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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Update: At 10,000 miles no more coolant has been lost, so the conclusion is that there was, indeed, an "air bubble" in the engine from the factory and that driving it up a long-steep hill at 60 mph with a load caused the bubble to move/collapse/purge. Hope this helps someone.
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At 2,800 miles after taking the CR-V for it's first trip through some of the mountains of Maryland, when I refueled, the coolant level (antifreeze overflow bottle) had dropped to 1/2" above the minimum.

I could not find evidence of a leak anywhere. No smell of coolant. No white dust in the tailpipe. Exhaust smelled normal (no sweet odor).

As I recall, when new, the coolant level was about 1" below the MAX and it varied +/- by only 1/4" to 1/2" from cold start to really hot (90deg ambient). I drove it for one more week (around town) with no further change in the coolant level and then took it to the dealer for the first time.

Nice people, but their response was Honda engines don't leak coolant. Never happens. No head gasket problems. Nada.

They ran a pressure test and found nothing. When I got it back, the coolant level was still just above the minimum.

1) Does anyone know what the normal level should be?
2) Anyone else loosing coolant in a 2012?
3) Does this make sense to anyone?

Thanks,
Paul
 

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I would put a large piece of cardboard under the car for a few days where I park it and see if there are any spots on it. Otherwise, just keep an eye on your level. As long as it is above the minimum mark you are OK. The car probably has a sensor for when it is too low or the engine runs hot. I just bought a 2012 CR-V EXL but only have 400 miles on it. I'm still trying to locate the air filter! Good luck.
 

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Pochie definitely has the initial procedure down. Beyond that, just keep a log (without adding coolant) of what the state is (tape measure, take it after the car has really warmed up). Now, sure if it gets down below the min (WHEN IT IS HOT) add some amount to bring it into the mid point of the operation range (measuring that and logging it). If you have to add coolant more than once, this is a dealer warranty issue. It's obviously going somewhere. If you dealer doesn't give you satisfaction, contact Honda directly.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for your reply. When I first crawled under the 2012CRV, I noticed that there are plastic coverplates over most of the undercarriage, even the oil change bolt requires removing a plastic cover to gain access.

Maybe that is not new, but certainly new to me. It all "Depends". :)

If there are any leaks, they will not be on the pavement, they will be trapped in these on-line "moving drip pans". Maybe that's an eco "feature", but I always would look for leaks on the pavement.

The mechanics must love these pans (not), especially on the "Flat-rate" system of incentive compensation. More to-do, more to screw-up and less to observe if something is wrong.

Might be good for snow-boarding in the winter if the snow on the roads get up to the level of these slippery surfaced under-pans.

Any other ideas?

Paul
 

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I own a 2012 CRV with 155 kmiles. The only issue is for about the last 6 months coolant seems to "disappear". After a coolant flush and fill, reservoir showed "maximum" with cold engine. Three months later it showed below minimum. Refilled to "maximum". One month later is was down about 1 qt from "maximum". No signs of leaks anywhere in garage. Honda dealership shop said no leaks anywhere. Well, it has to be going somewhere at rate of about 1 qt / month.

There is no indication of transmission fluid or oil contamination. There is no steam in the exhaust. So what testing can I ask for to identify and cure the problem?
 

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I own a 2012 CRV with 155 kmiles. The only issue is for about the last 6 months coolant seems to "disappear". After a coolant flush and fill, reservoir showed "maximum" with cold engine. Three months later it showed below minimum. Refilled to "maximum". One month later is was down about 1 qt from "maximum". No signs of leaks anywhere in garage. Honda dealership shop said no leaks anywhere. Well, it has to be going somewhere at rate of about 1 qt / month.

There is no indication of transmission fluid or oil contamination. There is no steam in the exhaust. So what testing can I ask for to identify and cure the problem?
Anytime there is a coolant flush/refill, some air will be trapped in the cooling system. During/after each heat/cool cycle of the engine, air inside the cooling system will be burped/bled to the bottle. Coolant level in the bottle should be checked frequently after a flush/refill and when the motor is COLD. The coolant level in the bottle should be below the "maximum" level when the motor is COLD......should be at the minimum mark, or slightly above minimum, COLD motor. If you keep filling the bottle to the maximum mark, COLD motor, some coolant could be pushed out of the bottle while driving due to hot coolant expanding to more than the bottle will hold.

Is your carpet under the dash wet?
 

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No the carpet isn't wet. There is no sign of anything wrong anywhere with this car other than the coolant loss mystery. The fuel mileage is as good or better than it has ever been. It has always been serviced with Honda fluids, parts at intervals specified, kept in the garage. Just a lot of 100 mile round-trips on freeway to see grandkids.

Have had friends ask me if I bought a new car lol. Love this car, wish could buy a brand new one exactly like it.
 

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Do not fill the bottle to maximum when the motor is cold. Check the bottle frequently. Is the pressure cap on the bottle or the radiator?
 

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When the motor is COLD, place a rag under the rad cap and slowly remove the rad cap. Coolant level should be at the top of the neck of the rad. If coolant is not at the top, add coolant to the top of the rad AND install a NEW rad cap.
 

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Have you done a cooling system pressure test?
 

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I own a 2012 CRV with 155 kmiles. The only issue is for about the last 6 months coolant seems to "disappear". After a coolant flush and fill, reservoir showed "maximum" with cold engine. Three months later it showed below minimum. Refilled to "maximum". One month later is was down about 1 qt from "maximum". No signs of leaks anywhere in garage. Honda dealership shop said no leaks anywhere. Well, it has to be going somewhere at rate of about 1 qt / month.

There is no indication of transmission fluid or oil contamination. There is no steam in the exhaust. So what testing can I ask for to identify and cure the problem?
Many times the radiator will leak at the top tank/fin seam and it is hard to spot.
And, many times it only leaks there when the coolant is hot.
So, do a very good look at that seam area, both on the engine side and on the grille side.
Another possibility is that your radiator cap needs replacement. Replacing it is easy and not very costly to do yourself. Just make sure the radiator and coolant are COOL when you replace the radiator cap.
Many times places do a pressure test and the coolant is 'cool' so there is no leak.
Best of luck!!
Buffalo4
 

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I'm pretty sure if a hot, or cold, cooling system is pumped up to 16 psi, the gauge psi will slowly drop and/or the leak will be found......probably both. Hope it's not a head gasket.
 

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I'm pretty sure if a hot, or cold, cooling system is pumped up to 16 psi, the gauge psi will slowly drop and/or the leak will be found......probably both. Hope it's not a head gasket.
It has been said on this forum that a leak between the upper radiator tank and the core will not leak until it gets hots.
So, I have read.
That's why I mentioned taking a close look at that joint after the coolant gets up to temp.
Without hot coolant, no leak, supposedly. :geek: :eek:
Buffalo4
 

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Maybe so.......but it just seems logical that If a cold cooling system is pressurized/tested to 16 psi (the same psi as a hot rad cap), a leak should become visible, regardless of where it is, after close inspection.🤷‍♂️Maybe not.
 

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Maybe so.......but it just seems logical that If a cold cooling system is pressurized/tested to 16 psi (the same psi as a hot rad cap), a leak should become visible, regardless of where it is, after close inspection.🤷‍♂️Maybe not.
Expansion rate of two different materials (upper tank and core) supposedly causes the radiator to leak only after it gets hot.
So, even with a cold radiator at 16 psi, it might not leak, as I understand it, but it will leak at that or a lower pressure after it gets hot.
Buffalo4
 

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The OP needs to have the cooling system pressure tested and start searching with a good/bright flashlight. Leaked antifreeze always leaves a residue.
 
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