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?
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.
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Re: Water leaking from side of engine near belts
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.
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try turning the engine with a bar on the crankshaft ot with a screwdriver on the ring gear, and remove the spark plugs, if water comes out of the plug holes then you probably have a blown head or gasket, if you still can't turn the engine over tear down is the next step
well first you drain the coolant out at the low point on the radiator, that way it is saved if new. then you take off the right front wheel and remove the plastic access cover from behind the wheel to get to that side of the engine. then you take off the serpentine belt and etc. yes you can do this with the engine still in the car. you may want to consider replacing the serpentine belt and tensioner while you are in that area.
Possible blown head gasket. Big problem . Have that checked immediately by a engine coolant pressure leak-down test. You can lose your engine and pronto! Small amount of coolant possible passing into crankcase or/and the cylinders.
Is there a sweet smell inside the car?Heater core leak I beleive would be on passenger side floor.Antifreeze will be sweet to the nose.Are you getting any white smoke out the tailpipe? would likely be head gasket leak.Put a piece of cardboard under the car near the radiator and under the motor to see where its leaking from .One thing Ive learned over the years is that its going somewhere.On the ground? Or out the tailpipe.
As for the floor board leak the 98 s were prone to have the defrost area in front of windshield collect water from being plugged up .Mine was passenger floorboard.Daughter resealed small oval vent (that defrosts /heats hood?) LOL .Its on pass. side under hood on cowl .I think this will take care of my problem but you may need to investigate under the dash/defrost area and drill and then install a drain line to bottom of defroster.Exit drain line to O/Side of car...lol .Also was it raining ? was car outside in rain .if so it could be this issue.Sorry so long ,hope you can make heads or tails of this.
If it overheated without being low on coolant the first time you may have a themostat sticking. But I would start with a check of all the hoses for cracks or loose clamps. Also check leakage at the front of the motor from the water pump. It's hidden behind the a/c compressor but you should see splash marks on the hood if it's leaking there. For good info on how to fix it yourself try www.saturnfans.com. There are a lot of good tech tip articles for the S series cars. I lost a water pump pulley at about 90,000 overheated five times getting home. The car now has 230,000 on it and still going strong.