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Another Coolant mishap....leak

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Well, not as bad as it could have been. ( '06 CTTS w/Coolant pipe update but not sure about the plastic T pipes) Driving last night I thougt I saw a little steam (cold night) coming from the front when stopped at a light. Bad things crossed my mind but forgot about it until this morning when I started her up and the low coolant light comes on in the Display. I checked it and it took about 3qts to bring the level up but no leak showing? I thought I'll drive it up to temp and see if the pressure forces it out of her, still bad possibilites in my mind. Well as it turned out the fluid started to drip down the right side engine compartment frame rail when hot. After removing the right side plastic engine compartment trim pieces I see it's leaking from underneath the Coolant Reservoir. I pull the Reservoir hoping it was a slight hose split but it turns out the Reservoir is leaking from the seam where the friction welded the two pieces together. Well, only about $54 from Sonnen plus shipping, so she is down for a few days until the new Reservoir comes. The part number suffix has been superseded from .22 to .23 from the one in my PET so I'm not sure if it is improved in anyway. What a relief though.

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I actually have a car lift in my detached garage which makes it handy although initially I was able to crawl under the Cayenne with it raised to the high ride height position (Air Suspension). Greg at Sonnen got it shipped within 3 hours of calling him and had it to me in a couple of days.

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  • 6 months later...

Just had this (leak) happened to my 04 CTT, "check coolant level" red warning followed by "engine overheating" red warning. Stopped the car 500 meters down the road, checked under the hood, not much coolant left in the tank.

Other than checking the reservoir and maybe order the suncoast coolant pipe repair kit (might as replace the plastic pipes), is there anything I should have replaced at the same time? Water pump and such?


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I replaced one of the plastic T pipes in the back of the engine with a metal pipe from the hardware store after having it fail twice.. I wish I could find a way to change the remaining plastic piece to metal as well.

The reservoir is easy to swap out but the porsche pink coolant is expensive and you cant mix it with the stuff they sell at the auto store.

If you are going to change the coolant pipes to the aluminum ones, make sure to suck out all the fluid first. I spilled a little while I was using my shop vac to suck the broken plastic pieces out from under the intake and the fluid ate through a transmission seal that I couldnt change myself so I ended up spending money to get that fixed.

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  • 3 months later...

The coolant pipes of my 06 CTTS were replaced by P-service at 65K back in 2010 (had holes). Now, 10K later I am facing another cooling issue, which I just started investigating. All started with my desire to ride the truck in the sand dunes while traveling back from SoCal to NorCal (a sort of substitute for not having my MX bike with me on the family trip). Just before the sand part I checked and found all fluid levels ok. I had plenty of digging and drifting fun for a half an hour, and only noticed that for a short period of time the water went close to 220K and oil close to 250K, but going down as soon as I moved. Well, about a mile from that and another 30min break I checked coolant again, finding below min, and even though I added approx. 4Liters (all I had with me at that moment) the coolant level indicator came after a few 100 feet.... Bought more distilled water and ended up with a adding a total of approx 8 Liters to bring to level... I saw the car leaking on the right side, but the fewer, the cooler the engine got. Over 100miles I frequently checked and overall added about 0.5L more to stay on level. The temps remained stable and almost perfectly in the middle (off by less then needle wide). Back home I spent half day cleaning the car inside and out form sand, I started to dig for the remaining leak (250mL/day not moving the car). So far I did not find any visually broken lines, but most of the big mess appear around the reservoir (most solid residues of evaporating water, a water puddle in the shallow cavity right below the reservoir, and I can feel that rear part of the reservoir perimeter is wet along the join seam (upper/lower reservoir tank body) while all other parts are dry. This lets me hope that the reservoir is bad, but in turn I am a bit concerned about this to happen not even close to the red Temp mark, and that maybe there are more vulnerable parts involved . I definetly will double-check the rear motor further, but I am wondering how much i.e reservoir cap valve itself / thermostat failure can contribute to what happened to my car... Any advice would be appreciated….

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my 04CTT had 3 coolant leak

1st time was the T behind the engine

2nd time was the expansion tank (mine did not fail at the seam/joint, rather, it happend at bottom of the tank only visible under pressure, you might want to check it out)

3rd time was the small relief valve at the bottom of the radiator. it is a blue plastic plug thingy on passenger side. not directly visible under the car. I think it was hiding behine a metal piece if my memory serves me right.

pipes were replaced by previous owner.

btw, i saw on youtube last night the guy put food powder near suspected area and detects the leakage, I think it is pretty smart.

good luck

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Well thanks for the comment. I figured a way to get the Reservoir out and it indeed did leak from the seam at different locations. Received the parts and coolant within a day, and re-assembled the whole thing yesterday. The system is not leaking anymore, and the remaining task will be to find a place to get old coolant disposed before I can replace it.

Overall I split the job over 2 vacation days, where-off most of the time I did spend analyzing function of components and how things are assembled and of course removing more parts then needed. Looking into these things is always interesting and entertaining to me since I normally analyze very complex systems on the nano-scale while getting hands off the computer keyboard and some physical workout hanging under the car for free. However, as a car non-expert I always wish to find more information on rather trivial looking steps, and since I could find nothing specific about the reservoir replacement , I compiled a picture documentation of how I did the 2006 CTTS coolant reservoir replacement job. Hope this might be useful for others too.

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