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Old 05-08-2021, 03:45 PM   #1
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CAT C13 coolant consumption

My coach has a 2005 C13 CAT engine with 96+ K miles. I have noticed it uses a little coolant over the span of a year. I run CAT ELC. Is this normal?
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Old 05-08-2021, 06:10 PM   #2
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Since a coolant overflow tank is open to the air a bit of evaporation from hot coolant is normal. I mean perhaps a pint-quart a year depending on mileage per year.
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:34 PM   #3
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My coach has a 2005 C13 CAT engine with 96+ K miles. I have noticed it uses a little coolant over the span of a year. I run CAT ELC. Is this normal?
Bill
I would pull a coolant sample if you have never changed it. I send my into Cat just before we headed to Arizona and the sample came back high in iron and copper so I had to have it changed before we left. If you are running Cat coolant after a period of time you will need to add an extender to bring it up to speck. You might check your radiator cap, I would just change it because if it does not make a good seal, it will leak.
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Old 05-09-2021, 08:11 AM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback all.

Floyd, the coolant is a year old with barely a 1k miles. I will check the radiator cap. It appears to be in good shape with established wear lines in the rubber. I pressure on the spring seems ok. Do you have recommendation on a replacement?

We leave Sat for WI. We are looking forward to going home. All my best to you and Joyce!
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Old 05-09-2021, 08:36 AM   #5
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I would suggest changing the pressure cap, it's inexpensive and you will know that is not the cause. Just looking at the gasket on the cap or pushing on the spring in not sufficient.


I don't know how your CAT radiator system is set up, but on my Cummins powered coach, the "overflow" tank is metal, has a sight-glass, and the cap sits on top. There is no access for unpressurized coolant to be exposed to the air for possible evaporation. When I first got the coach, I was losing a little coolant which could be seen dripping from the bottom rear. I replaced the cap, which looked fine, and have not had an issue since.



The amount you are losing seems very small, but it is still a loss. It may be difficult for you to detect coolant dripping out the overflow tube unless you watch it while the engine is running and hot, and even then may not see it because it is such a small amount. Still, if you inspect the bottom opening of the tube just after a long journey, you may find it moist. If that's the case, coolant is escaping and the cap is the problem.
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Old 05-09-2021, 08:46 AM   #6
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Thank you Larry! My overflow is in front as you open the rear doors. The cap is not on top but faces aft, next to a vertical scale that allows you to see the level. Again, any recommendations on where to get a replacement? Or do I go to NAPA with cap in hand?

Thanks again!
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Old 05-09-2021, 09:29 AM   #7
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Thank you Larry! My overflow is in front as you open the rear doors. The cap is not on top but faces aft, next to a vertical scale that allows you to see the level. Again, any recommendations on where to get a replacement? Or do I go to NAPA with cap in hand?

Thanks again!
Take the cap in to NAPA. Should be a fairly universal size, and you need only to match the factory pressure rating which should be stamped on the cap. This is assuming you have a standard-type metal radiator cap. I am not familiar with how CAT or CC sets up the cooling system.
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Old 05-09-2021, 09:43 AM   #8
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Since your leak is minimal I would clean off around the radiator cap, run it for a few thousand miles and then see if there is any residue around the cap. If there is that's probably your issue. I would also check all of the clamps on the radiator hoses. The worm gear type clamps everyone seems to love have a problem with loosening up after a few years due to the rubber shrinking underneath them and creating a leak. I had a 1983 Escort where I was smelling coolant every time I opened the hood when the engine was hot. It drove me nuts. I finally found that the top radiator hose clamp had residue around it from a little tiny leak. I tightened the hose clamp about a half a turn and the leak went away. You may have the same sort of thing going on. You can also have the cap pressure checked. I don't know if auto parts stores can do it but cooling system pressure checkers have an adapter where you can check the cap pressure. Good luck.
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Old 05-09-2021, 10:36 AM   #9
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The cap looks generic with the number 16 stamped in the center. I assume that represents the pounds. What I do not know is the correct pounds.
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Old 05-09-2021, 10:39 AM   #10
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The cap looks generic with the number 16 stamped in the center. I assume that represents the pounds. What I do not know is the correct pounds.
The "16" is the lbs. rating.
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Old 05-09-2021, 11:31 AM   #11
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In my research my C13 calls for a 13 or 16 pound. Duh?? Unfortunately I won’t get a clear answer until tomorrow when I call. The cap on it is a 16 lb from NAPA. Thank you all.
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Old 05-09-2021, 12:27 PM   #12
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Just go to NAPA and get a new 16lb cap. You can rig up a catch can so the rubber hose coming off the cap runs into a bottle, that will catch any coolant that comes from the cap area. I got a new 16lb cap last year.

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Old 05-09-2021, 01:56 PM   #13
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Thanks Floyd! Much appreciated.
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Old 05-10-2021, 04:26 AM   #14
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May of us with the plastic coolant reservoir tank are running 7lb caps to reduce the likelihood of the old plastic tank cracking/failing.

Also, I would send an oil sample in to CAT - you want to know if there is any sign of coolant in the oil (from a bad liner or liner o-ring or anything else starting to fail). Catching a problem early can save you a bunch of grief/money.
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