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Yo.
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Discussion Starter #1
While driving my car to a relative's yesterday, I thought it lacked a bit of power. Took a look under the hood, popped the radiator cap.

20181105_201646.jpg


You car guys are probably cringing hard right now.
 

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I'm trying to figure out why you popped the rad cap, was it overheating? :)
 

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You can also buy red coolant but that does look a little darker than it should. My diesel specific coolant is red. Id also be checking the dip stick and oil cap for frothy milkshake like substances which would be coolant mixing with oil.

If oil is low and it is not burning oil or dripping from somewhere, good chance it is a cracked head or blown head gasket. Both will give you lack of power and sometimes white smoke out the tailpipe. Overheating from seized water pump could cause the head to crack or vice versa.

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My money is on the tranny cooler in the rad failing.

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Any chance it's rust? I had a truck that got rust in the coolant back in the 90's. It actually rusted out a frost plug. They had to lift the engine to put in a new frost plug as the truck frame was in the way.
 

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Usually the head gasket crack will cause the rad fluid to turn brown check one of your spark plugs to see if you have any fluid in the block.
 

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Coolant looks fairly mixed. I doubt that tranny oil and coolant would mix like that. You said the car seemed to lack power. I wouldn't set my focus on the cooling system but take it somewhere trusted for a proper analysis.
 

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Occasional CEO
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Previous cars I've owned required "Dexcool" as the coolant, which is orange in colour. Looked pretty much exactly like your picture. Are you sure your car doesn't use Dexcool? Or, perhaps someone did a coolant change and used Dexcool by mistake? If someone mixed Dexcool with traditional anti-freeze by mistake, that is a serious problem. It basically turns into a gel and gums everything up, which may damage your entire cooling system.
 

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Yo.
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Discussion Starter #18
It's not dexcool. My uncle also happens to be my mechanic, so he knew what went into it and immediately knew it was wrong. When we drained the rad and tranny, I could see the unmixed coolant was green, tranny oil red. Ignore my poor alignment of the oil pan!

20181105_201841.jpg
 

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Just to add confusion, some Mercedes use blue coolant.
The good old green stuff is pretty much obsolete these days with the exception of HD applications.

Green stuff tends to serve as an electrolyte in the presence of dissimilar metals (in the case of automotive applications that would be cast iron and aluminum) which was a primary culprit for all the head gasket failures experienced by all manufacturers during the 80-90s. GM was the first to address it with DexCool.


What kind of vehicle is this ?
 
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