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Old 10-15-2003, 01:32 PM   #1
amazinghl
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Wrench Locating a Coolant Leak

First, look for puddle and white water mark under the car.

Coolant will leave white water mark around the area where it's leaking from. Check the coolant cap, waterpump, coolant surge tank, heater core, then the radiator for white water mark.

Check your coolant, do you see oil? Check the oil, do you see coolant? If so, you have a blown head gasket.

Check under the car, if you get a puddle on the passenger side, your coolant surge tank or waterpump is bad. If you get a puddle on the driver side, it's probably the radiator.

Do the following checks while the engine is cool.

To check the coolant surge tank, you have to unbolt the top two bolts then pick up the coolant surge tank to check the bottom of the tank.

To check the waterpump. Take off your front passenger wheel and check for white water mark around the area of the waterpump.

To check the radiator, look for the cracks/white water mark on the plastic side tanks. For an auto, the usual spot that cracks is in between the tranny fluid pipings.

To check the heater core, look under the dash from the passenger side, is there any white water mark?

If you still can't find a leak by this time, turn on your car on in your drive way, let it over heats unit the fans kicks in.

When your water pressure is high enough, the water will shot out of the radiator from if it is cracked.

If you heater core is leaking, turning on the heater, you'll see white steam from the vent.

If you still can't find in by this time, look under the car, you should see some droplets. You then can recheck everything to find the leak. Don't forget to check the radiator hoses!


Parts prices are as follow.
~$40 for waterpump
~$60 for heatercore
~$140 for radiator
~$20-$80 for coolant surge tank

Get a quote with www.radiator.com and ask for free shipping.

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Old 10-17-2003, 12:22 PM   #2
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I'd just like to add that if oil is found in the coolant (and in really bad cases, coolant in the oil), and the car is a SOHC s-series, the most common cause is a cracked cylinder head. Leaking head gaskets (if installed and torqued correctly) are not very common on Saturns.

As well, the usual first sign of a heater core leak is a sweet smell in the car, and foggy windows. Left long enough, coolant will leak onto the carpet on the center "hump" at the front of the car (under the dash)

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Old 10-17-2003, 06:03 PM   #3
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Has any one else had a leaking radiator cap?

My 96SC2 has a leak...and I'll be darned if it liiks like the leak is coming from under the rad cap on the overflow tank. I think this is supposed to have a pressure release valve at over 15psi...is it possible that the valve failed? I do not see coolant coming from anywhere else and the overflow tank does not appear top be cracked.

At first I just thought the cap was not on tight enough. Maybe the cap has a cracked rubber gasket....anyone had this happen?

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Old 10-17-2003, 11:16 PM   #4
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Pressure valve in the cap can fail. If the coolant is coming out from under the cap then you likely need a new cap.

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Old 10-18-2003, 04:35 PM   #5
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you're the maestro ssi!

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Old 01-07-2004, 01:23 AM   #6
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waterpump pics.

http://home.pcmagic.net/amazinghl/waterpump

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