1997 Chevrolet Cavalier



December, 18, 2008 AT 5:40 PM

1997 Chevy Cavalier 4 cyl Four Wheel Drive Automatic 202000 miles

Hi there,
I drive 1997 Cavalier Z24 2.4 engine and i'm leaking coolant. The problem is when my car is on the hoist it won't leak but when i'm driving and it's been parked it will leave a puddle of coolant on the driver's side. Not a lot but enough. I've had a pressure test and it was fine, I had the container changed, the coolant sensor changed, the flange, my dad checked the hoses and clamps fine, water pump is dry and was replaced 3 yrs ago. We are really confused here. Why will it not drip when car is on hoist? Please any help would be appreciated.


5 Answers



December, 18, 2008 AT 10:44 PM

You can buy some UV die to add to the coolant system and then use a black light to see where it's coming from.



December, 19, 2008 AT 9:57 PM

Hi there where do I buy this dye from? When I do I just put it in the res tank and wait for different color to appear. Why haven't the mechanics done this first I wonder? And this will find the leak? Ok thanks I will try this and I hope this works I will let u know thanks very much



December, 19, 2008 AT 11:11 PM

You can buy the dye from just about any auto parts store.
If they don’ t know what you are talking about, then tell me what auto part stores are in your area and I will give you a part number so you can have them order it.
I cant give you a part number now, cause different stores carry different brands.

Yes, your car uses the surge tank as part of the coolant system circuit. So just adding it in the tank will be fine. PLEASE MAKE SURE THE ENGINE IS COOL WHEN YOU USE IT.

You probably will not notice a different color with the naked eye. You’ ll need a black light to make the UV dye glow.

I cannot speculate as to why your mechanics did not suggest this method of testing.

I would have tried both a pressure test and running the car while on a lift first also.

UV dye tests are not the end all be all for leak detection.
They are simply another tool in the arsenal to use.

UV tests are time consuming and tricky.

You have to check for the leak quite often.

Say it takes 24 hours for your leak to show up.
I check your car in 12 hours and find nothing.
I tell you to come back the next day.
It’ s now 36 hours after I added the dye.
The leak showed up, but the fluid followed the contours of the engine, or wind blowing around under the hood has spread the UV dye everywhere.
I still wouldn’ t be able to pinpoint the leak.

You have to check at the right time, just as the fluid starts to seep out.

I hope that made sense.

Good luck



December, 21, 2008 AT 8:18 PM

Hi again,
thanks for your help. I drove the car again and I found another puddle of coolant on the ground. I checked under the car I saw it drip just above the oil pan? What does this mean? Is it coming from a hose or something? Then when I asked my dad to check it it stopped leaking. He now thinks i'm crazy or something. When he puts on the lift the car does not leak why is that only when it's on the ground. The car does not overheat it stays in the middle maybe it moves a little past the 90 mark then goes back there again. Last month I was driving and the coolant sensor came on I was bone dry but again it never overheated but I could smell a burning smell. Could it be an internal leak or something my dad is checking it again any advice much thanks



December, 21, 2008 AT 11:12 PM

If it only leaks on the ground, then look for the leak while the car is on the ground.

Did you put in the UV dye yet?

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