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Old 24-04-2018, 18:05   #1
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Volvo Penta 2003 Coolant Leak

Engine is the normally aspirated variant, around 3300 hours on it. The initial problem was that it appeared that over time the freshwater (coolant) was being diluted and a diluted coolant/water mixs was leaking into the bilge below the engine. One new heat exchanger later, it's no longer being diluted...but now undiluted coolant is leaking into the bilge below the engine...enough to run the freshwater side dry.

I was considering going to the auto parts store and getting one of those UV leak detection kits, dying the freshwater side of the system and seeing if the source of the leak will fluoresce under UV light. Auto mechanics do this all the time...has anyone used this successfully on a boat engine?
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Old 24-04-2018, 19:00   #2
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Re: Volvo Penta 2003 Coolant Leak

Finding leaks from the coolant side on the 2003 is pretty straight forward. Run it long enough to get some leakage. Then take a folded paper towel and start dabbling the piping for the coolant starting at the top and working down. You'll find a leak. Most likely one of the hardline connections with the rubber gaskets fittings.
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Old 25-04-2018, 19:49   #3
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Re: Volvo Penta 2003 Coolant Leak

Also possible the coolant pump is leaking, so check there carefully. May leak only when the engine is at temp and running -- as did mine.

Not terribly difficult or expensive to rebuild.

Probably a good time to replace all the rubber seals (2 types) on the hard coolant lines, as they do get old and tired. Note that when replacing them, make sure the recesses into which they fit are clean.
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Old 25-04-2018, 21:06   #4
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Re: Volvo Penta 2003 Coolant Leak

This link may help you to figure out the various coolant flow paths.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ei0ui9tp6f...20Sys.pdf?dl=0
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Old 25-04-2018, 21:11   #5
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Re: Volvo Penta 2003 Coolant Leak

A " radiator coolant system pressure tester" is invaluable for finding leaks.

https://www.harborfreight.com/radiat...kit-63862.html

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Old 26-04-2018, 09:47   #6
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Re: Volvo Penta 2003 Coolant Leak

while you're at the auto parts store, ask if they have a tool rental program and use their cooling system pressure tester. In 15 minutes, you'll know where it is leaking from.
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Old 26-04-2018, 13:20   #7
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Re: Volvo Penta 2003 Coolant Leak

Responding about coolant leaks on your 2003 Volvo. IF antifreeze is left in the system for to many years it turns to acid and can attack metal and seals.

At the age and hours on your engine, Consider changing seals as a regular maintenance Item

The Volvo 2003 uses special grommet type seals, Parts 4 engines in the UK sell a kit. I got mine from the local Volvo dealer.

Print off a copy of the manual from the internet, and follow the instructions because reassembling the coolant piping on a 2003 is an extraordinary metal puzzle. Do not force or bend anything.
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