mysterious one-time coolant loss - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
V-Strom Service and Maintenance Questions and Discussions Share your service and maintenance information-questions. Please include your year and model in the text of your post.

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 4 Old 08-23-2013, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
Stromthusiast!
 
dtalk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The Northwet, U.S.
Posts: 2,275
mysterious one-time coolant loss

Hmm. My stone-axe reliable '08 Wee with 45k miles had an odd issue on a recent trip.

I rode from Seattle to Pocatello, ID, which is about 750 miles. Temp was in the mid-90s for most of the trip; definitely not as hot as my previous trip to Boise a few weeks ago.

I parked it for a few days while vacationing. During return trip prep, I noticed coolant was a bit lower than usual, so I topped it off with Prestone 50/50 and thought nothing of it, then headed to Boise, which is about 250 miles from Pocatello. I stayed in Boise that night. In the morning, I found the coolant recovery tank bone-dry.

I immediately checked everywhere I could for evidence of a leak, and found none: no streaking or clean spots in the dust at or under any of the hose connections, pressurized or not, as far as I could see. I opened the radiator cap and saw that the radiator looked full and the cap and seal appeared undamaged and unremarkable. I didn't drain the oil, but what I could see in the sight glass didn't look abnormal in color or quantity. The overall temp on that section of the trip had been easily the lowest of the last 1200 miles; probably lower 90s or upper 80s and mostly overcast. The fan works; I've heard it at stop lights. The engine temp has never exceeded the usual 3 bars, and the engine runs just fine.

I bought another gallon of Prestone 50/50 (having left the other one in Pocatello, natch) and filled the recovery tank to a smidge over the full line, strapped the bottle to my seat just in case, and continued my trip. I checked it at each stop, and after dropping back to the hot-full line, it stayed where it was supposed to. After reaching Seattle and parking the bike overnight, I checked again cold, and it's at the low mark, which has been normal for the last 44k miles.

Soooo, I searched the forum and found some similar, but not identical, problem reports. The one-time loss of a large amount of coolant seems unusual. With the fairing off, I found that many of the hose clamps were looser than I'd expect, and tightened them a bit. Replacing the radiator cap and thermostat might not be a bad idea.

I will submit an oil sample to rule out an internal leak (and will watch for the obvious signs of contamination when I drain it), but I'd expect it to be constant if it were a head gasket, cracked case, or other internal failure.

Recent maintenance: About 4000 miles ago, I had the valves checked, so the case was opened then (none needed adjustment). 3000 miles ago, I replaced the spark plugs (the old ones looked good) and changed the oil.

Is there anything I've failed to consider? This is bizarre.

Last edited by dtalk; 08-23-2013 at 05:24 PM.
dtalk is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 4 Old 08-23-2013, 06:17 PM
Stromthusiast!
 
Kelly2012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: So Cal.
Posts: 872
With cooling systems, generally I've found that cold temperatures cause more leaks when sitting overnight than hot temperatures during operation.


Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
Kelly2012 is offline  
post #3 of 4 Old 08-23-2013, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
Stromthusiast!
 
dtalk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The Northwet, U.S.
Posts: 2,275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly2012 View Post
With cooling systems, generally I've found that cold temperatures cause more leaks when sitting overnight than hot temperatures during operation.
Right ... forgot to mention that I never found any coolant on the ground at any stop or overnight parking.
dtalk is offline  
 
post #4 of 4 Old 09-10-2013, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
Stromthusiast!
 
dtalk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The Northwet, U.S.
Posts: 2,275
oil report

I received the oil analysis today, and there's no evidence of coolant contamination (yay!).

Sooo, I have ordered and received all the coolant hoses and related bits, including a radiator cap and a thermostat, and will replace them all. Suzuki says the radiator hoses should be replaced at 4 years, and this bike is over 5. I'll also double check the condition of the fan and its switch. After that, I'll call it good. *shrug*
dtalk is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome