Coolant question

I have a 2006 Ram 2500 with Cummins. The water goes down a bit now and again, and I refill it. Yesterday before hitting the road, I looked, and the reservoir was nearly empty. I filled it.
That water has to be going somewhere, or is if going out the overflow? How often should one have to refill that reservoir, if at all? And do I use antifreeze, 50/50 mix? ??
Steve
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I haven't had to add for the past 190k miles except when the water pump started weeping. I'm guessing you already looked at that and looked for puddles too. Things to look at include your oil for contamination and another weeping/leaking location is underneath by the turbo. There is a short piece of "heater" type hose that has the kind of clamps that have a history of coming loose. Check that for tightness. Also, the tube that runs from the radiator cap area (for over pressure relief) should be dry at the end. If it is wet, your cap is relieving pressure. Might be good news (bad cap, replace), might be bad news (system over pressuring).
Have you ever sent a sample of your used oil to a lab for analysis? They will tell you if there is any antifreeze in your oil as well as a lot of other stuff. I use Blackstone http://www.blackstone-labs.com/ for my '03 CTD.
FMB (North Mexico)
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Suddenly, without warning, FMB exclaimed (5/30/2010 11:56 AM):

I second the thought of a bad radiator cap, I've had that problem with my 2001 Dakota.
jmc
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Just out of curiosity, what did that sound like?
beekeep
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Suddenly, without warning, beekeep exclaimed (5/30/2010 4:37 PM):

Didn't sound like anything, just the truck started overheating (coincidentally after a flush), and when I looked under the hood, there was fluid everywhere. I thought the shop hadn't put it back on right, but it kept happening. A new radiator cap fixed the problem.
jmc
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How much does that cost, and how much oil does one send?
Steve
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If you go to their site, it will show you how to order a FREE test kit http://www.blackstone-labs.com/free-test-kits.php . It is only a few ounces and you catch it while it is fairly hot when you drain your oil. Its $22.50 and mails through the regular postal for about $2.50 or so.
Diesel http://www.blackstone-labs.com/diesel-engine.php
FMB (North Mexico)
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Well worth the $ IMHO. I test my oil at every change.
Mike

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If there's no coolant in the oil or on the ground that leaves one place - out the exhaust.
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