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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello, I've noticed my coolant level dipping a bit over a couple months so last night I filled it to about two thirds between Low and Full in the overflow reservoir. The car hadn't been run a whole day before that. Today when I checked again, the level had dropped to about half way between Low and Full. During all this time, the car was sitting in the garage and wasn't started at all. The temperature was down to about 10 degrees F last night and in the teens during the day today. Can this be attributed to the cold? No signs of leaks. The upper radiator hose had a leak that was taken care of last year. The water pump was replaced last spring. Any ideas?
 

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i would think this can be attributed to cold. coolant level going up and down is quite normal. if you're not finding any coolant on the floor of your garage, you're probably fine.

also keep in mind that if you fill the reservoir while cold to the max line, that will change when the coolant gets hot. it'll expand, level goes up and if theres too much it'll puke it out the overflow. when you're cold again the level goes down.

at this point i would not worry about a pressure test only because getting one isn't the cheapest tool and spending money at a shop for this is unnecessary at this point. while its COLD i would open the rad cap and see if the rad is full. if so, go for a drive and get it hot to bring the reservoir level up. see how high it gets. once its cold the next day, see if the level is the same as when you started with all this.
 

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Do you still have the factory squeeze clamps on the rad hoses.

The aluminum glycol inlet pipes have a tendency to get white deposits and start flaking; it's actually corrosion.

Wire brush sand/scotch brite back to bare material and switch to gear clamps which can be tightened.

The heat of the engine evaporates small leaks in summer; glycol tends to accumulate on top of automatic transmission if you have a leak on the 3.5.

The hot/cold marks are the common expansion/contraction range from operating temperature to approx 32F, so yeah you will see level jump in reservoir approx 1.5" or so, in winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I will be sure to check the other factory clamps on the radiator. But will the radiator draw fluid into it from the reservoir when the car is off simply by gravity, or does it need to be sucked into it? If my coolant level drops while just sitting it means the issue would have to be before the thermostat at the very least since it would be closed right?

When I checked the level this morning it was about the same as yesterday, and seeing as how the temperature has remained steady at around 22 degrees, maybe it is just temperature contraction?
 

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I will be sure to check the other factory clamps on the radiator. But will the radiator draw fluid into it from the reservoir when the car is off simply by gravity, or does it need to be sucked into it? If my coolant level drops while just sitting it means the issue would have to be before the thermostat at the very least since it would be closed right?

When I checked the level this morning it was about the same as yesterday, and seeing as how the temperature has remained steady at around 22 degrees, maybe it is just temperature contraction?
I have a feeling it might have to do with barometric pressure too.
 

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It could be the temperature drop, but it could also be a slight leak. The only way to properly test it is to pressure test. I know that's how I found out about my leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The temp was back up in the 40s today and the fluid seems to be a bit higher than yesterday. Hopefully it's just weather related. Thanks for all the input on it guys!
 

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The temp was back up in the 40s today and the fluid seems to be a bit higher than yesterday. Hopefully it's just weather related. Thanks for all the input on it guys!
I've had to periodically pour some new fluid in the overflow tank- about once every two to three years. And I've never had a leak I've detected.
 

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I have had a table spoon or so show up on top of tranny a few times.

First I switched to gear clamps with mixed results; then sbr11 mention sanding down the white deposits on the inlet/outlet pipes.

It was more of a drip on several connections on élantra and Santa Fe.
Cleaning up hose joint surfaces fixed problem completely.
 
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