SaturnFans.com
what's new (beta) - classifieds - forums - photos


Go Back   SaturnFans.com Forums > Models > Saturn S-Series > S-Series General
Register FAQ Members List Groups Calendar Chat Room Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-13-2019, 02:26 AM   #1
CaptainAtom
New Member
CaptainAtom is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 8
Default Tracking down a coolant leak

Hi all, I'm try to track down a coolant leak. Now I up on stands and filled it with some antifreeze and turned it on and checked to see if it the water pump was spraying it and it wasn't so I don't think it's the pump. I took the tire off and got under it and there's a lot of residue and actual antifreeze underneath the reservoir and down underneath where the radiator drain plug is. With all that I'm thinking it could be the reservoir might be cracked or something. If anyone can think of anything else I should check that would be big help.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to CaptainAtom's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help CaptainAtom reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
CaptainAtom is offline   Reply With Quote
SaturnFans.com Sponsored Links
Old 02-13-2019, 09:16 AM   #2
onlinebiker
Advanced Member
onlinebiker is a glorious beacon of lightonlinebiker is a glorious beacon of lightonlinebiker is a glorious beacon of lightonlinebiker is a glorious beacon of lightonlinebiker is a glorious beacon of lightonlinebiker is a glorious beacon of light
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: sw michigan
Posts: 526
Default Re: Tracking down a coolant leak

It can be the burp tank. I just fixed one that was easy - the overpressure line ( on top, routed to the intake manifold) was simply loose. ( causing it to leak rapidly at first - slowing as the level goes down)

Best bet - rinse off all wet areas with water - and dry it off. Then pressure test either static, or by running. The source will be easier to find then.

...
92 SC2
93 SC2
96 SC2
97 SL2
97 SC2
99 SC2
02 SC2
02 SL2

parts
2 94 SC2 parted out
3 96 SC2
98 SC2 - rusty frame minus engine.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to onlinebiker's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help onlinebiker reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
onlinebiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2019, 09:26 AM   #3
2NDSOUT
Master Member
2NDSOUT is just really nice2NDSOUT is just really nice2NDSOUT is just really nice2NDSOUT is just really nice2NDSOUT is just really nice
 
2NDSOUT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 7,309
 

1994 SL2
1999 SL
Default Re: Tracking down a coolant leak

In one of my cars, I had a small crack that developed on the UNDERSIDE of the Coolant Tank. It was a small 1/4 inch crack that was almost impossible to see, unless you REALLY looked for it.

I swapped it out with a used tank, and everything was good.

...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

92SL1
05VUE
91SC

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to 2NDSOUT's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help 2NDSOUT reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
2NDSOUT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2019, 09:33 AM   #4
CaptainAtom
New Member
CaptainAtom is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 8
Default Re: Tracking down a coolant leak

Much appreciated, now I have the repair manual, could you tell me what the burp tank is so I can find it in my manual? Also is there anything I can put in the reservoir besides coolant to try and find the leak? I really don't want to spend more money on antifreeze if I don't have too. Again your help is much appreciated!

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to CaptainAtom's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help CaptainAtom reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
CaptainAtom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2019, 09:35 AM   #5
trottida
Master Member
trottida is a splendid one to beholdtrottida is a splendid one to beholdtrottida is a splendid one to beholdtrottida is a splendid one to beholdtrottida is a splendid one to beholdtrottida is a splendid one to beholdtrottida is a splendid one to behold
 
trottida's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: North of North of Toronto, Northern Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,318
 

1999 SL2
2001 SL1
Default Re: Tracking down a coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainAtom View Post
Much appreciated, now I have the repair manual, could you tell me what the burp tank is so I can find it in my manual? Also is there anything I can put in the reservoir besides coolant to try and find the leak? I really don't want to spend more money on antifreeze if I don't have too. Again your help is much appreciated!
He's referring to the coolant reservoir where you would add coolant. The small return line into it at the top towards the firewall.

...
2001 SL1 MT (428,500 km @ 01/2019)
1999 SL2 MT (272,500 km @ 01/2019)
2011 Suburban LT (120,506 km @ 01/2019)

Past Saturns
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

:canada:

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to trottida's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help trottida reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
trottida is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2019, 09:39 AM   #6
CaptainAtom
New Member
CaptainAtom is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 8
Default Re: Tracking down a coolant leak

Oh ok thanks, that makes sense. Again thanks, I'm not the most mechanically inclined so I really don't know the lingo so to speak. Much obliged.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to CaptainAtom's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help CaptainAtom reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
CaptainAtom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2019, 10:53 AM   #7
alordofchaos
Super Member
alordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud ofalordofchaos has much to be proud of
 
alordofchaos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central MI
Posts: 12,232
 

2002 SC2
1998 SL2
Default Re: Tracking down a coolant leak

If you are going to flush it after you fix the leak, hose water is fine for finding the leak.

Otherwise, I would use distilled water at roughly $1 or less a gallon. Then when you find the leak and seal it - drain the system, buy 1 gallon of pure (undiluted, not pre-mix) antifreeze.

Fill with 1 gallon undiluted antifreeze, top off with distilled, and you end up with roughly 57/43, a decent mix for most of the US

...
I'm not worthy to grovel in the shadow of Signmaster's wisdom

11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 141k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to alordofchaos's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help alordofchaos reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
alordofchaos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2019, 11:40 PM   #8
Melissa_M
Advanced Member
Melissa_M has a spectacular aura aboutMelissa_M has a spectacular aura aboutMelissa_M has a spectacular aura about
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 728
 

1999 SL2
Default Re: Tracking down a coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
If you are going to flush it after you fix the leak, hose water is fine for finding the leak.

Otherwise, I would use distilled water at roughly $1 or less a gallon. Then when you find the leak and seal it - drain the system, buy 1 gallon of pure (undiluted, not pre-mix) antifreeze.

Fill with 1 gallon undiluted antifreeze, top off with distilled, and you end up with roughly 57/43, a decent mix for most of the US
Do not add a ' stop leak' product.
The water pump has weep holes but that drips down onto the frame (?) and can be hard to spot.
The drain plug could leak.
The hoses may leak, or just where the hose/clamp connection is.

...
1999 SL2 MANUAL ~76K

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Melissa_M's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Melissa_M reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Melissa_M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2019, 04:04 PM   #9
Saturn Night
Master Member
Saturn Night is a jewel in the roughSaturn Night is a jewel in the roughSaturn Night is a jewel in the roughSaturn Night is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Leavittsburg, OH
Posts: 3,172

1995 SC2
Default Re: Tracking down a coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainAtom View Post
Much appreciated, now I have the repair manual, could you tell me what the burp tank is so I can find it in my manual? Also is there anything I can put in the reservoir besides coolant to try and find the leak? I really don't want to spend more money on antifreeze if I don't have too. Again your help is much appreciated!
The terminology used in repairs manuals can vary, depending on which author wrote the manual.

FSM, I think, refers to the tank as the "expansion tank".

Other names can be, "Overflow reservoir", "Overflow Tank", or "Coolant Reservoir".

There are three possibilities, with the symptoms you have described.

The pressure cap may have failed.

To test this, idle the car with coolant level at the "Full Cold" mark. Allow the engine to idle until the temp gauge gets to around the 5/8 mark. You will start to see coolant seeping from under the cap, and down the side of the tank.

The other two possible causes have already been covered, which are the aeration line being loose on the top of the tank, which will cause a seeping leak at any temperature and the engine running.

And, a cracked reservoir, which may only start out leaking under pressure or will leak even when the engine is off(from gravity).

Filling the reservoir, and allowing the car to sit overnight on a level surface, should be able to identify if the tank is leaking. You can also drain the tank and remove it, to visually inspect it for cracks.

And listen to Melissa M, by not adding any type of "stop leak" products. "Stop Leak" should only be used, when the symptoms match the description for the leak you are troubleshooting.

...
"What does a Saturn owner do, at the gas station?"

"He checks the gas, and fills the oil....."

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Saturn Night's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Saturn Night reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Saturn Night is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2019, 04:28 PM   #10
Jon Boy
Member
Jon Boy has a spectacular aura aboutJon Boy has a spectacular aura aboutJon Boy has a spectacular aura about
 
Jon Boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Utah
Posts: 167

2001 SC2
Default Re: Tracking down a coolant leak

In my experience, the quickest way to find a coolant leak is to put some UV tracer dye in the expansion tank, drive it around a bit to let the dye flow through the whole system, and then use a UV flashlight to see where it's coming from. It makes it really easy to see the source of the leak.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20180521_232057007_LL.jpg (99.8 KB, 7 views)

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Jon Boy's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Jon Boy reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Jon Boy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2019, 05:03 PM   #11
Zeebins
Advanced Member
Zeebins is a name known to allZeebins is a name known to allZeebins is a name known to allZeebins is a name known to allZeebins is a name known to allZeebins is a name known to all
 
Zeebins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 596
 

1997 SL2
Default Re: Tracking down a coolant leak

^^I agree with the idea of using a uv dye. I used one before to find an oil leak and it worked just fine. Make sure you read the bottle though of whatever your using. Some dyes I've seen arent compatible with dexcool.

...
Road salt will be the death of me
1997 SL2, 112K miles

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Zeebins's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Zeebins reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Zeebins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2019, 05:17 PM   #12
Jon Boy
Member
Jon Boy has a spectacular aura aboutJon Boy has a spectacular aura aboutJon Boy has a spectacular aura about
 
Jon Boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Utah
Posts: 167

2001 SC2
Default Re: Tracking down a coolant leak

Yeah, I should've mentioned compatibility. I had to hunt around a bit to find some. I think I ended up getting it from Amazon along with a little UV flashlight for around $10 total.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Jon Boy's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Jon Boy reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Jon Boy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2019, 05:49 PM   #13
CaptainAtom
New Member
CaptainAtom is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 8
Default Re: Tracking down a coolant leak

Cool thanks for all the help! Now can I get the UV dye at somewhere like AutoZone or do I need to go online to find it?

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to CaptainAtom's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help CaptainAtom reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
CaptainAtom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2019, 01:57 PM   #14
fdryer
Super Member
fdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond repute
 
fdryer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 41,828
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Tracking down a coolant leak

Yes, you can buy cooling system dye from most auto stores but check online first or call ahead. Be aware, one brand of dye isn't compatible with dexcool anti freeze. If you're using dexcool, this dye is not recommended. If you're using other brands of antifreeze, try it. The other alternatives to look for cooling system leaks is either with a fully warmed engine or pressurizing a cold engine using a kit borrowed from AutoZone. A hand pump with pressure gauge, hoses and fittings to match radiators or coolant container caps allows pumping up a cold system to operating pressures to find leaks without being scalded with hot coolant or burned on a hot engine.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to fdryer's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help fdryer reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tracking down a coolant leak CaptainAtom S-Series Tech 10 12-01-2018 12:25 AM
Oil Leak, Coolant Leak, Alternator, Compressor Bobcat124_23456 L-Series Tech 4 03-25-2013 10:13 PM
coolant leak BUSGORTO S-Series General 1 09-01-2009 04:01 PM
Saturn SL-1 2002 - Coolant Light/Coolant Leak - Muffler noise - Check Engine Light unabelladonna S-Series Tech 1 02-26-2007 12:56 PM
coolant leak Tmac Miscellaneous Tech 6 11-21-2003 11:21 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:14 PM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SaturnFans.com. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.