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Old 03-17-2012, 11:37 PM   #1
dorisSL
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1995 SL
Default doris' coolant issues continue

several months ago, Doris finally got the inevitable leaky radiator, so i replaced it with the recommended one (it was clearly a gm part with the gm logo scratched off)
after replacing it, i checked the coolant every day for a few days to make sure it was still full, and i never had to top it up.

two or three days ago, my low coolant light started blinking when on steep hills, so i checked it today and it was low, so i topped it up (took about a 1/2 cup). poked around the engine bay for any signs of a leak, didn't see any.
i do have a little bit of black in the coolant reservoir (the coolant looks normal, this is like a thin layer on the inside of the tank itself). i also noticed some orange buildup where the top radiator hose meets the engine block. no signs of leaks anywhere, though, unless it's a another hairline crack somewhere.

so, i'm hoping it's not a head gasket leak or cracked head, but i'm not sure how to test for either, and i'm wondering if there's anything else it might be.
also, if it is a leaking gasket, how long can i nurse it before it dies? time/money will likely be tight until mid-may, when i might be able to take time off work and catch up on finances.

also, any ballpark figures for an average head gasked replacement?

...
1995 SL, born 12/23/94, manual, WAI 190,500, "Doris"
(I'm Ben, the car is Doris)

you can't mulch at those speeds man, that's too fast

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Old 03-18-2012, 12:02 AM   #2
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1998 SC2
Default Re: doris' coolant issues continue

Shop cost to do a head gasket is high. Th e orange goo around th e hose is your leak and the bathtub ring is the original dose of walnut hulls. Wipe your finger in it and it will be slightly gritty. Replace hose or tighten clamp.

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Old 03-18-2012, 10:57 PM   #3
Signmaster
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1995 SL1
Default Re: doris' coolant issues continue

I'd second that as the leak spot. Probably coming out as mostly steam, and the heat is steaming any droplets off before they can be spotted.

My lower hose lost a tiny amount after the radiator change, and the car had to be up to near fan on temp to even see the steam mist.

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