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This minivan is constantly loosing coolant, but I don't see it going anywhere. Meaning I don't see any evidence of dripping or pooling underneath. Does it just evaporate? The rate of loss is, I may see it go from Full on the reservoir to Low, within a week. And that's without even much driving.

Also, can I put just regular green coolant in it? There's a note on the coolant cap and in the manual that says it needs some special coolant, like SL-22 or something like that. I have been using a pre-diluted bottle of coolant that's labeled for Asian vehicles, but I just ran out, and I have another bottle of green coolant concentrate that I'm wondering if I can use, but it needs to be diluted.

It also smells and feels like it's running hot all the time. It was running low on oil for awhile, but I just got it changed/filled, and it still smells like it's running hot, even on full oil and coolant. I was going to put that in a separate question but it seems related to the coolant loss.

Any ideas?

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There are generally 3 places for coolant to go:

  1. Out of the system and onto the ground.
  2. Into the oil system.
  3. Into the combustion chamber and out the tailpipe.

It appears that #1 is not the issue as this is usually obvious. But check carefully anyway as it may be dripping onto the exhaust and being vaporized. You should smell the coolant in this case and may hear a hissing noise as it hits the hot exhaust.

#2 can usually be spotted by having a milky froth under the oil fill cap. This needs IMMEDIATE attention as the coolant will sink to the bottom of the oil pan and be pumped into the oil system instead of actual oil. Your engine can be severely damaged in a very short time!!

#3 can often be detected by seeing white smoke out the exhaust sometimes with a smell of coolant. But the definitive test is an exhaust gas analyzer.

Both 2 and 3 can be caused by a head gasket or more serious problems like a cracked block or head, or a warped block or cylinder head.

A history of overheating can cause any of the above. A head gasket problem can sometimes happen all on its own.

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