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I recently replaced a bad temperature sensor that was leaking quite a bit of coolant. No coolant leak now, but the "I'm hot" light came on during a cross country trip. Checked every time we got fuel and no coolant was lost. A couple of days after returning home, I checked and the expansion tank was almost empty. I don't have any puddles anywhere. I have a bad feeling that I'm about to lose a head gasket because I can smell hot coolant even though the car is not overheating and the coolant loss is now minimal. The thermostat housing is not leaking, but I fear it may be stuck open, so I'm ordering another (the one I first ordered would not fit due to the throttle body and the position of the bleeder on the housing). The pipe does not leak and the seal is tight. I will probably go ahead and replace the water pump while I'm at it. Weird thing... I don't smell the burnt coolant in the vents and the cooling fan does come on...full strength after 15 minutes or so. Has anyone found a decent head gasket sealer that can fix an early problem?
 

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there is a recall by mini and psa for thermostat housing ie they crack inside to the outside and as engine is so hot its very small amounts at beginning might be your issue,,
also water pump can leak under pressure and heat,,
could try ultra violet dye in coolant link below just use ultra violet light when its dark and been run for a while it will show up any leaks or steam ie even at end of exhaust if gasket failed will show up a mist etc, another test is sniff tester a cheap DIY one below
gasket test sniff tester bt3 is best one
dye
ultra violet torch
the above is how i would diagnose any car in as part of a diagnoses rather than do the might be this or that,
 

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updated thermostat housing if your car has not got this done would do it asap ,
 
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