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Old 10-01-2009, 06:04 PM   #1
saabed
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Default Drivers side coolant leak

Hi guys,

New member here. I'm inquiring for my girlfriend's 2002 SL2 which just sprung a coolant leak on the drivers side somewggestions here. Between lastnight around 10pm and this afternoon she lost about a pint or a bit more of coolant which i can see coming out on the driver's side. Just enough to have her indicator light turn on. At first glance, and with a bit of searching I can't really pinpoint the leak. The hoses look good, clamps look good. I'm pretty sure it's not the water pump as it's on the opposite side. At idle from a cold start, I can't see it pouring out. Just a drop every now and then from the under guard. I can see little pools building in spaces on the radiator crevices but it's a too dark out now to identify more.

So anything in particular I can look for first thing tomorrow morning? Any suggestions or direction?

We thanks you

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Old 10-01-2009, 06:06 PM   #2
RobertGary1
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Default Re: Drivers side coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by saabed View Post
Hi guys,

So anything in particular I can look for first thing tomorrow morning? Any suggestions or direction?

We thanks you
Heater core??

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Old 10-01-2009, 07:13 PM   #3
off-track
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1997 SL2
Default Re: Drivers side coolant leak

I'm betting you'll be looking for a new radiator soon. Check the drivers sideof the radiator end tank where the TAAT cooling lines connect to it (assuming it's an auto). The hairline crack is usually in that area. Do a search for "radiator crack" and you'll probably find some pictures.

...
1997 - SL2, barebones, 161k, Auto - Rebuild complete and.. burnt a valve 20k later Arrgh!
Purchased 114k 10/07
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Drivers side coolant leak

Welcome to the forums.

Congrats...you have the driver's side pinhole radiator leak. Everyone here has had this issue. I've replaced 2 radiators in 2 saturns.

It was a design flaw in the radiator design; as the radiators on these cars are plastic tanks surrounding a metal core. You can buy a replacement from your favorite auto store for anywhere from $85-$150. DO NOT USE STOP LEAK, AND DO NOT LET THIS GO...YOU WILL DAMAGE THE COOLANT SYSTEM

If you have some tools; you can replace this yourself, with a little time. It's a few 10 mm bolts. In the morning when you look at your radiator, you will see a small (literally a 1/4 inch crack) near the driver's side top near the top radiator hose.

Is this car a manual or auto?

If auto, I would reccommend replacing the auto trans cooling lines as well, which are dealer only parts at $15-$20 each.

Check the how-to section...there should be some step by step instructions there....

...
Bryan

94 SL2 225K Miles
97 SW2 255K Miles

Garaged
94 SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

Never Forget
94 SC1 340,501 Miles
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:34 PM   #5
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Default

Wow, thanks for the speedy reply and suggestions guys. I'll definitely have a closer look at the top if the radiator in the morning and check out the how- to section for some ideas on the replacement procedure. To answer the tranny question, she does have the 5spd manual, so hopefully we dodged another potential bullet there

I'll post another update once everythings figured out.

Cheers

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Old 10-02-2009, 06:46 AM   #6
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Default Re: Drivers side coolant leak

If the car is a 5 speed, then you don't have to worry about the trans cooling lines. Those are only for use on the Automatic transmission cars.

...
Bryan

94 SL2 225K Miles
97 SW2 255K Miles

Garaged
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Never Forget
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Old 10-02-2009, 07:25 AM   #7
DonP
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Default Re: Drivers side coolant leak

Welcome

Check My Photos for an shot showing the crack as it developed in my radiator. To help with interpreting the location of the crack, the circular thing in the upper left of the photo is the radiator inlet.

If she has the same sort of radiator end tank crack, is sounds a bit early, normally it hits at around the 10-12 year point. So look carefully for other leak points as well, such as a loose hose clamp or failing hose.

If you end up replacing the radiator, keep in mind that most aftermarket replacements come with A/T cooling line connection points. They can be ignored with a manual.

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Old 09-29-2012, 01:05 PM   #8
2000sl2heaney
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Default Re: Drivers side coolant leak

Hey Don,
You hit is on the head.
I have a 2000 SL2. It is 2012 now. It took 12 years for my leak to appear. Your pic looks like my radiator.
thanks for the advise.

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Old 11-18-2012, 09:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: Drivers side coolant leak

When you install the new Transmission Hoses, wrap the threads with TEFLON TAPE, so they don't corrode in place.

It will make replacement much easier next time.

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