Coolant Consumption 2019 Nissan Altima

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I have a 2019 Nissan Altima 2.5L with 65k miles on the odo. I've owned the car since new. In the last 3 months, I've gone through 1.5 gallons of Nissan 50/50 coolant topping off the reservoir. The vehicle is consuming significantly more coolant in the last 3 months compared to the last 3 years since I owned the car. I performed a used oil analysis earlier this month and there is no evidence of antifreeze or water in the motor oil. The engine is actually showing little to no wear. I also replaced the radiator cap and checked for coolant leaks around the engine bay and underneath the vehicle. No coolant leaks anywhere. I am baffled why the car is consuming so much coolant. Driving habits haven't changed. 80% highway miles and 20% city driving.

Separately, my mother drives an identical 2019 Nissan Altima 2.5L that I maintain and her coolant reservoir doesn't get topped off nearly as often as mine. Her driving habits are 80% city and 20% highway.

Open to feedbacks and opinions.

-ttvr4
 
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Best thing to do is a pressure test. Leave the pressure on overnight if possible. I had a car that was losing coolant, couldn't find any leaks, turns out that there was a tiny crack on the plastic radiator tank where the outlet nipple is, and it took a pressure test to find it. It seems like if the leak is slow enough (and only happens when hot) the coolant could evaporate rather than leaking out onto the ground.
 
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I'd say that, in my experience, having to top off coolant is (generally speaking) not "normal" - if a car used a couple ounces a year or whatever, that's one thing. But a 2019 shouldn't be using coolant to any significant degree, much less over a gallon of it in a short period. It sounds obvious, but it has to be going somewhere. I'd dig deeper checking for leaks. Is it still under any kind of warranty?
 

ttvr4

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Joined
Dec 31, 2006
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Bay Area, CA
Best thing to do is a pressure test. Leave the pressure on overnight if possible. I had a car that was losing coolant, couldn't find any leaks, turns out that there was a tiny crack on the plastic radiator tank where the outlet nipple is, and it took a pressure test to find it. It seems like if the leak is slow enough (and only happens when hot) the coolant could evaporate rather than leaking out onto the ground.
Good idea, I'll perform a coolant pressure test this weekend and see if I hear/see any leaks. I hope it is obvious enough for me to catch where the leak is coming from...


I'd say that, in my experience, having to top off coolant is (generally speaking) not "normal" - if a car used a couple ounces a year or whatever, that's one thing. But a 2019 shouldn't be using coolant to any significant degree, much less over a gallon of it in a short period. It sounds obvious, but it has to be going somewhere. I'd dig deeper checking for leaks. Is it still under any kind of warranty?
I agree! That's why I'm concerned. I know the leak is not due to a faulty head gasket since there is no antifreeze or water in the motor oil! Unfortunately, the manufacture powertrain warranty expired at 60k...
 
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Good idea, I'll perform a coolant pressure test this weekend and see if I hear/see any leaks. I hope it is obvious enough for me to catch where the leak is coming from...
Pull the plastic shield or shields when inspecting underneath if you're still having difficulty spotting a leak with the system under pressure.
 
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Didn't some coolants experience water evaporation when exposed to atmosphere in an open cooling system.
Perhaps, but:

"I've owned the car since new. In the last 3 months, I've gone through 1.5 gallons of Nissan 50/50 coolant topping off the reservoir."
 
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My wife's new subaru just "dissappeared" a whole coolant overflow bottle of fluid . Car runs bad and is under warranty so I just put it on IGNORE.
Though I topped off the reservoir to the MIN cold line. I am not that heartless and irresponsible.

Hear is a photo of the HOT level before topped it up.

20220221_133430.jpg
 
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Might be a good idea to rent one of of those combustion leak testers from an auto parts store that will let you know for certain if the coolant is going into the cylinders.
 
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My wife's new subaru just "dissappeared" a whole coolant overflow bottle of fluid . Car runs bad and is under warranty so I just put it on IGNORE.
Though I topped off the reservoir to the MIN cold line. I am not that heartless and irresponsible.

Hear is a photo of the HOT level before topped it up.

View attachment 93024
Why would you not just take it to the dealership and be like "it's low on coolant and runs bad please fix it" since it's under warranty? I don't understand just ignoring it...
 
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Why would you not just take it to the dealership and be like "it's low on coolant and runs bad please fix it" since it's under warranty? I don't understand just ignoring it...
BC they do nothing. All of them, for decades, Just had it at the Subaru dealer for an OC and loud engine noise complaint. They said that "the engine was warm so we can't test it.
suggest make a service appointment and leave it overnight"
The complaint on the R.O. was "the engine is extremely loud when fully warmed up".
Then they proceeded to overfill the crankcase by at least a quart. Right on the ball, boys!
Unless you have a Lexus, Infinity or Maserati the dealer will put these complaints on ignore. so I have had it with them and I'll follow their lead.
When it needs to be towed in then maybe only then will they "take a look at it". - Ken
 
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BC they do nothing. All of them, for decades, Just had it at the Subaru dealer for an OC and loud engine noise complaint. They said that "the engine was warm so we can't test it.
suggest make a service appointment and leave it overnight"
The complaint on the R.O. was "the engine is extremely loud when fully warmed up".
Then they proceeded to overfill the crankcase by at least a quart. Right on the ball, boys!
Unless you have a Lexus, Infinity or Maserati the dealer will put these complaints on ignore. so I have had it with them and I'll follow their lead.
When it needs to be towed in then maybe only then will they "take a look at it". - Ken
I've been down that road before, unfortunately! My (ineffective) approach was to keep taking the car back for repeat repairs. My wife's (more effective) approach was to strut into the showroom on a busy Saturday afternoon and shout "who the hell is in charge here, because your service department sucks hard!" The attention/response/service was efficient, courteous, and amazingly fast. YMMV

And just for a visual, she is 5'1" and 115 lb., but walks a lot taller than that.
 
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BC they do nothing. All of them, for decades, Just had it at the Subaru dealer for an OC and loud engine noise complaint. They said that "the engine was warm so we can't test it.
suggest make a service appointment and leave it overnight"
The complaint on the R.O. was "the engine is extremely loud when fully warmed up".
Then they proceeded to overfill the crankcase by at least a quart. Right on the ball, boys!
Unless you have a Lexus, Infinity or Maserati the dealer will put these complaints on ignore. so I have had it with them and I'll follow their lead.
When it needs to be towed in then maybe only then will they "take a look at it". - Ken
How do you have so many issues with new cars...
 
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How do you have so many issues with new cars...
BC that's the way they are. I discuss problems here where most folks wont - they are embarassed and they think it reflects badly on them.
Wife's last Subaru was fantastic.

I am an mechanical engineer and a mechanic, so I tend to notice things. I trained myself to do this as part of the job.
Could be a curse :)
 
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