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Edward
Edward, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Volvo
Satisfied Customers: 2759
Experience:  I've had 10 years of experience on the car line at 2 Volvo dealerships, Quality level Volvo tech.
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Volvo Xc90: I have had coolant leak in my car mouths

Customer Question

I have had coolant leak in my car for 6 mouths now it has gradually gotten worse to the point where I am putting coolant in it up to 2 times a day. It is losing about a quart a day. It is a volvo xc90 twin turbo awd 2.9L 2004. I have taken it to volvo 2 times and pressure test comes back normal and a block engine test to test for exhaust fumes in the coolant that also came back normal. I have replaced the whole coolant expansion tank along with the cap also. I have also taken it to 2 other car places besides volvo. What could be wrong with it???
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Volvo
Expert:  Edward replied 7 months ago.
Hello, Eddie here and I will do my best to help. Is the floor board wet by chance? check it out good. thanks.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Nope already tried that not the heater core
Expert:  Edward replied 7 months ago.
Alright, and you've never any coolant under it after you park it?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
No puddle under the car either. Volvo told me there is no way it is a blown head gasket
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I have put cardboard under the car also to see if there is a leak
Expert:  Edward replied 7 months ago.
Alright, and you haven't noticed any white smoke out the tail pipe, and it runs fine correct?
Expert:  Edward replied 7 months ago.
Doesn't overheat?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Does not over heat. No white smoke.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Runs normal also
Expert:  Edward replied 7 months ago.
Alright, I believe it is going in the engine, because it doesn't leak externally, and there is none in the floorboard. I don't believe in magic so it has to be going somewhere! What I believe is going on by your symptoms, is the turbo is leaking internally and your losing some coolant through the turbo assembly. That is the only other explanation. There are coolant hoses that go to the turbo to help keep it cool. and that would be the only other explanation. You wouldn't see it in a headgasket test. as the coolant would be burned through the engine, and if it's just a small leak, you likely wouldn't see smoke out the tail pipe either. That is the only other explanation I can think of.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
How will that affect my car?
Expert:  Edward replied 7 months ago.
should be on the right hand side, these could have came with trasponder keys or without from what I am seeing on 2000 model. You don't have a spare key to try do you ?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Right hand side where? I bought it used. I only has the key that starts the car.
Expert:  Edward replied 7 months ago.
it might not have it, Is your ignition key just metal? or has it got black plastic on the end of it?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
It is the key that flips out of the black plastic with the lock, unlock, and panic button
Expert:  Edward replied 7 months ago.
Wait I'm sorry Emma, that key reply was for another question. The coolant entering the engine through the turbo may get progressively worse, and overtime it may cause the engine to set a misfire code. Does the transmission fluid look fine? only reason I ask, is there is a transmission cooler in the radiator. and if it broke, you would likely see globs of transmission fluid in the coolant, and the transmission fluid would look milky. But that is the only other thing I can think of.
Expert:  Edward replied 7 months ago.
Let me know if you have any further questions. Thank you.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
No there is not husband is a mechanic and has checked tranmission fluid and everything else he can think off. I think youre right about the coolant leaking into the turbo. That makes sense.
Expert:  Edward replied 7 months ago.
I mean that is the only other place it could go. especially if you've had a block test done and no hydrocarbon vapors were in the coolant.
Expert:  Edward replied 7 months ago.
Now I have seen them leak hot and not cold before. but since you put down cardboard, that kind of cancels that theory.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Forgot to mention it leaks at night while off.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
It leaks slightly while driving during the day but the coolant can be full and I go to drive it the next moring and the expansion tank is bone dry
Expert:  Edward replied 7 months ago.
Did you put cardboard under it at night and didn't notice anything?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Have not tried at night but have tried during the day when it had been sitting for 7 hours. If it was leaking on the cardboard shouldnt it have shown up on the pressure test?
Expert:  Edward replied 7 months ago.
yes, In my opinion, if it's leaking externally, It should show spots where parked, and show up on pressure test.
Expert:  Edward replied 7 months ago.
put that cardboard under it at night, and park it in a dry spot. see what you see there. If it doesn't show up then, I'm standing by my turbo leaking theory.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Should the leaky turbo show on pressure test? Thats the only other question I have
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
If it is internally leaking
Expert:  Edward replied 7 months ago.
No, it would not. it would likely only leak internally and still hold good pressure.