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Old 10-28-2019, 10:04 PM   #1
serenitythen
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1997 SL2
Default Slow coolant leak turned major!

I'm writing this from the side of the freeway. I'm letting my 97 Saturn SL2 with 210,000 miles cool down and traffic to lighten up before attempting to add more coolant/water and drive the last 8 miles home.

I've been slowly losing coolant for a few years. It's wet on the engine block near the upper coolant hose, ects, and the transmission underneath. I've added coolant every few months. I figured it's a outer head gasket leak.
The ects is brass and the upper radiator hose is fairly new.

Well tonight the leak got a lot bigger! Now I noticed coolant on the bottom the battery tray too. The bottom side of the upper radiator feels dry so coolant isn't riding down the hose into the battery from that.
Will a leaky head gasket spray or piss some distance??

Any other things to look at? Is there a coolant hose that runs in that area that feeds thru the throttle body?

Now, I can top off the coolant reservoir, drive only 4 miles and the coolant light is already flashing on my dash. That's how fast it's losing coolant. I can't see where it's leaking, pissing, spraying from??

Any tips on what to look for appreciated

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Old 10-28-2019, 10:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Slow coolant leak turned major!

It has been hours now since your post, I hope you are off the road by now.

Yes, fluids under pressure can spray all over, in unpredictable patterns.

Did you loosen/remove the reservoir cap to minimize pressure building in the coolant system?

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Old 10-28-2019, 10:43 PM   #3
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1997 SL2
Default Re: Slow coolant leak turned major!

Has the radiator ever been replaced?

...
97 SL2, auto, 116K miles
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Old 10-29-2019, 01:09 AM   #4
serenitythen
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Default Re: Slow coolant leak turned major!

Update:
Got the car home after stopping a total of 6 times for water. Turns out it was a cut in the upper radiator hose that rubbed against the battery tray until a slice opened up. The hose was only a few years old.

I bought a new hose and protected it with armor (I cut a strip from a old rubber car floor mat and wrapped it around vulnerable spots on the new hose and held in place by steel zip ties).

I still may have a occasional outside head gasket leak....or that may been the hose too. But either way, the hose was the reason for today's sudden dumping of coolant.

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