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Air Bubbles in Surge Tank


pos2nat

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On Saturday morning I saw air bubbles in my surge tank, looking like foam. I started the car, opened the surge tank and let the engine idle at about 2000 rpm until the pressure in the surge tank built up and pushed out most of the foam. I did not see any huge amount of bubbles, while the car was idling. I then drove 220 miles from Baltimore to New York and this morning, I saw no bubbles. I had no coolant loss, no overheating, temps average 199-205 on highway and 212-217 in traffic, like normal. I just drove another 210 miles back from New York and still do not see any bubbles in the surge tank. I pushed it up to 120mph at times, but the engine temps never went up. I changed my radiator 2 months ago, and I added the Bars Gold Seal, 2tubes, last month. Could the system just need purging every once in a while or should I do a leaking head gasket test?

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Aloha,

I have the same problem in my '92. Sometimes the tank bubbles and sometimes not. I am told, that if it were a head gaskett, the coolent would get thick, turn brown and smell! Mine seems ok so far. 'been doing this since November when I changed coolent and the thurmostat, no problems so far. This summer I will change it all again and this time I hope that the gurgeling will go away.

LOL Ed

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What you are discribing sounds an awful lot like a head gasket leaking exhaust gases into the cooling system, but since you don't see any bubbles when it's idleing it makes me wonder. Does the tank smell like exhaust?

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I had a bad head gasket about two years ago. (Actually three pulled head bolts) I drove the car all summer with the problem.

I never got any bubbles in the coolant.

However, I could not go up any kind of a steep hill without it overheating. 250 +.

Also, I had to add coolant every week.

My opinion is you do not have a head gasket problem.

Lets hope.

Barry

2008 STS V8
2016 Colorado Z71
1970 Corvette LT-1 Coupe

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On Saturday morning I saw air bubbles in my surge tank, looking like foam. I started the car, opened the surge tank and let the engine idle at about 2000 rpm until the pressure in the surge tank built up and pushed out most of the foam. I did not see any huge amount of bubbles, while the car was idling. I then drove 220 miles from Baltimore to New York and this morning, I saw no bubbles. I had no coolant loss, no overheating, temps average 199-205 on highway and 212-217 in traffic, like normal. I just drove another 210 miles back from New York and still do not see any bubbles in the surge tank. I pushed it up to 120mph at times, but the engine temps never went up. I changed my radiator 2 months ago, and I added the Bars Gold Seal, 2tubes, last month. Could the system just need purging every once in a while or should I do a leaking head gasket test?

If you see brown stuff, usually little bits of it, floating in the surge tank, it's not necessarily a sign of the head gasket going bad.

I had that stuff in my surge tank when I took the car in for a drain/refill of the coolant system and the dealership said it was from the stop leak floating around in the system and that everything was ok.

If you really want to make people safe drivers again then simply remove all the safety features from cars. No more seat belts, ABS brakes, traction control, air bags or stability control. No more anything. You'll see how quickly people will slow down and once again learn to drive like "normal" humans.

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If you really want to make people safe drivers again then simply remove all the safety features from cars. No more seat belts, ABS brakes, traction control, air bags or stability control. No more anything. You'll see how quickly people will slow down and once again learn to drive like "normal" humans.

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What you are discribing sounds an awful lot like a head gasket leaking exhaust gases into the cooling system, but since you don't see any bubbles when it's idleing it makes me wonder. Does the tank smell like exhaust?

No Larry, the tank doesn't smell like exhaust.....just foamy bubbles one time last Saturday morning. I checked again this morning, no bubbles. I put 400 + miles on her this weekend, pushing it over 120mph at times, engine coolant temperatue remained 196-205. No overheating in NYC traffic, coolant temperature around 217.

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Thank you for all the responses. I will monitor it and see if I get more signs like overheating and coolant loss. I do 90 miles driving daily (with a lot of WOT :D ) to go from home to work and back, so I should get some indication over the next two weeks if the problem is getting worse or if there is no problem.

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Not sure how to explain the foamy bubbles but if there is no coolant loss and no overheating, there is no problem. I'd just keep a close eye on it.

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Check your oil. If the oil ends up looking like a chocolate milk shake then that's a sign that a head gasket is blown.

If you really want to make people safe drivers again then simply remove all the safety features from cars. No more seat belts, ABS brakes, traction control, air bags or stability control. No more anything. You'll see how quickly people will slow down and once again learn to drive like "normal" humans.

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