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Old 04-22-2011, 10:52 AM   #1
scott96sc2
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Default Losing Coolant

Ok, I'm frustrated. I keep losing coolant and I don't *think* I'm leaking anymore, but given history, I could be.

So far, I've replaced the following due to leaks:
Water pump
Radiator (twice - first one was bad)
Overflow tank
Thermostat (with new gasket)
ECTS

I don't SEE any leaks, but I smell something. Any other obvious spots I'm missing that may be indicative to Saturn DOHC's?

Thanks,
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Old 04-22-2011, 12:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Losing Coolant

A cold pressure test with a loaner tool may help. Try Autozone if they have a hand held pressure pump w/gauge and adapter to fit on the coolant container. Cold pressure testing allows feeling and seeing coolant leaks.

Smelling coolant is unmistakeable. If not from the engine area then it may be leaking from the heater core or hose connections on the firewall. The usual heater core leak leaves a fog on the windshield and an overwhelming sweet smell from the hvac box.
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Old 04-22-2011, 01:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: Losing Coolant

That makes sense. I don't seem to be burning it, so I'll try that route next. No puddle under the car, so this is one is more aloof than the usual culprits.
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Losing Coolant

Looks like the 2nd radiator is now leaking the same way the first did. Pi$$es me off the junk that gets put out in the market. Anybody got a recommendation for a brand?
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Old 04-23-2011, 02:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Losing Coolant

Hey everyone! I'm new to the forum but I too am having a coolant problem with my '97 sl2. It started last summer when I noticed steam coming from my hood while I was sitting in a parking lot with the engine running (a warm morning). On the ground next to the front passenger side there was a pool of coolant. I took it to the shop and they said my radiator was falling apart (which it was) and installed a new one. A week or so it began leaking again. When I took it to the shop they left it running for about 30 minutes and couldn't recreate the leak. I took it home and let it run for about 10 minutes and watched it leak from the reservoir cap, the steam was coming off of the hot coolant. I was so excited because I thought I had solved what my mechanic couldn't! I replaced the cap (luckily a cheap solution) and thought that was that because I didn't have that problem again.

About a month ago, I was parked with the engine running again (another warm day) and I saw the recognized steam coming from the exact same spot as it had six months earlier. A lot of coolant was lost this time and I had to top it off. Since then I have been unable to recreate the leak, even after just letting it run for an hour (a much cooler day). I don't lose coolant anytime else except when this steaming situation occurs (the temp gauge is at or past the halfway mark), which is why this hasn't become too urgent a problem yet. I've visually inspected the hoses (while letting the car run) and I don't see anything obviously damaged. I would buy another cap but I have yet to see specifically where the coolant is leaking from this time around. Besides the location of the steam that one time, I don't know if it is another fault cap, a leaky hose, or something wrong with the reservoir itself. I've also thought about doing a pressure test.

Any ideas?
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Old 04-23-2011, 05:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Losing Coolant

Quote:
Originally Posted by scott96sc2 View Post
Looks like the 2nd radiator is now leaking the same way the first did. Pi$$es me off the junk that gets put out in the market. Anybody got a recommendation for a brand?
I don't have a recommendation; but I have heard that www.radiatorbarn.com is a good reputable company that you can order online and have shipped. From what I have read on here they have good prices as well.

Looks like $70.00 shipped (Free Shipping).
...
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94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

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Old 04-23-2011, 09:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Losing Coolant

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Originally Posted by jac9857 View Post
Hey everyone! I'm new to the forum but I too am having a coolant problem with my '97 sl2. .........Any ideas?
It might be better to start a new thread instead of threadjacking this one............I think your problem won't be easily answered in one reply.
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
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It might be better to start a new thread instead of threadjacking this one............I think your problem won't be easily answered in one reply.
Will do!
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: Losing Coolant

Quote:
Originally Posted by scott96sc2 View Post
Looks like the 2nd radiator is now leaking the same way the first did. Pi$$es me off the junk that gets put out in the market. Anybody got a recommendation for a brand?
After seeing post after post of aftermarket radiators that failed I just found the Delphi unit and got it. I figure if the original one made it 15 years the replacement should do similar.

RA1145 is the number. Being that I have a manual I looked around hoping to find one without a tranny cooler, but never did find one in the Delphi.
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Old 04-24-2011, 11:59 AM   #10
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Default Re: Losing Coolant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Signmaster View Post
Being that I have a manual I looked around hoping to find one without a tranny cooler, but never did find one in the Delphi.
There probably isn't one. There's no point in making one without.
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