My car has been sitting - where did the fluids go??? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:43 PM
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My car has been sitting - where did the fluids go???

I honestly don't know if I'm being paranoid or not, but my '56 has been sitting for about 2 years now, I did start it up once or twice last summer, but the last time it went anywhere beyond my driveway was 2 years ago for Woodward. Of course, at the time the fluids were all in good condition and at the appropriate levels.

Just now I got back for the first short drive of the year to take 'er to the coin car wash. I've started her a few times and the drive went without incident, when I got back and openned the gate I noticed some wet spots on the driveway that made me wonder, but - duh - it was water from the car wash!

What concerns me is that the water wasn't visible in the top tank of the radiator before I started the car, and the oil was 2 quarts low. This certainly isn't the first time the car has sat for a year, it's actually pretty normal - sad to say. But it's the first time I've noticed fluid loss like this.

And of course, all this has me worrying about noises that turn out to not even be coming from the car... I think I've been too detached from the hobby too long, but I guess becoming a daddy can do that - hopefully it'll change as the boy grows up and I can infect him with the car hobby disease!

Of course, this weekend I've got a space on Woodward paid for by my company, and I'll go to that since it's not a long drive... What I'm a little bit hesitant about is going to the car show at work on Weds., that's a 30 mile drive.

So, the bottom line is... Do I have anything to worry about? Where did my fluids go? I'd have a hard time believing that it would run and/or that I wouldn't hear a cracked block. FWIW I run with water wetter in the coolant, is that something that could increase evaporation?

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Old 08-14-2006, 08:44 PM
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Seals dry out, shrink and crack with non-use. You may have to do some replacing.
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:17 AM
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Slip, you certainly need to drive more, but if you leaked two quarts of oil you would have a spot on the garage floor the size of Lake Huron.
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:31 AM
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Yeah.. well, that's the thing, it was outside on the driveway, and I don't think I had a spot, but there were plenty of leaves and tree debris that could've soaked anything up. It didn't occur to me that this is a seal issue, and at first it didn't make sense because a car that's sitting has its oil in the oilpan, and that isn't a seal issue.. And if it was a rusted out oil pan, there wouldn't be any oil at all... And it would've gone down during the drive to the car wash, if not sooner.

But the time I found the low oil was after running it for a little while, maybe some oil just blew past a seal somewhere and the seal swelled from being wet, and now it's not leaking.
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Old 08-15-2006, 07:07 PM
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Could the return holes from the heads be clogged up and the the oil is sitting
on top of the head?
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Old 08-15-2006, 07:33 PM
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could be a seal that was deformed from siting, causing a leak, but then after the car was warmed up the seal went soft & returned to its proper shape

wouldnt be the first time i saw it happen
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Old 08-16-2006, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob147
Could the return holes from the heads be clogged up and the the oil is sitting
on top of the head?
That could be... I did successfully make the 30 mile drive to work today for the car show, and I didn't have any further loss of oil or coolant.. And there was a little smoke coming out of the oil breather on the valve cover when I checked under the hood when I got here.
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