Question about 1998 Saturn SL

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Water leaking from side of engine near belts

I've had a slow water leak in my 98 Saturn SL2 for a while now, however, it has gotten progressively worse. I started out having to put water in it once a week, but now it is every day (sometimes twice a day).
I can't tell where the water is leaking from - it's on the passenger side of the engine near the belts, but when you can't see down there because droplets are flying into your face (it only leaks when it is running). I couldn't see anything from underneath the car.

It doesn't appear to be near the radiator or any hoses - could it be the water pump?

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  • jlabar Oct 30, 2008

    Thanks - that is a possibility. I can see the area around the hoses is wet, however, everything is wet because of the spray. I didn't actually see water coming from the hoses, but I may try replacing them just in case.



    Thanks!

  • Anonymous Nov 12, 2008

    I have the exact same problem!! The leak was a little one that I could go for weeks with not doing anything then it got progressively worse. Every morning the area near my passenger side tire has a puddle of coolant or some sort of liquid near it but nothing seems to be wet inside when looking down. A friend of mine said that it could be really expensive to replace the hoses for you ahve to replace the water pump since it is all connected together as one unit. Is this true and how much doe sit cost? I found the pieces online for $33.95 for the pump and $10.18 for the gaskets. What would labor cost? I don't want to take it to a saturn dealership fr they charge an arm and a leg. I just want an idea so when i look into getting it fixed I can go in with some sort of cost value to it. Thanks!

  • coreyleath Dec 17, 2008

    i have the same problem i cant see where it is leaking from because of the frame i cant tell if it is the water pump or not. i changed my antifreeze and after that it has been leaking but not from the plug. i wish they would turn them dang engines toward the front like a dang truck

  • Anonymous Mar 16, 2009

    My saturn just started leaking on the passenger side to. Is it possible that the waterpump has gone bad?

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5 Answers

I agree - I'm going to replace the pump and gasket at the same time. I won't have time to work on it today, but I will do it tomorrow and report back on how it works out. Thanks for all of the input - very helpful.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008

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Even if the O-ring is available as a separate part, if your car has a lot of mileage on it, I would probably replace the water pump with either a new or rebuilt pump since bearings do wear and if the seals have failed, it would be wiser to start with fresh everything in the pump. Rebuilts are a fairly safe choice in this case since they are a primitive piece of mechanics and replacing every wear part is neither expensive nor difficult.  

BTW, the leak you have is intentional; there is a small hole on the water pump to allow drainage when the seals fail and they always will, sooner or later. 

Posted on Oct 30, 2008

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Hi jlaber
its the O ring seal in your water pump very cheap to replace but takes a bit of work to get at it

Posted on Oct 30, 2008

  • Andy Bathgate
    Andy Bathgate Nov 01, 2008

    why replace the bloody pump when the only seal is the o ring did the impeller suddenly wear out because some sand or gravel was introduced to the system ffs

  • Andy Bathgate
    Andy Bathgate Nov 01, 2008

    bollock there will be nothing wrong with the bump if there was the impeller would be noisy. If available get a viton o ring and dont listen to bulls**t

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Water pump

Posted on Oct 30, 2008

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  • Master
  • 702 Answers

It could be the water or the hoses that go to the surge tank.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008

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