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Look for signs of coolant leakage on the garage floor, driveway or ground under your vehicle. Check the level of coolant in the overflow reservoir or inside the radiator by removing the radiator cap. The engine must be cool before the radiator cap can be safely removed. Inspect the radiator to find where it is leaking. There may be an obvious hole or other defect that is easy to spot, such as deposits of coolant and an orange or green discoloration. You can refer this link http://www.buyautoparts.com/radiators.htm to learn about radiator.
yes you can leave the thermostat out your engine will take longer to warm up ,be careful with that stop leak stuff, as well as stopping leak can be inclined to block radiator maybe there is something else causing it to overheat ?
Turn off the engine as soon as you suspect a leak, to prevent the engine from overheating.
Determine which radiator hose is leaking and exactly where the leak is coming from by looking for wetness.
Purchase 1 gallon of antifreeze and the correct replacement radiator hose from your local auto-parts store or dealer. (Radiator hoses are not interchangeable. They come in specific sizes and shapes for your particular car model.)
Wait for the engine to cool down for at least 20 minutes, before beginning any work on the cooling system.
Place a large pan or wide bucket on the ground under the hose to catch the coolant.
Use a screwdriver to loosen the hose clamps at both ends of the hose you are replacing.
Remove the radiator hose by twisting and pulling where it
connects to the radiator and engine. If the hose won't budge, use a
utility knife to cut it off the fittings.
Remove the hose clamps from the old radiator hose and slide them onto the new hose.
Put the new radiator hose on. Spray the inside of the hose
ends with WD-40 if the hose is hard to get on. Tighten the hose clamps.
Refill the radiator and the coolant reservoir with a 50-50 mixture of water and antifreeze.
"Burp the cooling system" by running the engine with the
radiator cap off until the engine warms up. Keep the engine running
until both the upper and lower radiator hoses feel warm (this indicates
that the thermostat is open and the coolant is flowing through the
entire system). Burping the cooling system allows any air bubbles to
escape. Add coolant to the radiator as needed.
Look for leaks. Inspect around the hose clamps for dampness. Tighten the hose clamps if there is any wetness.
Put the radiator cap back on.
Check the coolant level after driving, to ensure there are no leaks
try to replace a new rad. cap-if still leaking & original radiator-then the tanks are wearing down,try putting some stop leak in it momentary-radiator may need to be replaced-not that big of job,you can do yourself-shops will charge $$$$$ hope that helps-good luck!
If the radiator is leaking, put a bottle of radiator stop leak in it,fill it up the rest of the way with water, tighten cap, and run in idle for 15 to 30 minutes. If the leak is severe or one bottle doesn't work, use two bottles of stop leak and run for 35 minutes.
If it's the radiator cap that's leaking, replace the cap with a new one. Also check to make sure there are no loose cooling hoses.
Safety first: Use extreme caution to never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot, severe burns from escaping hot water could result.
That is the rad cap. They call this a surge tank. The rad it self does not have a cap. If your intake is leaking I would not put the stop leak in because it will not stop it. the 3.4/3.1 l engine is known for intake leaks. the problem is the gasket is made of plastic and it cracks. If coolant is going inturnal then you have to change the intake gasket or you will damage the lower end. sorry for the bad news. An intake will cost about $700 can