Keeping an eye for coolant leak - just watch the reservoir?

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Was looking at my service records as lately I have had extra time on my hands and found some good news- It recently had sparks done so thats gonna save me some money aha. In 2018, the dealer said they noticed dried coolant around the water pump area for my 2006 mazda 3 with the 2.3l, and recommended a replacement. I saw the quote and they wanted $450 to replace the pump (wow) which is probably why the old owner didn't get it replaced. I spoke to the prev owner and he said it wasn't evidence that it was leaking and it could have been from before, he said he kept and eye on it and it never leaked again or got worse so thats why he never did the replacement which is fair enough. I looked around the water pump area and I don't see anything so might be good for a bit but I wanted to ask what else do I look for to see if its leaking? I assume I just check the resvoir and see if its going down + check underneath the vehicle if anything is leaking out onto the driveway etc right? or is there something else I should look out for. Coolant is currently between the max and min on the resevoir so I dont see a problem!

thanks!
 
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3,392
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If it's an unpressurized reservoir you should also be checking in the radiator. When completely cold take the radiator cap off and it should be full to the top.

The unpressurized reservoir system depends on a slight vacuum forming in the closed part of the system (radiator and engine) during cool down to draw coolant back from the reservoir. A leak can prevent that vacuum from working.
 

mazda3lover

Thread starter
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53
If it's an unpressurized reservoir you should also be checking in the radiator. When completely cold take the radiator cap off and it should be full to the top.

The unpressurized reservoir system depends on a slight vacuum forming in the closed part of the system (radiator and engine) during cool down to draw coolant back from the reservoir. A leak can prevent that vacuum from working.
thx for the reply sorry how do i tell if its pressurized or unpressurized reservoir? i believe it has the disclaimer to not open when engine is hot which i assume means preassurized?
 
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Was looking at my service records as lately I have had extra time on my hands and found some good news- It recently had sparks done so thats gonna save me some money aha. In 2018, the dealer said they noticed dried coolant around the water pump area for my 2006 mazda 3 with the 2.3l, and recommended a replacement. I saw the quote and they wanted $450 to replace the pump (wow) which is probably why the old owner didn't get it replaced. I spoke to the prev owner and he said it wasn't evidence that it was leaking and it could have been from before, he said he kept and eye on it and it never leaked again or got worse so thats why he never did the replacement which is fair enough. I looked around the water pump area and I don't see anything so might be good for a bit but I wanted to ask what else do I look for to see if its leaking? I assume I just check the resvoir and see if its going down + check underneath the vehicle if anything is leaking out onto the driveway etc right? or is there something else I should look out for. Coolant is currently between the max and min on the resevoir so I dont see a problem!

thanks!
This can be considered normal for some cars, Toyota has a similar issue. Usually nothing to worry about but look at the pics in the pdf.

 

mazda3lover

Thread starter
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53
This can be considered normal for some cars, Toyota has a similar issue. Usually nothing to worry about but look at the pics in the pdf.

thanks a ton that makes sense! so basically only really replace the water pump when it gets noticeably bad and is covering the bleed hole kinda thing. however i believe its hard for me to see the pump anyways since its hiding behind the pulley, so for my case i should just watch the coolant level?
 
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If you work on cars a lot or think it might be handy to have in the future, a cooling system pressure tester is inexpensive and can rule a leak out very quickly.

I bought one last year and it's paid for itself a couple times over. It makes identifying leaks quick and easy, no more wondering or crawling all over the engine looking for something that may or may not exist.

But it sounds like it may be a non issue and that's good news!
 
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