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Old 02-06-2014, 01:08 AM   #1
bigfoot92
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1998 SL2
Dizzy Buying a '98 SL2, but it loses coolant...

Hey Saturnfans,

I was able to fix most of my problems with my first car by looking through the forum, but this time I really need advice. I'm about to buy a 1998 SL2 tomorrow, and it's only problem is that it needs coolant every two weeks. The car has 160,000 miles on it, but has been well maintained its entire life, does this sound like head gasket to you? What should I do to find out?

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Old 02-06-2014, 03:13 AM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Buying a '98 SL2, but it loses coolant...

At 160k miles, the usual places for a leak to occur would be the radiator xmission fittings, hoses, and water pump. Head gasket failure would result in coolant turning to chocolate.

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Old 02-06-2014, 05:55 AM   #3
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2002 SL2
Default Re: Buying a '98 SL2, but it loses coolant...

Look for a chocolate milkshake foam in the coolant reservoir tank.

If it's there, head gasket...

Check the cap on the coolant reservoir tank, if it's not sealing, you will lose coolant.

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Old 02-06-2014, 04:10 PM   #4
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1998 SL2
Default Re: Buying a '98 SL2, but it loses coolant...

The black plastic radiator end tank on the driver side tends to split, too.

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http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho....php?p=2039356

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Old 02-06-2014, 08:31 PM   #5
caliber bob
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1997 SW2
Default Re: Buying a '98 SL2, but it loses coolant...

Are you finding coolant on the ground or are you just having to add?

I'd also check the t stat housing. I'm assuming it's on at least its second t stat so I'd check that in case they didn't seal it up good enough and the pressure from the car running is forcing it out there. Also gently wiggle on the radiator hoses. I've personally had a hose clamp cut into the hose and cause a leak. Just my dos centavos

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Old 02-08-2014, 04:45 PM   #6
bigfoot92
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1998 SL2
Default Re: Buying a '98 SL2, but it loses coolant...

I just bought the car and drove it home. Besides me being terrible at driving manual, I found the problem: the water pump. Turns out the weep hole in the water pump went, so all I have to do is change it out. Thanks for the input! And also, is there any reason why the car does not like to start out in first gear? It's probably just me, but I was wondering...

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Old 02-08-2014, 04:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Buying a '98 SL2, but it loses coolant...

@160k miles, clutch and/or clutch master/slave unit are worn.

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Old 02-08-2014, 10:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: Buying a '98 SL2, but it loses coolant...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfoot92 View Post
I just bought the car and drove it home. Besides me being terrible at driving manual, I found the problem: the water pump. Turns out the weep hole in the water pump went, so all I have to do is change it out. Thanks for the input! And also, is there any reason why the car does not like to start out in first gear? It's probably just me, but I was wondering...
Maybe have a buddy try it that is much better with the manual trans...

Highmile
'95 SL1 535k and counting

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Old 02-09-2014, 12:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Buying a '98 SL2, but it loses coolant...

My SL2 had a leak in the headgasket that appeared near the exhaust manifold. It was only a slight drip of coolant down the side of the block. I added the blue Subaru additive that they use for their head gasket problems and it seems to have worked for a while now.

For the 1st gear issue, is it hard to get into first gear when stopped at a stop sign or is it hard to get rolling from a stop?

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