Question about 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier
It could be a head gasket. To test, have or do a chemical test for exhaust gases in the coolant. It's an easy test, and I have heard that autozone will rent you the tester. All you have to do is buy the test fluid, hook the tester to the radiator cap opening, car running at normal temp., and watch the test fluid container to see if it changes color, verifying exhaust gas in your coolant.
You could also have a shop do a leak-down test and check for a head gasket failure that way.
Posted on Dec 11, 2012
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
Pull the spark plugs out and see if they have a brown tint to them and smell funny. You can tell a lot by the spark plugs. That could tell you if you're getting anti freeze in your cylinders. These engines are bad about head gaskets and cracked heads. To replace the head gasket you're probably looking at about 480.00 labor and about 200.00 in parts and machine work, unless the head is cracked, then you're looking at more money.
Posted on Jan 20, 2009
If you are adding anti-freeze every time this happens, you are still loosing coolant some were. I assume there are no puddles on the garage floor or where you park the van? Check the oil dipstick and make sure the oil is not a "milky"color. Check the passenger side carpet for wetness, you may have to pull it back.
If all of that is OK, you are still burning the coolant by way of the intake gasket or head gasket.
Good luck, let me know.
Posted on Mar 23, 2009
SOURCE: running hot
with engine off feel tge radiator and make sur it is uniform as far as how hot it is feel for cold spotor area thisindicates clogged radiator, if you can get an infa red temp gun even better
Posted on Apr 20, 2009
When they changed the water pump and the leak stopped then the water pump was bad. If they changed the water pump and was still leaking then then it was not the water pump.
Where is the fluid leaking from, if there is white smoke coming from the tail pipe then good chance is that the head gasket is gone and pull the dip stick out to see if there is antifreeze mixxing with the engine oil.
It's common that the 3.4 V6 has intake manifold gasket go bad and leak. Check all the heater hose first, and try to find out where the leak is coming from.
Good luck and keep me posted, glad to help you as much as i can.
Posted on May 26, 2009
Could be three things: Hopefully the first...
1. radiator fan not blowing. (most likely)
2. Radiator clogged (not likely)
3. Head gasket blown... (very possible)
If #1, system cannot detect fan not blowing. It may be the fuse or the relay switch, disconnecetd wire at fan, or burned-out fan motor.
If #2, Flush radiator
If #3, you will see WHITE smoke out the tailpipe and excessive water drops.
Your new oil will have a "milky" look (check the oil dipstick). That is water.
When engine is COLD, remove radiator cap and start car. You will notice high-pressure "bubbles" squirt out of the radiator, even before the engine warms up.
I hope it is #1. and that this is helpful.
Posted on Sep 08, 2009
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