Engine Cooling problem
2001 Chevy Impala 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 136, 00 miles
It appears that I have a coolant leak behind and possibly slightly below the thermostat housing. I can hear the sizzle on the hot engine when the car is running, but can't locate the source due to everything in the way. My question is, what would be the probable source(s) of ca oolant leak in this area? Also, is there a good way to get to this area to work? Any input is much appreciated.
Hi Hank: Most likely the coolant is leaking from the t-stat housing and making its way back. It could be something as easy as the hose itself. Give those a check. Also, take a flashlight and check around the intake gasket areas. You may have an intake gasket leaking. Look for coolant or evidence of a coolant leak.
Let me know what you find.
November, 12, 2008 AT 12:18 PM
Thanks Joe, I recently replaced the thermostat thinking that was the casue of overheating. I was careful to ensure that there was no leaking when I did it. I can see behind the thermostat housing black residue and coolant pooled below that on the engine and frame. There is white smoke coming from the exhaust, it is light and earlier I attributed it to cool weather, but today is mild and I still see it.
November, 12, 2008 AT 3:00 PM
Hank: White exhaust usually indicates an intake leak or head gasket. Somehow coolant is getting into the combustion chamber. Check the oil for coolant contamination and the coolant for oil. If there is no evidence of contamination, you will need to have a compression test done. Also, based on where you described the coolant to be, it sounds like an intake problem. Does the car have a 3.1L V6? It's a common problem with them.
Let me know what you find or if you have other questions.
November, 15, 2008 AT 1:12 PM
My Impala is the 3.4L v6. Here is the scenario from today. Started the car to move it around back to work on. Large ammount of white smoke from teh exhaust which subsided to a small steady flow. The car runs fine, without teh thermostat showing it overheating. When the low coolant light comes on I shut it off. I can see steam coming from the engine under and behind the thermostat, I can see where the coolant is running toward the rear of teh engine comaprtment and pooling onto the ground. I still cannot pinpoint source of the leak. There is a block Oily buildup on the side of the engiune in this area. I am geting some engine cleaner so see if that helps me locate the source. The Oil seems fine and I dont see a " mikshake" residue. I am pretty certain that it is origionating from the area behind the t-housing.
November, 15, 2008 AT 3:50 PM
Hank: Let me know what you find after you clean off the engine. I hate to say it but my gut feeling is the intake gasket. If you have a lot of white smoke, that usally indicates coolant geting burned in the combustion chamber.
Let me know what you find.
November, 16, 2008 AT 9:37 AM
I found the leak I think it'e the upper intake manifold (following the seam, it runs below the t-housing) the leak appears to be at the point the seam angles upwards towards the rear spark plug housing. There still isn't waht I'd call alot of whie smoke. But its present and the pooling under the car from the leak is obviouse. If I am follwoing you this is the upper intake gasket.
I have a Haynes Manual, is there a better guide to preforming this repair? My car differs in the upper intake manifold has six fasternes (there is one or two for brackets I think), not the 12 shown. I'm guessing this is a variation in model years.
November, 16, 2008 AT 1:18 PM
Based on your description. it sounds like the intake. Not being there limits me. Regardless. if it's leaking, it needs repaired.