Coolant leak out of degas bottle and other problems - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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6.0L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the 6.0L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 2003-Up Super Duties and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 6.0L Power Stroke engine.

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Old 03-25-2010, 04:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Coolant leak out of degas bottle and other problems

Hi Everyone.

I'm just looking for some opinions on this. I have a 2005 F350 with a 6.0 Power Stroke. I just bought it about a month ago. Well I noticed that the coolant was a little on the low side, about an inch below the "low" mark on the degas bottle. So I added about 1/2 a gallon to it. Shortly after that I noticed that there was a little more while smoke than usual out of the exhaust, although it didn't smell sweet like you would expect if it was Anti-freeze. About a week later it was back down in the degas bottle. So I added another 1/2 gallon and it filled.

Shortly after doing that it started leaking coolant out of the degas bottle. I is now pouring coolant out of the degas bottle when running and after being stopped. It has lost about 3-5 gallons of anti-freeze. It has lost enough that the degas bottle is now completely empty and I have no heat.

I suspect the head gasket, as does my local Ford dealership. That being said, I still have to drive the truck as I have to get too and from work. The Ford dealership won't take the truck in for service until next week. I have yet to notice the temp gauge go any higher than usual.

On my way to work this morning I was going about 40MPH and when I let off the throttle the engine started to die, like the timing was retarded a lot. It recovered from this, but I have a feeling something is going to die soon, any ideas what causes this?

Any input is appreciated, and thankfully this truck is still under warranty. Do we think Ford is going to want to fix everything wrong with the truck?
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Old 03-25-2010, 05:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Without being able to see the vehicle I would guess that your EGR cooler has failed. Head gasket concerns do not cause coolant usage or white smoke on a 6.0L PSD rather you would have coolant loss from the degas bottle while driving. An EGR cooler will cause your coolant usage, white smoke and likely an EGR valve performance concern which could explain the "almost stalling" you experienced. When coolant reaches the EGR valve it makes the carbon on it sticky and the valve becomes slow to open and close. Under the wrong conditions, a stuck open EGR valve will cause the engine to run poorly and stall until it snaps closed. This is a common scenario. I advise you NOT to drive the truck if at all possible as serious engine damage can result or you could be left stranded in a parking lot if the engine hydrolocks. If it were my truck I would get it to the dealer's lot and ask them to get to it as soon as they can work it into their schedule - hopefully before your appointment date. At my dealer I do try to accomodate people when I can... but that is me.
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Old 03-25-2010, 05:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the update. I haven't seen any white smoke since I added coolant to it the second time. It just dumped coolant out of the degas bottle the second time. This makes me think it is a head gasket and not the EGR cooler... Perhaps it could be a combination of both?

It isn't smoking right now, but then again it's really low on anti-freeze.
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Old 03-25-2010, 05:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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FDr. I understand degas etc. But, want a bad h.g. also cause coolant to leak? TIA
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Old 03-25-2010, 05:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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FDr. I understand degas etc. But, want a bad h.g. also cause coolant to leak? TIA

A bad head gasket will cause coolant to be pushed out of the degas bottle... as combustion gasses displace coolant and excess pressure vents from the system throught the pressure cap... perhaps I mis understood the OP's post.
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Old 03-25-2010, 05:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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OK. On different problem, if h.g. is bad cant that cause coolant to leak between head/block? TIA.
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Old 03-25-2010, 06:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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FDr. I understand degas etc. But, want a bad h.g. also cause coolant to leak? TIA

A bad head gasket will cause coolant to be pushed out of the degas bottle... as combustion gasses displace coolant and excess pressure vents from the system through the pressure cap... perhaps I mis understood the OP's post.
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Old 03-25-2010, 07:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ok, so your ans. is NO. Coolant cant leak out between head/block if h.g. is bad. tks.
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Old 03-25-2010, 07:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Here's something for this thread and maybe there is a bit of contrary evidence but I believe that it is a true statement that whenever a leaky EGR cooler issue is suspected - it ALWAYS WITH NO EXCEPTION occurs because the oil cooler is plugged.
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Ok, so your ans. is NO. Coolant cant leak out between head/block if h.g. is bad. tks.
Head gasket issues on 6.0's leak combustion gas past the head gasket into cooling system. I have never seen a head gasket leak coolant into a cylinder or externally...not saying it will NEVER happen...but I haven't seen it yet.
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:20 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the info. At this point I would suspect it is a head gasket and the EGR cooler. Interestingly enough the EGR valve was replace about 3000 miles ago. So if it is already sticking I would suspect the EGR cooler was broken before they replaced the valve.

On another note I drove the truck into work today. It ran alright for a while, but then the fan came on fully and it didn't sound very happy. It's still running though and I have to get to work. The Ford dealership refuses to take it in any earlier than Monday. I wonder what they are going to do. I think the motor is cooking itself, but no noticeable smells of it overheating yet. By the time they get around to it on monday the damage will be already done. Fix the head gaskets and it's going to be something else.
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:48 AM   #12 (permalink)
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By the time they get around to it on monday the damage will be already done
Not their fault if something catastrophic were to happen to your engine... it is YOUR responsibility to know enough not to drive the truck if you know there is a problem. I understand and sympathize with your situation but common sense needs to be considered.
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Old 03-26-2010, 09:42 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I do not get it sometimes. A poster asks for advice because he does not know for sure. The great techs out there share their wisdom. The OP then debates. HUH...
I will offer this tidbit. On my 04 truck, when my egr cooler let go, it did the white smoke mosquito killer fog machine stuff, the egr valve stuck and the truck ran badly until we cleaned the egr valve. The engine fan never ramped up to speed. I did not change out the oil cooler at that time, bad plan. Fast forward 16000 miles. I was driving down the freeway, unloaded and not towing, with the truck running better than ever. All of a sudden the high speed engine fan went to full song. I had never heard this, even when towing our 12000 lb fiver. I pulled off the next exit to investigate. A thick green milk shake was dispensing itself out the degas tank and all over the engine and ground. Blown oil cooler. I fear the OP has now the same issue. The mess is huge and the cleanup/flush is a PITA. But....

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Old 03-26-2010, 10:48 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I understand what can cause degas to overflow. Dont mean to stray from orig. Q., but its FDR. reply. Why..

FWIW..H.G. done on mine..r/o says...Diagnois Eng. coolant leaks. Test found coolant "dripping from rear of both cyl." Head gskts & leaking egr cooler faulty. When I talked to tech. & looking at my eng (cyl 5&7) he said with shop foreman looking in, there's where water was dripping from bad h.g. Work done under warr. & fmc approved it. My reason for thinking coolant could leak externally from bad h.g. My degas never puked & coolant loss was hardly noticeable. Anyhow, repairs still good. Tks.
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:52 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I understand what can cause degas to overflow. Dont mean to stray from orig. Q., but its FDR. reply. Why..

FWIW..H.G. done on mine..r/o says...Diagnois Eng. coolant leaks. Test found coolant "dripping from rear of both cyl." Head gskts & leaking egr cooler faulty. When I talked to tech. & looking at my eng (cyl 5&7) he said with shop foreman looking in, there's where water was dripping from bad h.g. Work done under warr. & fmc approved it. My reason for thinking coolant could leak externally from bad h.g. My degas never puked & coolant loss was hardly noticeable. Anyhow, repairs still good. Tks.
To completely understand how unlikely an external coolant leak from a head gasket on a 6.0L engine is you might need to actually see a head gasket and see where the coolant passages are in relation to the heads and the block. Since the head gaskets are of layered steel construction they would need to be severely burnt or corroded away to cause a leak... the same can be said for the cylinder heads and block. Anything is possible in this world but to have both cylinder head gaskets leak EXTERNALLY there would have to be some fairly severe damage to parts other than just the gaskets. Since "we" never even see coolant enter the cylinders when head gaskets leak combustion gasses into the cooling system, I conclude that short of Divine intervention, an external coolant leak from the head gaskets on a 6.0L PSD is nearly impossible.

There are other scenarios that may have confused the technician that worked on your truck that may have led him to that conclusion... no disrespect toward him is intended.
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