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Old 11-20-2012, 01:57 PM   #1
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Question Where the hell is my coolant going?

Hey everybody. I know, standard issue with these cars... But I'm looking for more ideas. I'm losing about the amount that takes the reservoir from full hot to full cold within a 3000 oil change. It has been doing this for probably the last 4 or 5 oil changes.

My car: 1998 SLE, 176xxx miles.
lower and upper intake job at 169xxx miles, new upper manifold from GM
also replaced the plastic elbow going into the accessory bracket

Im losing coolant now, but not at an alarming rate. I can smell burnt coolant, albeit faintly.

Last oil change I noticed a couple drops on the passenger side of the motor, right under the harmonic damper, on the lip of the oil pan. I tried to trace it up the motor, but to no avail. Looked up top, the intake is dry, the plastic elbow is dry.

I looked around the waterpump, and it is difficult to see anything around it, but appeared dry.

Ive talked to some people and they have said that the waterpump can leak and you cant see it. Maybe mine is just beginning?

I bought the car at 139xxx miles, and I have never installed a waterpump. No idea previous to this.

Also, when I turn the car off, I can hear water bubbling/gurgling under the passenger dash after using the heater. Is this normal operation for the heater core?
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:10 PM   #2
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there is alot over there that can leak. the elbow that goes down from the tensioner, the pump obviously, the elbows where the heater core hoses go
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:11 PM   #3
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there is alot over there that can leak. the elbow that goes down from the tensioner, the pump obviously, the elbows where the heater core hoses go
I saw the hoses that go to the heater core, but what elbow are you talking about when you say "goes down from the tensioner?"
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:15 PM   #4
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there are two elbows on the na, one you know about probably and the pressed in one on the tensioner bracket
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:28 PM   #5
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there are two elbows on the na, one you know about probably and the pressed in one on the tensioner bracket
Any pics of this? You are right, the second is unknown to me.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:30 PM   #6
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https://www.gmforum.com/park-avenue-...cement-302125/

post 8, the one on the left is your type. the lower part that looks like it 90'* away
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:41 PM   #7
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https://www.gmforum.com/park-avenue-...cement-302125/

post 8, the one on the left is your type. the lower part that looks like it 90'* away
Well I never noticed that. Guess Ill check that one out to see if it is being lazy.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:44 PM   #8
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no prob. heres a better pic for future reference or someone else searching
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Where the hell is my coolant going?-tentioner.jpg  
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:09 PM   #9
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In a situation like this, I would suggest cleaning the engine bay really good, and throwing some UV dye in the cooling system. A black light will light the leak right up.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:30 PM   #10
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I agree with whats-his-name up there ^^
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