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2000 Chevy 2500 6.0 low coolant??

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by TMLGC, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. TMLGC

    TMLGC Senior Member
    Messages: 207

    I have the above vehicle it is the newer style (6.0) that they made back then, 8600,not the HD model. The low coolant light had come on yet at best it was only down 8-12oz of coolant. The light would go off after I shut the truck off and let it sit. I brought the truck in to a local reputable shop I use for a oil change and to diagnose the above.

    They advised me it was very small leak in water pump. I had heard of this before and gave the go ahead to replace. They called back and stated after further inspection as they were getting ready to remove pump that it was not the water pump and they were honest and told me they could not find the leak.

    The oil was checked and it was determined it was not leaking into the engine. They advised wait and see until it becomes more pronounced.

    It is happening again, when I check the tank has about 1/2 full immediately after shutting truck off and goes back to almost full when completely cool, again 8-12oz to get it just above line. Then light shuts off sometimes for several weeks before it comes on again.

    1.) Is the sensor that sensitive to pick up on that small amount???

    2.) A couple of people said to try and simply replace the cap????

    3.) Or is this another Chevy computer glitch where nothing is wrong but the light comes on???? Like my low fuel light and needle goes to empty when I have 3/4 tank then back to proper reading. Sending unit a common problem in this era truck from what I'm told.

    thanks in advance for any ideas or insight
  2. streetfrog

    streetfrog Senior Member
    Messages: 337

    check the driver side rear of the head. they are known for the head gasket leaking/ weepeing down the back of the block.
  3. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,743

    Ok if you have to keep adding that means there is a leak psi test it cold then hot. That might help
  4. millsaps118

    millsaps118 Senior Member
    Messages: 691

    ^^^^ what streetfrog said. I have a '02 w/6.0 and this is where mine leaked twice. Very hard to see from top of motor and will be very hard to detect. You'll have to look for small signs of discoloring running down the back side of the head & block.
  5. TMLGC

    TMLGC Senior Member
    Messages: 207


    Thank you all. I will look under the backside when it stops pouring rain out. If it does not get any worse I will wait another month or so until my next oil change and ask the shop if they did the psi test and request it done. I have read these are hard to detect as the small leaks evaporate prior to hitting the ground. I just don't want something to give and be left dead in the water.

    In the past I have gotten rid of my trucks around this age and mileage but with the price of new and less used that is not going to happen. I want this to be my 1st 200k truck. The dealer put all new brake lines, oil cooler line, steering box, fuel and air filter when I got it with 119k. The prior owner had the frame professionally done at some point as the dealer did not do any under coating on it to hide the rust as they admittedly do on most of their trucks.
  6. TMLGC

    TMLGC Senior Member
    Messages: 207

    I took pics of suspected area and will post tonight. There was a wet spot near a bolt on the bottom rear drivers side of the engine near where the exhaust goes in. This is also in the vacinity where the oil cooler lines were replaced but I don't think it's is residual. Pics will explain better. I'm sure it is it and guessing it is a costly repair.
  7. TMLGC

    TMLGC Senior Member
    Messages: 207

    pics suspected areas

    1st is the only suspect observation on the drivers side rear as mentioned above. Upon further review it appears next to where the exhaust goes in and looks and feels like just some sludge grease black and thick. Any opinions would be appreciated.

  8. TMLGC

    TMLGC Senior Member
    Messages: 207

    pic #2

    2nd pic is upfront on one of the lower radiator outlets. More of a visibly wet area. I would of thought the garage would of picked up on this.

  9. TMLGC

    TMLGC Senior Member
    Messages: 207

    And just my truck I think the body is in great shape for a 2000. The only rust is a couple of blisters just starting to form on the rockers.

    I really like this body style and want to put a plow on it for the winter but a $1200++ repair would put a major damper on that idea. Its not the HD but hope to get a couple years out of it to get my feet on the ground. I was going to just plow my own driveway this year and a couple of unoccupied summer homes I service and hopefully expand the landscape business over next summer and pick up some good plowing accounts. Due to other job commitments I could not offer reliable service to residential homes or commercial accounts this year.



  10. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    A lot of time you can find the leak when the truck is hot and you park it. The residual heat builds the pressure in the system. That's when leaks will show them selfs. you have to be quick and look everywhere for leaks. Look for wet or steam. Have a flash light and look at radiator too. Wave your hand around wet places. The tiny stream maybe found.
  11. TMLGC

    TMLGC Senior Member
    Messages: 207

    Just an update if anyone cares lol or perhaps someone searched a same problem. Prior go bringing it in again months ago the light went off I pulled over, let the engine stay running and looked under the hood the coolant level was just above the sensor in the bottom rear corner. I asked how can it be reading low coolant if the fluid is above the sensor???

    I brought it in and asked the above question? Garage guys said it could be simply contaminants interfering with the float sensor. Since they could not find the leak the 1st time they suggested flushing the coolant and spraying the sensor to clean it.

    It has been months now with several thousand miles and problem appears to be solved. Knock on wood. A cheap try that can't hurt if anybody else has a similar problem.
  12. TJS

    TJS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,324

    Waterpumps on these are a big cause of phantom leaks. You will only see it when you take it apart. They are cake to replace.
  13. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,339

    fyi...if you find the extended doors hard to open, change the lower locks well worth the $100...broke 2 plastic handles before I realized what was wrong
  14. Mechanical

    Mechanical Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    get an coolant filter kit. itll help an great deal with contaminants. very easy to install. Put one on my bosses 6.0L and havnt had any coolant related issues in a couple years so far. Normally sold for diesels.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014
  15. TMLGC

    TMLGC Senior Member
    Messages: 207

    Thanks for the responses of course after going several months and deciding to update within days the low coolant light goes off and it appears a bit low although the tank never goes empty, yet never seems to be at the cold line either.

    I'm guessing the water pump as others have suggested. Also just got $1500 quote for complete rocker panel repair both sides. Is that high? Supposedly this was high and the guy told me that once cut off those can lead to a bunch more problems so he prices them worst case but could be less.
  16. TMLGC

    TMLGC Senior Member
    Messages: 207

    Update if anyone searching for similar problem.

    Finally was determined coming from rear intake manifold bolts. The shop replaced the gaskets and checked all the bolts, replaced several. This also seemed to stop the SES light from coming on.
  17. TMLGC

    TMLGC Senior Member
    Messages: 207

    WTF now it is leaking from the exact same area (rear manifold bolt) on both sides worse than before I brought it in!!!! The area is more wet and more noticeable and will occasionally drip onto the ground. It never was that noticeable prior to bringing it in. Back to the shop next week. I should hope I won't have to pay any extra since the problem is not fixed and is actually worse on both sides.

    Any ideas on where they went wrong? They replaced both rear bolts and looks like a new gasket. It is clearly coming from the rear bolt area on the manifold. This is an independent shop been in business at same location for many years and have a great reputation as far as I can tell.
  18. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,743

    Asking us where he went wrong. Maybe warped or no thread sealant
  19. TMLGC

    TMLGC Senior Member
    Messages: 207

    Brought it back, whomever owned it before me had repaired the rear bolts before. The garage stated someone before had used a heli coil on the rear bolts and punctured the water jacket.

    They removed the heli coil and replaced with larger bolts and a different sealant JB Weld it think?? They allowed it to sit overnight and stated it was okay for now.

    10 days later one side is still leaking coolant a bit. Is this punctured water jacket something that can be permanently fixed? Or just temporary band aids? Is this a sign of something more serious?

    The shop never charged me for the second visit but I still have some more to do with this truck if I keep it and I don't want a temporary fix.

    Is a punctured water jacket a big deal? If they have not fixed it twice Im guessing it's punctured pretty bad but that's why I'm asking here is there something I should be suggesting or are they trying to minimize more of a major problem?
  20. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,743

    What I would like to see is it leaking outta the screw hole itself or somewhere else. And I'm betting it's a rear one so it's not so visible.
    How do they know it doesn't have a crack back there as well.