Question about Saturn L-Series

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Does my coolant tank need repair or do I just need to add coolant?

My coolant light has been lighting up for about a month and a half now. At first, once I would add water it would stop for two to three weeks before lighting up again. But now it is lighting up more frequently: I filled up the tank twice today, and before that the time it took to light up again was five days. I think it's because the coolant level was low since it started lighting up, and the frequency is increasing because more coolant eventually went away and now there isn't any. I think the water I've been adding is just boiling away fast, which is why I have to replace the tank with more water more frequently now. So I'm wondering whether I just need to buy coolant to elevate the boiling temperature of the water I'm adding, or whether there's a bigger problem. My dad says it's a bigger problem because even if you just add water and have no coolant it shouldn't evaporate this fast, so there is a leak somewhere. I think he's complicating the problem but then again I'm not sure: if he's right I think it's either the interior manifold gasket (which GM cars this old tend to have, though Saturn may be an exception), plastic cap, or the water pump. The car is a 2000 Saturn L-Series Stationwagon and has about 142k miles on it. There are no leaks that I can see when the car is turned on. It also hasn't overheated yet fortunately. Appreciate any insights.

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  • 68 Answers

Do not use water. During freezing nights, the water could freeze. when water freezes, it expands. when it expands it can crack your engine block. Do you see anything leaking under the car when its running? Does your car constantly blow smoke out the exhaust?

Posted on Dec 03, 2012


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: 1996 Pontiac Grand Am / Overheating

How's your oil? Is the level high, or is the color milky? You've basically replaced your cooling system, all that CAN be wrong would be a corroded block [unrelated to anything you mentioned] or an internal leak. If the heat sensor loses contact with the coolant, it'll go nuts like that. And I'm guessing that could trigger the computer to go into panic mode. I suspect a leaking head gasket. Not that bad if you fix it yourself or know someone who will do it for friendship.

Posted on Nov 15, 2008

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: service engine soon light keeps coming on. Now low coolant light

I would start by doing an oil change myself so you can examine the oil and look for water/antifreeze in it. You will be able to see it separate from the oil and you can smell the antifreeze. If there is then you have a leak between the water jacket and the heads somewhere. More than likely the LOWER intake gasket is leaking into the head. You said they replaced a gasket but was it the UPPER or LOWER? If it was the LOWER did they use RTV in the correct areas? Did they torque the intake bolts to the correct pressure and install the bolts correctly? I know you don't have these answers but these could all be part of the problem. It may be leaking more at #2 cylinder and causing it to foul more than the others. Also just because a mech pressurized the coolant system and didnt see any change in pressure (hopefully he wasn't just looking for visible leaks) the issue may not happen until the engine is hot, as metals behave differently when heated, especially aluminum which the LOWER intake is made. Have a mechanic or mechanically inclined friend (gearhead) remove the #2 plug wire, then kick the engine a few times without starting it, enough to let any fluid get into the chamber, this would include gas btw. Then remove the plug and look for any wet residue on the plug, gas will evap. quickly, antifreeze/oil won't. again try to smell the residue and if necessary, lightly touch some to your tongue, antifreeze has a sugary sweet taste that is easily detectable. Remember any time you are working with chemicals such as waste oil and especially anti freeze, minimize spills and clean them up quickly and completely and place the spent fluid in a sealable container and take them to a collection center for disposal. Waste oil is a carcinagin (cancer causing) agent and antifreeze (glycol) new or old will kill any animal (child, dog, cat,etc) that ingests it. Many auto parts stores and some other retailers that sell oil and antifreeze will take your wastes if you bought the replacement fluid from them, check before you buy.

Posted on Apr 04, 2009

  • 316 Answers

SOURCE: Coolant overflowing out of expansion tank no boil no steam

As you've stated driving around town it's fine, and everything is working well. For the symptoms, there are 2 possible causes:
1. Your cooling fans are not working.
2. Your radiator needs to be replaced.
I'm sure you can determine which it is, and I wish you luck on your repair.

Posted on Jun 02, 2009

  • 2030 Answers

SOURCE: 2000 Chevy Malibu- check engine light

Have the DIS module checked and the coil pack for cyl 3. If either/both of those need replaced, have it done and have the codes cleared. Then see if it clears the others.

You may need a TPS (throttle position sensor) as well.

Posted on Sep 11, 2009

  • 92 Answers

SOURCE: coolant light comes on

Ouch. Been down that road.

Sounds to me like a head gasket problem.

Pull your oil dipstick.

Is your oil watery?

Does your dipstick smell like coolant?

Does your coolant have an oily film on it?

You can have a dye leak test done to confirm it.

Should you be able just to have the head gaskets changed and not the engine, again..insist on thenewest, brand name, top of the line gaskets

Best of luck.

Posted on Oct 02, 2009

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