Engine Coolant

Tiny
DOH DOH
  • MEMBER
  • 1993 SATURN SL2
  • 4 CYL
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 57,000 MILES
My 1993 saturn sl2 coolant, keeps getting low and I refill it like every 2 weeks. Does it sound like I need a radiator?
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Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 AT 3:19 AM

14 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Do you see leakage from the radiator? If not, that's the last thing to suspect. Loss of coolant is often caused by a leaking head gasket, but when it takes so long for the level to go down, you're better off adding a small bottle of dye to the coolant, then check with a black light a few days later. In particular, look at the inside of the tail pipe. The dye will show up as a bright yellow stain.
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Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 AT 3:39 AM
Tiny
DOH DOH
  • MEMBER
My friend looked at my car. He said it looked like a leak from the radiator. Also. Under my car (on the drivers side) I have seen a puddle on the ground. Like I said. It takes about 2 weeks for my level to go down, then I add more coolant. Does that sound like a radiator? Thanks for your help.
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Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 AT 4:15 AM
Tiny
DOH DOH
  • MEMBER
My friend looked at my car and he said it looked like it was leaking from the radiator. I know there has been a wet puddle under my car (on the driver's side). Like I said, my coolant level goes down in about 2 weeks, and then I add more. I guess I can't add that "stop leak" can I? I just have the coolant reservoir & it says to add "coolant only". Does it sound like it may be the radiator after all?
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Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 AT 4:21 AM
Tiny
DOH DOH
  • MEMBER
Sorry.I thought my first answer didn't post.
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Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 AT 4:22 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Could be the radiator if the puddle is near the front of the car. That would be much better than a head gasket. The system can be pressure tested, then you can snoop around to see where the coolant is leaking from. Many auto parts stores borrow or rent tools. It has a hand pump to pump the system up to 15 pounds of pressure, then besides looking for the leak, it has a gauge to show if the pressure is leaking down. That can be misleading too because very often the tester itself leaks where it is connected to the radiator cap.

Also, don't over look that sometimes hose clamps work loose. If you see green juice on the end of one of the hoses, the clamp might just need to be tightened.
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Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 AT 5:00 AM
Tiny
DOH DOH
  • MEMBER
You are very helpful.I will ck. Out what u said! Thankyou so much!
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Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 AT 5:41 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Just to add to this one if the radiator is leaking most of the time it leaks on the drivers side just under where the upper radiator hose goes on right where your top upper transmission cooler line screws in. The plastic radiator tank cracks and leak's. Also the water pumps leaks its the pulley below the a/c compressor. On the older ones like yours the plastic coolant tank where you fill it cracks and leaks. If you have a puddle under the drivers side is it clear water or coolant?Also lets not forget that you probably have a coolant cap that isn't holding pressure. Pressure testing the system is the way to go though.
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Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 AT 11:31 PM
Tiny
DOH DOH
  • MEMBER
The water that is leaking is coolant.I think it is leaking where you said, on the drivers side where the upper radiator hose goes on. That's where it seemed wet. I am trying to get this fixed as cheaply as possible. Am on a tight budget. Thankyou so much for your help. I don't have a raditor cap do I? I just see a reservoir bottle where you add coolant.
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Thursday, April 14th, 2011 AT 12:41 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
That is your radiator cap on the plastic tank. It's really common for the radiator tank to crack where I described. The radiators are only like 100 at auto zone. Let me know how you make out and what you find.
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Thursday, April 14th, 2011 AT 12:53 AM
Tiny
DOH DOH
  • MEMBER
Oh. So that is the cap. It seems to have a tight fit on it. It was a 1 owner car (my mom) and she gave it to me. She literally only drove it to the store etc. You can imagine only 57,000 miles on a car from 93'. Thanks for your info about Autozone too!
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Thursday, April 14th, 2011 AT 1:39 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
You cant tell if the cap is good by how it looks or how tight it fits. There only like 6 I would just change it.
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Thursday, April 14th, 2011 AT 3:25 PM
Tiny
DOH DOH
  • MEMBER
Thankyou.I'll check into that!
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Friday, April 15th, 2011 AT 5:19 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Keep us posted on what you find.
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Friday, April 15th, 2011 AT 4:01 PM
Tiny
DOH DOH
  • MEMBER
Will do! Thanks for your suggestions!
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Saturday, April 16th, 2011 AT 1:08 AM

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