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07 Xterra 4x4 | 2.5" Lift | SPC UCAs | 285/75/16 Yokohama Geolander M/T G003 | Minor Trimming
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
have a 2007 and the coolant reservoir/expansion tank looked to be in bad shape so I replaced it while replacing the radiator hoses and thermostat.

As it drained, white sediment pour out the tank as if the insides began to erode away. Nasty! Visually inspect the inside of yours next time you have a cold engine.

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07 Xterra 4x4 | 2.5" Lift | SPC UCAs | 285/75/16 Yokohama Geolander M/T G003 | Minor Trimming
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
A no need to worry that I was neglectful. I just bought this used with 144k on it but I think it’s safe to say this was the original reservoir

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07 Xterra 4x4 | 2.5" Lift | SPC UCAs | 285/75/16 Yokohama Geolander M/T G003 | Minor Trimming
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I bet i should replace mine as well, are you going to try and flush the coolant system or anything?
Yes I did and then put in Nissan Coolant. Then a test drive showed coolant temp was 200 degrees on the highway while it was 106 degrees.
 

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If it holds pressure its fine. I have taken mine off and cleaned the inside with bleach so I can actually see the level. Need to do that again.

If your pressure cap is bad or its overheating it will puke coolant at that location - not the rad - so check that first.

Mine has 380K miles in South Carolina heat and still going fine, however I should likely buy a spare next time I see one at the junk yard, which BTW hasn't had 2nd gen Xterra in months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My issue was the thermostat but I replaced both caps and the reservoir while flushing with new fluid for piece of mind. The radiator was in good shape and was a non SMOD part number that was replaced some point since 2007.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If it holds pressure its fine. I have taken mine off and cleaned the inside with bleach so I can actually see the level. Need to do that again.

If your pressure cap is bad or its overheating it will puke coolant at that location - not the rad - so check that first.

Mine has 380K miles in South Carolina heat and still going fine, however I should likely buy a spare next time I see one at the junk yard, which BTW hasn't had 2nd gen Xterra in months.
LMK if you want me to look for one for you next time I go to the yard. When I went a week ago there was 4, now there’s 1 and if I recall correctly it was not torn apart yet. I’d just ask you to pay the yard’s price plus shipping.
 

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LMK if you want me to look for one for you next time I go to the yard. When I went a week ago there was 4, now there’s 1 and if I recall correctly it was not torn apart yet. I’d just ask you to pay the yard’s price plus shipping.
Thanks for the offer - but I don't need one now and I am sure I will stumble into one eventually. Whenever my local Pick a part gets a X in I usually pay a visit to see whats there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You may be right. I bought this used as a one owner with excellent service history. The radiator was once replaced with a non SMOD Calsonic. I’ve put in a new thermostat and drained and replaced the coolant with OEM since buying it but the previous owner could have used stop leak as a bandaid for a leak.

Should I do a complete coolant flush now and if I need to do it multiple times I will. I’m now worried about these deposits in the water pump.
 

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Should I do a complete coolant flush now and if I need to do it multiple times I will. I’m now worried about these deposits in the water pump.
My opinion- Do a good flush. You are concerned and it’ll add some peace of mind.

BUT…..Also……Me? I’d buy a spare radiator and have it on hand just in case. A rad is one of the parts I’ve always got waiting in the wings should it be needed.

Hopefully it’s not the heater core that the PO used the stop leak for. Just FYI they do fail on these trucks (as all cars) sometimes. It’s a pita job…. Look for stains under the carpet passenger side.

Your drain and fill already helped remove much of the leftover gunk, but again I’d do a flush and get a spare rad just to be happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Found out that the thermostat was left often because the PO removed the spring :oops:

It’s been running well at 200 degrees in Phoenix in the Summer the last week since I replaced the thermostat but now I’ve noticed a pinhole leak at the bottom of the radiator. Sounds like it’ll be worthwhile to change out the radiator anyway while doing a complete flush with new OEM fluid. Thanks for the feedback.

Maybe I should change the title to “PSA - Don’t Use Radiator Stop Leak”

I never inspected the inside of the reservoir tank prior to purchasing but should have 🫣
 

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Sounds like it’ll be worthwhile to change out the radiator anyway...
If you have access to a garden hose, take the opportunity to blast the cooling fins on the ac condenser from both sides. It's a little easier with the radiator out.
You don't want that restricting any air to your new radiator, plus you may drop a few degrees out of your dash vents.
Last year I dropped 3 or 4 degrees out of my ac by thoroughly cleaning the condenser fins, and also insulating the aluminum low pressure ac line, which runs along the firewall.
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Another FYI......look near the firewall on the passenger side at the top. You will find the feed and return for the heater core there. Several guys here had warned that those hoses turn brittle and badly need to be replaced. I went to squeeze one to check it, and the damn thing fell apart in my hand. Like it was wet paper mâché. LOL! So, yeah, you should check those, but be careful as my experience is common.
 

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Found out that the thermostat was left often because the PO removed the spring :oops:

It’s been running well at 200 degrees in Phoenix in the Summer the last week since I replaced the thermostat but now I’ve noticed a pinhole leak at the bottom of the radiator. Sounds like it’ll be worthwhile to change out the radiator anyway while doing a complete flush with new OEM fluid. Thanks for the feedback.

Maybe I should change the title to “PSA - Don’t Use Radiator Stop Leak”

I never inspected the inside of the reservoir tank prior to purchasing but should have 🫣
I definitely recommend installing a new thermostat (OEM only). Removing the stat, or the spring, is a clear sign that someone has been having under or overheating issues. Combined with the stop leak, and now the mention of a pinhole leak, and it's clear that someone has been trying to band-aid that cooling system back together.

I would strongly recommend just replacing the radiator and thermostat and doing a very thorough cooling system flush. If you get a Koyo rad and an OEM thermostat, and do the work yourself, it shouldn't cost you very much and you're operating temps should go back to normal. If you still have issues after all of that, you might have some block coolant passages, but that's doubtful.

And yes, radiator stop leak should only be used as a way to get you home in an emergency, but should be cleaned out as soon as possible. But stop leak saved my bacon BIG TIME years ago when I was traveling from Denver to Vegas. There's a stretch of highway with no gas stations for over 100 miles - I hit that section with about half a tank of gas and decided I better pull off and fill up and as I was going down the off ramp I noticed my temp gauge max out in just a few seconds. Pulled off immediately into a gas station and shut it down and noticed the plastic tank on the side of the rad was just gushing coolant out. There was no chance of getting a new radiator in this tiny little town, and this was back in the late 2000's when cell coverage wasn't as good as it is today so I had no service. In one of the two tiny stations in that town I found one tube of stop leak and some coolant, then was faced with the decision of turning around and heading back to Denver (over 800 miles) or temp fate and hit the desert. That stop leak got me another ~300 miles to Vegas with zero issues and normal operation temps. Saved my butt!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That's a wild story @Tlrtucker and really sound advice about my cooling system. I've got a new thermostat, hoses, expansion tank, coolant and it's running at 200 degrees since with no under/over heating issues. I also suspect the PO had cooling issues so he removed the thermostat spring to let someone else deal with it. Really sad since it's a $30 part and they had to remove the thermostat to remove the spring anyways.
 

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That's a wild story @Tlrtucker and really sound advice about my cooling system. I've got a new thermostat, hoses, expansion tank, coolant and it's running at 200 degrees since with no under/over heating issues. I also suspect the PO had cooling issues so he removed the thermostat spring to let someone else deal with it. Really sad since it's a $30 part and they had to remove the thermostat to remove the spring anyways.
Removing the tstat, or the spring, was an old school trick on older motors when guys were having trouble either building temps, or over heating. But, what can happen a lot of the time is the coolant is passing through the block and rad too quick to cool it, which is probably why you're seeing a slightly higher operating temp. But, to be honest, 200* isn't bad. My Xterra (and I think pretty much all others) typically hover around 190-205 all day long. It isn't really time to worry until you're seeing 215+. 230+ is when you can possibly start damaging things. But peace of mind is well worth just replacing everything with OEM parts. The water pump is the only other part of the system and don't often fail, so replacing that wouldn't be all that worth it, imho.

Also, you should replace both the radiator cap and the expansion tank cap - keep in mind they're different.
 
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