losing coolant - Nissan Xterra Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 11-14-2011, 05:56 AM Thread Starter
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losing coolant

my xterra is losing coolant and i think its either from head gasket or bolts that hold down lower intake.
ive done a lot of work on the x its a 3.3 but i cant seem to stop the coolant from leaking, I can smell it under the hood but it doesnt drip or anything.
when i replaced the lower intake gasket I noticed the bolts were crusty from old coolant, I wouldnt think they wouldnt hold coolant since the bolt itself has no sealer on the thread or anything. going off the idea this isnt right would it be head gasket or lower intake not seated properly ?
also on the passanger head all along where the head meets the the block theres old crust in a perfect line almost looks like the gaskets bigger then the heads and block. its on passanger but not driver head.

i was going to replace the passanger head gasket im just not sure if the coolant on the bolts is a bad lower intake gasket, head gasket or if the head may be bad causing fluid to leak in bolts.
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post #2 of 15 Old 11-14-2011, 09:08 AM
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I know this isn't a lot of help but if it were a head gasket leak then you would be able to tell by using a Block Tester (which you can get loaned to you by autozone) if your headgasket is leaking then there would be exhaust gases in the coolant system which will change the test flood color to indicate if so.

As for the intake gasket I am not really sure how to check those? But before you start replacing gaskets make sure all of your coolant system hoses and such aren't leaking anywhere because the coolant can get blown anywhere by the fan. Just feel along the bottom of all the hoses and such and see if there is any coolant on the bottom of anything like it has seeped out or something. Sorry if that isn't much help.

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Last edited by thanks28; 11-14-2011 at 12:50 PM. Reason: miss spelled
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post #3 of 15 Old 11-14-2011, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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I appreciate the info I guess you meant I can get the tester from autozone not Cant. I will try this tonite. Im thinking if the coolant is coming out of side of gasket and down side of block this test may not show though.

I remember reading a post sometime ago about these bolts having coolant on them but I cant find it and dont remember the outcome or reason.

any help/thoughts and experience are greatly appreciated
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post #4 of 15 Old 11-14-2011, 10:09 AM
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famous leak areas are the throttle body and the small L shaped hose that goes on the thermostat.

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post #5 of 15 Old 11-14-2011, 10:14 AM
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Does yours look like a leak similar to the one I have at the following link?
http://www.clubxterra.org/forums/showthread.php?t=33689

You can rent a block leak test at autozone, but it isn't a for sure thing. (also, when I rented one, they didn't have or sell the liquid you need for it, I had to go buy a bottle at napa). It will only tell you if you have a coolant leak that is getting into your combustion chamber, not if it's leaking out, onto the side of the engine. You can get a die you put into your coolant, and then you use a black light to see where its coming out. But if you can already see it on the side of the engine, you should be able to see where it's coming from. First thing I'd check are the two hoses on the back of the upper plenum, and the heater hoses. If your lucky, it's one of those, and not your head gasket. Another thing that I think helps, (I've never done it, but have one), you can use a leak down tester, to check for cylinder leaks. How much coolant are you going thru? Does your radiator stay full for a long time?

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post #6 of 15 Old 11-14-2011, 10:34 AM
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I've been having a similar problem. Since I bought it you could smell the coolant after a long drive and this summer it actually started over heating. Its leaked coolant twice and when it did it was ALOT. This has only happened after not letting it warm up properly.

As far it looks, I think its the the lower intake plenum gasket on the passenger side. Not sure if that helps you but there you go.

Mine's getting replaced this weekend, so hopefully it works out.

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post #7 of 15 Old 11-14-2011, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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the L / ? shaped hose to throttle body I did i swore that was the problem because it was wet but i cleaned the surfaces of the pipes it goes on and replaced now its dry but i still get the smell.

the 2 hoses on back of intake are also new ive replaced basically all hoses radiator and water pump.


@porsche did you resolve your leak in that picture ? problem is I dont see coolant anywhere I just smell it.
when i had the intake manifold off i saw old crust like coolant all along the gasket area where head meets block all along the whole length of the block but didnt look to be running down and nothing was wet but truck sat all nite too.
Im going to get the analyzer and also some die this way when i rip it apart I can put the light on it and see.

the bolts for the intake having crusty coolant on the is still puzzling me because i know the bolts themselves couldnt hold water so im nmot sure if somethings broke/cracked in the head or it just leaked down the bolt holes from somewhere else.
I guess if nothing more when i pull it back apart this weekend il have to take some pics of what imtalking about because i know it sounds confusing.


@xbetty thats about where i think mines leaking its hard to tell for sure though if its the manifold or head goodluck with yours definately post up on whats found im doing the work myself so not so bad but if your paying maybe throw some die in so once they get it all apart they cant put a light on to see its that intake gasket for sure.

Last edited by xfan11; 11-14-2011 at 10:38 AM.
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post #8 of 15 Old 11-14-2011, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XBetty View Post
I've been having a similar problem. Since I bought it you could smell the coolant after a long drive and this summer it actually started over heating. Its leaked coolant twice and when it did it was ALOT. This has only happened after not letting it warm up properly.

As far it looks, I think its the the lower intake plenum gasket on the passenger side. Not sure if that helps you but there you go.

Mine's getting replaced this weekend, so hopefully it works out.

Let us know what happens, and if you find anything else.

edit, re-read your post, it's running on the passenger side....

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Last edited by porsche4786; 11-14-2011 at 10:42 AM.
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post #9 of 15 Old 11-14-2011, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xfan11 View Post
the L / ? shaped hose to throttle body I did i swore that was the problem because it was wet but i cleaned the surfaces of the pipes it goes on and replaced now its dry but i still get the smell.

the 2 hoses on back of intake are also new ive replaced basically all hoses radiator and water pump.


@porsche did you resolve your leak in that picture ? problem is I dont see coolant anywhere I just smell it.
when i had the intake manifold off i saw old crust like coolant all along the gasket area where head meets block all along the whole length of the block but didnt look to be running down and nothing was wet but truck sat all nite too.
Im going to get the analyzer and also some die this way when i rip it apart I can put the light on it and see.

the bolts for the intake having crusty coolant on the is still puzzling me because i know the bolts themselves couldnt hold water so im nmot sure if somethings broke/cracked in the head or it just leaked down the bolt holes from somewhere else.
I guess if nothing more when i pull it back apart this weekend il have to take some pics of what imtalking about because i know it sounds confusing.


@xbetty thats about where i think mines leaking its hard to tell for sure though if its the manifold or head goodluck with yours definately post up on whats found im doing the work myself so not so bad but if your paying maybe throw some die in so once they get it all apart they cant put a light on to see its that intake gasket for sure.
My boyfriend is actually fixing it at his shop, so he does have all the fancy tools. I'll make sure to see what he finds and let you know.

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post #10 of 15 Old 11-14-2011, 10:45 AM
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[QUOTE=xfan11;462482]the L / ? shaped hose to throttle body I did i swore that was the problem because it was wet but i cleaned the surfaces of the pipes it goes on and replaced now its dry but i still get the smell.



im sorry i just dont understand what this means sir.

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