the unreliable albatross? Not trying to be judgey...just a nudge if you're looking for one. I've not really tried to walk that walk.
John M

climber
Apr 18, 2013 - 12:10am PT
I was going to suggest a summer job at one of the national parks, but she still has the pooch and those don't go to well in national parks. Without the dog they can be a great way to make some money as many jobs come with housing. Tuolumne Meadows is fabulous in the summer. The Grand Canyon is pretty danged hot, but oh so gorgeous. Summer job.. get laid off at the end of the summer with some money in your pocket.
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