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Discussion Starter #1
My 2001 6 Cyl Vulcan has been leaking coolant since I got it over a year ago. It was a slow leak at first, but it's worsening and now I have to add about a half gallon every 120 miles or so. There's never any fluid under my parking space and I don't notice any smoke or steam, or fluid coming out of the exhaust. I took it to a reputable garage a few months ago and they couldn't find the leak - they even sent pressurized fluid through the system and couldn't find any hint of a leak.

I bought some Barr's stop leak to try but I can't find a radiator cap or the type of hose the bottle recommends as a second choice. Is it OK to put the Barr's directly in the coolant reservoir? Any ideas on where this leak is likely coming from?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Timing cover leak evaporating on the exhaust, reservoir cracked on the bottom or old style faulty reservoir cap?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Timing cover leak evaporating on the exhaust, reservoir cracked on the bottom or old style faulty reservoir cap?
What is the old style faulty reservoir cap? How would I tell if it's a timing cover leak (no idea what that is tbh)? I'm starting to wonder if there is a crack in the reservoir because I often see it drained to the same level time after time (with about an inch of fluid left, just the same level as the hose that's attached to it). But wouldn't the pressurized test have detected that?
 

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I have had 2 of my 4 fail caps. Ford switched design and removed all original design parts from dealers. Lots of Ford products use the same cap. Worst fail, blew all the coolant out night before a very critical day trip. Borrowed a car for that trip. Other car had dried coolant all around the cap and damp coolant after a drive. I would never trust the OE cap.

-chart-
 

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Something you might want to try is adding UV dye to the coolant. You can get it at most auto parts stores but I've found it cheapest on amazon and you can get a combo package that includes the dye and a black light flashlight. I think it's only about 1oz of dye, just pour it into the coolant and drive it a little while so gets mixed in good then shine a black light and your leak will glow. I've used it a couple times to find leaks that were hard to find and it works great.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks. Today while I was running errands it finally started leaking a visible amount while I was parked. Looked like 2-4 cups per hour (I'm just guestimating as I've never poured liquid onto asphalt to see what any amount looks like once it hits the ground). Bummed that it's obviously taken a turn for a worse but hopeful this will make it easier for the garage to find it. Seems like it's coming from below the water pump, or somewhere between the reservoir and engine at any rate.
 

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I think sheila hit the nail on the head- timing cover leak. These Vulcans are known for it. The slow leak was probably dripping on the exhaust and evaporating. Quite a job to fix. Maybe take an air compressor with air nozzle and/or a rag and clean it up a bit, and then run it for a minute and check to see if you can narrow it down.
 
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