Mechanics

CHEVY ENGINE COOLANT LOSS

2000 Chevrolet Cavalier

Engine Cooling problem
2000 Chevy Cavalier 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 96515 miles

My car is losing coolant. I can smell it in the car. I don't see anything leaking onto the ground under the car. What tests can be done to determine where the leak is? How can I determine where the coolant is going? I can't afford a big repair bill. What is the best cheap way to repair the problem?

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.
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Grandma36
September 1, 2009.



Make sure it isn't getting into the oil. Also, check the front right side of the head to make sure it isn't leaking.

As far as a test, you can pressurize the system to see if it holds pressure. If it doesn't, check for a leak while it's under pressure.

Let me know what you find. Also, check the weep hole on the waterpump for evidence of a leak.

Can you please answer some other questions raised by your response to my original question? How can I tell if the coolant is getting into the oil? How is the system pressurized? Is that something I can do or do I have to have a mechanic do it? Where is the weep hole on the water pump? Sorry to have so many questions but I'm not a mechanic and don't have much mechanical experience except with problems. Thank you so much for your response.

Tiny
Grandma36
Sep 4, 2009.
Not a problem. That is why we are here. The weep hole is on the under side of the water pump. It is about 1/4" in diameter. It was put there to indicate when the seal or bearing is bad in the pump. Coolant will leak from it.

As far as the pressure test, there is a pump with a gauge on it that replaces the radiator cap. Many parts stores will lend or rent it to you. WHen the engine is cold, you remove the rad cap, screw on the pump, and pressurize the system. Once it's pressurized, then you can look for leaks that wouldn't happen when the engine cools off. NOTE: also pay attention to the pressure. Does the system maintain the pressure or does it leak down?

As far as the coolant getting into the oil, pull the dipstick to check the oil. Is there a white creayy substance on it? If you remove the oil cap (where you fill the oil) does it have a white creamy substance on it that would indicate oil and water mixing?

CHeck those things out and let me know what you find. If you have other questions, don't be worried about asking. I don't mind at all.

Joe