found spots on driveway, located multiple leaks - Nissan Armada Forum: Armada & Infiniti QX56 Forums
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#1 Old 03-27-2010, 05:24 PM
lunchberray
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found spots on driveway, located multiple leaks

i'll try to keep the story short:

we bought our 07 black armada back in january. since the ground has been covered with snow the past several months, we never saw any leaks, but now that its melted, our driveway is covered with oil stains. i crawled under the Mada and found it covered in what appeared to be either Power Steering fluid or Transmission fluid. i did a thorough job cleaning it up and took it for a spin to get it to leak again and find the leak. came back, covered in the fluid again. i got on here and started going thru other peoples threads on similar issues and began my search to find the ever so popular trans cooler leak. yup. i had the one. but my fluid was leaking from higher up than that, so i kept looking. i have located the common trans cooler leak, a power steering cooler tube leak, and a seperate trans cooler leak that is oozing coolant. here are a few pics with some decriptions in case anyone else has similar problems in the future and needs some guidance.

the car was purchased certified pre-owned from Russ Darrow Nissan in Milwaukee, WI on Brown Deer Road. they are telling me it won't be covered because there is not a warranty on the vehicle. Ironically, I am still waiting for my OLD warranty to be refunded to me from my last Armada because the previous dealer says they dont have my adress (odd, since i mailed them a letter from my current address and put my address and phone number on the letter) so now I am stuck in between warranties. both of these will be EASY fixes, but its the principle of the matter, i shouldnt HAVE to fix it, they should. anyway, on to the pics.

here is where i located the comon leak many others have. coming from the tiny hose, red fluid, lightweight. when the vehicle is running, this hose would slide back to the bead in the tube from the pressure. until i get a new clamp, i slid the current clamp back about an inch to keep the rubber line from sliding back and it also slowed down the leak DRAMATICALLY from having new rubber to contact. simple fix: new clamp just like everyone says.


still leaking fluid, i traced it up as high as i cold and this was the highest spot the red fluid was coming from. the power steering cooler lines that are mounted to the frame rail. adjusted the clamps quickly, problem did not go away.


while i was peering in thru the grille, i also located this leak coming from the passenger side of the trans cooler. it is obviously the coolant, but the wierd thing about it is that it is very thick, almost as if it has a leak-stop agent in it, which tells me the dealer KNEW about the problem and rather than fixing it, just threw in a bottle of rad-leak stop and called it a day. thanks jerks.


heres another angle of the trans cooler leak.


ok, time to go to work, so i removed the bumper, cleaned her up really good. took her for a spin and identified this to be the exact spot the PS fluid leak is coming from. note that before the picture, i dried it off a little bit. the fluid was leaking from under the frame bracket that holds the lines down.


aaaaand a little better pic of the trans cooler leak.


i slid back the bracket on the PS cooler lines and found this pinhole knick in the left line. it is a nearly perfectly shaped knick, as if the bracket was too tight and cut the line.


ironically, the leak was not coming from the previous pinhole. it was ACTUALLY coming from right here. the top of the right side line has been completely worn down in one spot by the bracket. it leaks with the vehicle running at a relatively rapid rate. with the vehicle not running, it kind of just oozes.


i called the dealership about the specific leaks and metioned the TSBs on the PS leaks and TRans cooler leaks. problem is they are about an hour drive away from me. Both leaks will be getting a dab of JB weld to stop the leak so I can make it down to the dealership. if they have a problem with my trailer trash fix, they can suck a fat one, because i have a sneaking suspicion they knew about both leaks and just tried to cover it up.
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#2 Old 03-27-2010, 07:34 PM
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I believe they knew about the leaks. Because when they buy a truck from the auction or a trade in they have to check 170 points so they could rip you off some more like. Yes our truck is worth 17k but because you got so many leaks we can only offer you 10k.

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#3 Old 03-27-2010, 07:35 PM
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PS. great job on finding out what was the problem

2012 Titan PRO4X S&B cai, 2* Advance Timing, 6500k HID, 1000w sub with 500w rms amp, 18" XD RockStars with 33" BF Trails, BD GT, Volant Double Exhaust,
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#4 Old 03-27-2010, 08:20 PM
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update: the JB weld did not even stick to it enough to seal the leak, so that wont work. I'm going to have to either buy a whole new tube or just replace the tube with a longer section of hose to get it running. the JB didnt stick to the trans cooler leak either. i basically just wasted my whole entire day with no result other than locating the leak. gay.
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#5 Old 03-27-2010, 09:08 PM
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Excellent post and pictures!

I am 3 weeks into owning an '07 LE 4x4. 2 days ago I noticed coolant was splashing the engine manifold cover, battery, all the hoses in that area and a bit up under the hood. The splash marks provided no clue where the originating leak was, although the cap was a prime suspect. I ended up taking it to Nissan and they did a pressure test. Bad radiator cap.

Today, I changed oil and switched over to Mobil1 full synthetic. When I dropped the skid plate, I saw coolant had collected at the bottom edges of the radiator and as in your first pic, I saw greasy grime on that small hose. I thought it was a bit strange that the "grease" covering the hose started at the clamped end and only went as far as the next hose hanger. Nothing else had that greasy look to it, but since there was coolant around from the previous leak, I attributed it to that and cleaned it up.

Looks like I get to go back under tomorrow and pull the skid plate again.

Question on replacing the clamp - when I pop that hose off there, what's the procedure? Just put a finger over the hole, replace the clamp and put the hose back on? This is tranny fluid?

BTW, this would be a good candidate to be a sticky post!

Jeff

- - - - - - - - - - - -
'07 LE 4x4, Injen PowerFlow intake, SuperChips tuned, Borla dual exhaust, Bilstein struts, Michelin LTX MS2's, PowerSlot slotted rotors/Akebono pads, Goodridge SS brake lines, KMC-XD Monster rims, Viper remote start.


Last edited by tchjts1; 03-27-2010 at 09:11 PM.
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#6 Old 03-27-2010, 11:19 PM
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as far as plugging the hoses, ive used various items to do the trick in the past, things like a socket driver, a battery, screwdriver, a bolt with a tapered head with no threads etc. basically anything you have around the house that is cylindrical and fits will work since its only temporary until you replace the hose where it belongs.
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#7 Old 03-28-2010, 09:49 AM
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Guess there is really no need to pop the hose off at all. The old clamp can just be slid back and cut off with a decent pair of shears. The new worm-gear clamp can be opened all the way until the ends separate, put on the hose and thread back in.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
'07 LE 4x4, Injen PowerFlow intake, SuperChips tuned, Borla dual exhaust, Bilstein struts, Michelin LTX MS2's, PowerSlot slotted rotors/Akebono pads, Goodridge SS brake lines, KMC-XD Monster rims, Viper remote start.

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#8 Old 03-28-2010, 08:38 PM
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Got the small hose clamp replaced today and changed the fluid on both the front and rear diff's while I was down there. The front wasn't too bad. Rear was pretty grody, but no metal chunks. The drain plug magnet was loaded with "goo" though.

Anyway, I took the time to clean my skid plate on the engine side and made it spotless. Took it out for about a 15 mile drive and then looked down at the skid plate. Of course there are some coolant drops back on the skid plate again. This would be looking straight down where the air intake is. Anyone have a clue as to which hose might be contributing to this? I'd say it is less than a teaspoon worth of coolant, if even that much.

I've been looking around under there for 2 days now and simply cannot pinpoint where this is coming from. I suspect that if I pull the skid plate again, I am going to see minor amounts of coolant clinging to the bottom inside edge of the radiator, to the right of the infamous small hose that leaks.

I took these pictures earlier today prior to cleaning up the moist areas:


On this photo of the hose, the top of the pic is the highest point that shows any coolant marks. (The clamp on the small hose was replaced with a worm-gear clamp after this pic was taken)


- - - - - - - - - - - -
'07 LE 4x4, Injen PowerFlow intake, SuperChips tuned, Borla dual exhaust, Bilstein struts, Michelin LTX MS2's, PowerSlot slotted rotors/Akebono pads, Goodridge SS brake lines, KMC-XD Monster rims, Viper remote start.


Last edited by tchjts1; 03-28-2010 at 08:53 PM.
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#9 Old 03-28-2010, 11:19 PM
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if i had to guess i would say that structurally your radiator has a flaw in it like mine did if you cant find a leaking hose. seems to be a pretty weak cooling system on these things if you ask me...
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#10 Old 03-29-2010, 12:52 AM
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The sad thing is, I paid the local Nissan shop $65 to pressure test the coolant system when I was seeing (light) coolant spray marks around the top of the radiator last week. They found the radiator cap was bad and replaced it.

I suspect they took the easy way out and as soon as they saw the cap was leaking, they didn't search for any further leaks. I'm going to call them tomorrow and see if they will do a no-cost pressure test to find any remaining leaks since they did not do a thorough job first time around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lunchberray
if i had to guess i would say that structurally your radiator has a flaw in it like mine did...
So what have you done about yours? Replace the radiator? If so, what was the cost? I do have the extended warranty, by the way.



.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
'07 LE 4x4, Injen PowerFlow intake, SuperChips tuned, Borla dual exhaust, Bilstein struts, Michelin LTX MS2's, PowerSlot slotted rotors/Akebono pads, Goodridge SS brake lines, KMC-XD Monster rims, Viper remote start.


Last edited by tchjts1; 03-29-2010 at 12:54 AM.
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