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Old 09-18-2008, 08:12 PM   #1
usa4624
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Default 07 Aura XE 3.5 using coolant

Over the past few days, I have been hearing coolant move around in the HVAC system. I checked the coolant level this morning, and the reservoir is empty. Has anybody else had this problem?

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Old 09-19-2008, 01:16 AM   #2
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 using coolant

Quote:
Originally Posted by usa4624 View Post
Over the past few days, I have been hearing coolant move around in the HVAC system. I checked the coolant level this morning, and the reservoir is empty. Has anybody else had this problem?
Not good, You should add new coolant (buy the pre blended type if your not sure how to mix the coolant and water to the proper proportions) immediately.
Drive the car some short distance and let it cool down then check the level again. Top it off if it is still low. The reason for this is that you have heard the coolant in the heater and that means your system will have air pockets in the cooling system.
Then check you level every morning. IF it is going down and you see no evidence, like a puddle under your car, it's a sign that the coolant is going out through the head gasket and leaving as vapor out the tail pipe. That means Saturn will be replacing your head gasket and maybe your heads(?)

Of course if it doesn't go down it might not have been filled properly to begin with, but you should keep an eye on it often till your sure everything is OK.

Good luck

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Old 09-19-2008, 09:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 using coolant

Quote:
Originally Posted by usa4624 View Post
Over the past few days, I have been hearing coolant move around in the HVAC system. I checked the coolant level this morning, and the reservoir is empty. Has anybody else had this problem?
To add to what Phaeton said, check all hoses and hose connections for coolant residue (colored or white deposits) as a leak my not be bad enough to puddle under your car and will tend to evaporate with engine heat. Check the carpets under the dash for dampness which would be a sign of a leaking heater core or hoses.

Can you smell coolant inside the car? (leaking heater core) Have you noticed any steam coming from under the hood? (leaking hose or connections) Have you noticed a loss in engine performance or misfiring? (failed head gasket).

Above all, keep a close eye on your temp guage.

...
'07 Aura XE (wife's)
'03 BMW 530 (mine)

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Old 09-19-2008, 11:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 using coolant

Be careful on what coolant you use. Dex-Cool might hate it and it will cause more problems.

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Old 09-19-2008, 04:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 using coolant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaeton Driver View Post
Not good, You should add new coolant (buy the pre blended type if your not sure how to mix the coolant and water to the proper proportions) immediately.
Drive the car some short distance and let it cool down then check the level again. Top it off if it is still low. The reason for this is that you have heard the coolant in the heater and that means your system will have air pockets in the cooling system.
Then check you level every morning. IF it is going down and you see no evidence, like a puddle under your car, it's a sign that the coolant is going out through the head gasket and leaving as vapor out the tail pipe. That means Saturn will be replacing your head gasket and maybe your heads(?)

Of course if it doesn't go down it might not have been filled properly to begin with, but you should keep an eye on it often till your sure everything is OK.

Good luck
Uh oh... I have been thinking of this. I have no such problems of with my Aura, but I am reminded of the countless amount of head gasket problems on the GM 3100.. Of which the 3.5 has evolved from.

...
-Joel

Now: 2009 BMW 328i xDrive, Monaco Blue Metallic
Then:
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Old 09-20-2008, 03:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 using coolant

Check your oil level. If the oil level is higher than normal that may be where your coolant is going. If that is the case you should immediately get to Saturn for a diagnoses and drive as little as possible. Coolant in the oil will kill main bearings, rod bearings, etc. just about as quick as little or no oil at all. I hope you have better luck than this worst case situation.

...
"The principle difference between a man and a dog is that if you take a dog in and make him prosperous, he won't bite you!" - Mark Twain

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Old 09-21-2008, 01:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 using coolant

I took my car in Friday afternoon, and the dealer will keep it over the weekend. They didn't call me today (Saturday - limited staff), so I'm sure they'll have a diagnosis Monday afternoon.

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Old 09-21-2008, 08:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 using coolant

My '06 Impala 2LT has the 3.5L engine. It loves to "use" coolant. I keep a gallon of Prestone pre-mixed Dex-cool around and check the level every time I have the hood open. If the level is below the cool fill line on the reservoir, I just pour enough in to raise the level.

I have been reading that this is a relatively common issue with Dex-cool systems, so I am personally not worried about it (our '03 3.8L Impala also had this issue.) The temperature gauge is always in the same place, engine is quiet and strong, no excessive smoke from the exhaust, or other telltale signs of a bad head gasket.

The car uses oil too. It supposedly takes 4 quarts when changing the oil and filter. I have never pulled 4 quarts back out of it when changing oil. I also have to add oil ocassionally between changes to keep the oil in the "safe" zone on the dipstick.

I think these engines just do this by design (if that's what you want to call it.)

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Old 09-21-2008, 11:09 AM   #9
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 using coolant

ive never had a dex cool car that used a large amount of coolant. ive had 97 camaro, 99 z24, 00 venture van, 00 z24, 02 traiblazer, 02 cavalier ls sport, 04 monte carlo ss,07 aura, 08 outlook. all had dexcool.

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Old 09-21-2008, 06:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 using coolant

head gasket problems on the GM 3100

had one of those and it used very little coolant,
even when it was leaking. I found out it was leaking at an oil change.

...
2008 AURA XE 3.5
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Old 09-21-2008, 07:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 using coolant

Actually it was the intake manifold gasket that used to leak on the old 3.1/3.4 which is what made me nervous about going with the 3.5 on the Aura. I couldn't justify the $6k additonal for an XR, so I ended up with the 4 cyl. The Ecotec has a rock solid track record, easier to service, and pokey as all hell.

...
2008 Saturn Aura XE I-4 Techno Gray

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Old 09-21-2008, 08:15 PM   #12
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 using coolant

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Actually it was the intake manifold gasket that used to leak on the old 3.1/3.4 which is what made me nervous about going with the 3.5 on the Aura. I couldn't justify the $6k additonal for an XR, so I ended up with the 4 cyl. The Ecotec has a rock solid track record, easier to service, and pokey as all hell.
Well.. I don't know the Ecotec has records of timing chain failures, if we want to get down to it.

I'm not too worried, as I am so honestly impressed with GMs 3.5 compared to their older V6s.. I could be wrong, but, hopefully these problems, if they were to occur, would occur before the warranty is up.

...
-Joel

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Old 09-21-2008, 08:41 PM   #13
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 using coolant

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Well.. I don't know the Ecotec has records of timing chain failures, if we want to get down to it.
Timing chain failures were resolved in the mid 2003 model year.

...
2008 Saturn Aura XE I-4 Techno Gray

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Old 09-21-2008, 08:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 using coolant

There are 2 TSB's regarding coolant leaks for the 3.5L V6.
  • #08-06-01-012 - This is reference to cylinder head gasket leaks.
  • #07-06-02-006A - This is in reference to a leaking coolant crossover pipe gasket.

These may be possible coolant leaks areas. There have been a few coolant tanks leaking also.

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Old 09-21-2008, 09:43 PM   #15
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 using coolant

My Intrigue's 3.5 Shortstar (not related to the Aura 3.5) uses a little bit of Dexcool coolant, enough to set off the low coolant warning light around twice between oil changes (and burns about 1 1/2 quarts every 5000 miles). Lucky it takes 6 quarts.

...
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:13 PM   #16
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 using coolant

Resurrection!

I've been hearing coolant sludge around under the dash for a while. Checked coolant level was about 1/4 full in the tank a few weeks ago. Checked it again may as well have been empty. IDK where its disappearing to but its the first time in 2.5 years of owning that coolant has been added to my knowledge.

I suspect the crossover pipe? Goes over the transmission cable? I had that break and remember another post of someone noticing coolant on the cable.

...
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:25 PM   #17
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 using coolant

dont do anything that will cause warranty problems if you are under 100k miles. only add dex cool.

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Old 11-01-2010, 11:50 PM   #18
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Default Re: 07 Aura XE 3.5 using coolant

Quote:
Originally Posted by metgol View Post
Resurrection!

I've been hearing coolant sludge around under the dash for a while. Checked coolant level was about 1/4 full in the tank a few weeks ago. Checked it again may as well have been empty. IDK where its disappearing to but its the first time in 2.5 years of owning that coolant has been added to my knowledge.

I suspect the crossover pipe? Goes over the transmission cable? I had that break and remember another post of someone noticing coolant on the cable.
Coolant dye (couple bucks) & a cheap blacklight from walmart (about $10) may help find your leak. Check after dark.

This is a misprint, I'm guessing:

07 Aura 19500miles

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