Burning coolant, but not headgaskets? - Subaru WRX Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-22-2015, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Burning coolant, but not headgaskets?

Hey guys,

Question about my 02 wrx. I got it about a month and a half ago, and it's been running great, but I'm having an issue. I'm going through small amounts of coolant, like maybe a cup or two every two weeks, and it's becoming a problem. I know it's getting into the combustion chamber somehow, because I can see the billowing white smoke when I push it, but there doesn't seem to be any loss of power. At first I was nearly positive it was a head gasket issue, because white smoke, drop in coolant levels (although seemingly sporadic), random stalling out, and the other day it misfired on cylinder 2. However, there is no antifreeze in the oil, and there are no exhaust fumes in the radiator. I bought a combustion leak tester kit, and did it twice; fluid stayed blue. I recently had the turbo, fuel injectors and pump changed, so I'm thinking that maybe the person who changed it didn't put all the hoses back on properly, or maybe i'm leaking somewhere? I'm at a loss here, and I was wondering if you guys could offer any insight. Thanks
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-22-2015, 07:32 PM
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I wonder if the old clamps were reused on some of the cooling hoses that are buried on the back side of the engine (connecting to the turbo). That was one of the annoying problems when I had my turbo installed (years ago). It was hard to diagnose because the heat from the turbo and engine would evaporate the coolant before it ever reached the ground. If you can get the car on a lift and do some inspecting with a flashlight, look for trails of "cooked" (evaporated) coolant. You may have to clean grime off some areas first and come back and inspect after a few days or so. Anyway, old clamps, old hose, I hope it might be that "simple".

Matt
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-23-2015, 03:58 PM
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May I ask why you had the Turbo changed? Were there problematic symptoms? Or simply a performance upgrade?
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-24-2015, 05:27 PM
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You can try a dye test with the coolant.... Might point you in the right direction.

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post #5 of 10 Old 02-24-2015, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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I wasn't able to put it up on a lift, because sadly I don't have one available, but I crawled underneath the turbo. Wasn't really able to see much, so i'll probably end up dying the coolant to see if I can more easily identify it that way. Also took some pics, a part of my fmic was looking really green, right before it went into the turbo. Dunno if just old and dirty, but I pulled it off and took some pics. That seem ridiculously dirty to anyone else? Looked like oil on the inside. Also noticed that a coolant line is going directly into the turbo. Assuming that's as it should be.

Yeah, I had the turbo replaced for a big 16g. Just wanted to make a faster car. My uncle's building a chevelle, and he did a 12.3 with a camaro he built a couple years ago. I'm only at about 270 whp now, but I have hopes of being able to beat him before the summer is out haha
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-25-2015, 08:33 AM
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there sure are a lot of white splotches (dried liquid) on the top of your radiator and (what looks like a spray pattern on top of your) belt cover...

Matt
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-25-2015, 08:37 AM
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Cracked radiator and I bet they reused the copper crush washers when they reinstalled the turbo.
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-25-2015, 11:30 AM
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Looks like your radiator might be leaching, the white dried up bits on top. in any case it looks like its new radiator time.

Just to make the whole process easier grab a bottle of simple green and go to town under your hood, rinse and repeat as necessary until everything is nice and clean then add water until your resevior is filled and run the car till it warms up, That should make it pretty easy to spot the leak if everything is nice a clean.

As for that dirty FMIC piping they call that blow-by, it happens when the turbo lets small amounts of oil through the compressor side and into your IC. how many miles do you have on that setup? some oil blow by is normal but that does look like a lot especially if you have a front mounted intercooler. I would think that your FMIC would catch most of that oil and very little would make it all the way back up to your throttle body. Speaking of your FMIC might have more than a bit of oil in it. If you have that much blow by in your pre-throttle body piping I can only imagine how much is stuck down in your intercooler. You might want to take the time to simple green the inside of your IC while you are at it.

hope you get it figured out.

- Jason
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-25-2015, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks a lot guys. Just ordered a mishimoto radiator online, as recomended per nasioc forums, and hopefully this fixes everything. Would that explain the excessive white smoke from my tailpipe while under load as well?

I just bought the car, I honestly have no idea how many miles are on the fmic. I'll be sure to clean it out though, I'm sure it can't hurt. And thanks a lot for the in depth explanation
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-26-2015, 08:12 AM
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Excessive white smoke under load is not a good sign. White smoke is a sign of coolant burning if im not mistaken, and it can only get into the exhaust like that through the head gaskets or possibly the turbo. Im not 100% on that though.
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