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Old 05-19-2020, 09:06 PM   #1
DJCharlie
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Attention HELP finding massive coolant leak

I have a pretty bad coolant leak and I cant tell where its coming from or how to fix it. Low Coolant light is on after 2 minutes and almost all of it is gone in an hour. I will attach pictures so hopefully someone can point me to what to replace to get it fixed. Pic #1 showed my water pump was leaking so i replaced that hoping the leak would go away but i guess i have multiple leaks.
I have a strong feeling its coming from pic #2. Should I replace my radiator or is it something else?
Pic#1
coolant leak pic1c.jpg
Pic #2
coolant leak pic2b.jpg
Pic #3
coolant leak pic3b.jpg
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: HELP finding massive coolant leak

Also its a 96 SC2 and It seems like the driver side is more wet than the passenger side and that the leak is from a high point in the front of the car and leaking out of the plastic bumper splash panel.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: HELP finding massive coolant leak

The common place for a radiator failure is near where the upper line from the trans is connected. Look for a crack in that area of the plastic radiator end-tank.
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Old 05-20-2020, 12:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: HELP finding massive coolant leak

Have to agree with Billr, Just had to replace my radiator cracked drivers side couple inches down from the top in the area of coolant lines. Sucks but easier to replace than repair.
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Old 05-20-2020, 02:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: HELP finding massive coolant leak

Just ordered a new radiator because it does look like its coming from the black plastic part of the radiator. I hope this finally fixes my leak
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Old 05-20-2020, 04:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: HELP finding massive coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJCharlie View Post
Just ordered a new radiator because it does look like its coming from the black plastic part of the radiator. I hope this finally fixes my leak
In my experience - the radiator is usually the issue.

Only once has it been a radiator hose - and once the return from the intake manifold.


I think I have done at least 6 radiators.


If it's an automatic I would order the tranny cooler lines. I have not had the best luck with those. On two cars the previous "meckanick" had rounded off the fittings for me...
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: HELP finding massive coolant leak

In snapshot #2, the bulging hose around the clamp indicates its old and should be replaced.
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: HELP finding massive coolant leak

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In snapshot #2, the bulging hose around the clamp indicates its old and should be replaced.
good eye thanks
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: HELP finding massive coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlinebiker View Post
I think I have done at least 6 radiators.
I've done 3 between my truck and my Buick.... I don't remember why I needed one for my Buick. It's copper/brass. My truck has broken the tank on the driver's side, twice. I finally decided that it must be the hose bouncing too much and weakening the tank enough to crack it. I had the tank replaced on the original radiator, but eventually the oil cooler inside the tank started leaking oil into the coolant. I seem to get about 8-10 years out of them. The Saturn is something else..... when I saw the upper hose I was a little concerned about it moving around and cracking the tank. the radiator looks to be original. When I did my oil cooler lines I found an age appropriate date code on the radiator for it to be original, so it's 20 years old like the rest of the car.

Quote:
If it's an automatic I would order the tranny cooler lines. I have not had the best luck with those. On two cars the previous "meckanick" had rounded off the fittings for me...
And get the AC Delco lines, not the Sunsongs on Rockauto. I bought the Sunsong lines and they would not fit into the quick connects. They were just slightly too big.

Rockauto is the best place for the Quick connects.... you'll get two for the price everyone else is asking for one.

May as well do a filter and fluid change for the transmission, and upper/lower radiator hoses, coolant and possibly the thermostat.
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Old 05-21-2020, 01:39 PM   #10
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Thumbs Up Re: HELP finding massive coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by 454cid View Post
May as well do a filter and fluid change for the transmission, and upper/lower radiator hoses, coolant and possibly the thermostat.
Just ordered the radiator hoses from Amazon (I get an employee discount) and good suggestions but i've already done the transmission and thermostat.
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Old 05-21-2020, 04:50 PM   #11
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Default Re: HELP finding massive coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJCharlie View Post
Just ordered the radiator hoses from Amazon (I get an employee discount) and good suggestions but i've already done the transmission and thermostat.
Good enough then..... I was just thinking of everything connected may as well be done too. I too would skip the thermostat since I recently installed one. I would probably do the transmission filter and fluid again since mine was incredibly old and a lot of ATF stays in torque convertor when the drain plug is pulled.
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Old 05-22-2020, 12:14 PM   #12
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Default Re: HELP finding massive coolant leak

BTW: Large leaks are usually pretty self-evident. However small leaks can be almost impossible to find, usually the occasional drop doesn't happen when the car is stopped. In that case a coolant pressure tester is a great tool. I use mine and have found leaks as little as a cup of coolant every 5,000 miles. That turned into a solid drip under pressure. You can borrow such a tool from Autozone or the Harbor Freight one for $100 is pretty good. We don't know what pressure the coolant system normally runs at (the manufacture doesn't tell us), however I usually pressurize to about 10-12psi which seems to generate leaks more than normal driving. You don't want to exceed 15 psi since that is when the cap would normally blow off and therefor beyond what the system is designed for.

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Old 05-23-2020, 03:53 PM   #13
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Default Re: HELP finding massive coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by 454cid View Post
And get the AC Delco lines, not the Sunsongs on Rockauto. I bought the Sunsong lines and they would not fit into the quick connects. They were just slightly too big.
I was able to use the Sunsongs but I had to file on them for a while to make them fit. No leaks but it was a pain.
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Old 05-23-2020, 04:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: HELP finding massive coolant leak

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I was able to use the Sunsongs but I had to file on them for a while to make them fit. No leaks but it was a pain.
I considered doing that but figured my filing would not be uniform and it would likely prevent me from getting a refund on them. Rockauto gave me a refund without returning them, so then I ordered the AC Delco..... which reminds me, I might still have some credit.
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