Question about Chevrolet Malibu

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02 malibu has a rusted screw on top of the engine block and some antifreeze is leaking out. Is there a sealant of some type that can seal the leak?

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There's a number of different sealants that might do the trick. Unfortunately, it will be near impossible to get a good seal to the rusted/dirty surface. Can you remove the bolt? If so, it would be much better to remove it, clean the threading inside the block and install a new bolt (using sealant on the threads).

Posted on Jan 19, 2009

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Does the stop leak work by swelling the rubber seals or by detecting air and stopping up the leak?


It depends what sort of stop leak you're talking about. There's different types.

Something for a leaking windshield rubber works by filling a gap and then becomes hard, similar to how bathroom sealant works.

An oil stop-leak works by penetrating and 'refurbishing' -swelling- dried gaskets and then hardening when it contacts the air on the outside of the engine block.

Some types of coolant sealant work by allowing particles to congregate/collect around a small hole in a radiator, blocking the hole. The particles harden due to the air/heat to form a plug. This type of sealant can also block your heater matrix, and they do not repair rubber hoses (hoses must be replaced if leaking).

A cylinder head sealant works by either depositing particles in a small crack in the head or gasket, or in the case of a modern head sealant, it uses polymers.

If you have a slight oil leak - slight - on an engine or auto box, try a sealant. If it's anything more than a slight weep, then gasket/seal replacement is the best option.

Aug 03, 2016 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

The mechanic says the antifreeze is disappearing on my 2005 Chevy Trailblazer. He doesn't see any leaks on radiator. It has 100,000 miles on it.


Antifreeze doesn't just disappear. If it is not leaking from hoses or radiator or reservoir that usually means it is being lost in the engine block. This could indicate bad seals. This also will cause rust and corrosion throughout the exhaust system, including the catalytic and muffler.

Jul 31, 2014 | 2005 Chevrolet TrailBlazer

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Replace freeze plug


If you look on the side of an engine block you will see a line of circular depressions about an inch and a half in diameter and about a quarter of an inch deep. These are actually holes in the side of the engine block which are plugged with a dish shaped metal plug called a "freeze plug" or "expansion plug".

WHAT FREEZE PLUGS DO

As with many things on a car, there is an "official reason" and a "REAL" reason for freeze plugs. The official reason (and the source of the name) is this: If you run just water with no antifreeze in your car the water can freeze. When water freezes, it expands. If water freezes inside your engine block, it can expand and crack the block, destroying the motor. Freeze plugs (or expansion plugs) will "pop out" and supposedly prevent this. In reality this doesn't work all the time: I've seen MANY blocks destroyed by cracking without the freeze plugs popping out, or if they do pop out the block cracks anyway.

THE REAL PURPOSE OF FREEZE PLUGS

Engines are "sand cast". A special type of sand is poured into a pair of boxes. A "die" is pressed into the sand, making an impression of the engine block to be cast. The sections of the mold are then put together and molten iron is poured in, forming the engine. This is why engines have a rough texture on most areas: this is the texture of the sand used to cast them.

There have to be "cylinders" made of sand in the middle of this mold to create the cylinders of the engine block. These chunks of sand can't just "float" inside the mold: SOMETHING has to hold them in place. There are little columns of sand that connect the cylinder mold to the outer mold half. The mold for the cylinder "sits" on top of these. After the block is cast, these holes are machined smooth and a "freeze plug" is put in to plug the hole.

THE PROBLEM WITH FREEZE PLUGS

The problem with freeze plugs is that they are made of very thin metal, AND THEY RUST!!! From the factory they are made of galvanized steel, and if you always run a 50/50 mix of antifreeze you should never have a problem. Unfortunately many people don't do this, and the freeze plugs rust through, creating a coolant leak.

When I replace freeze plugs or rebuild an engine I always use brass plugs: they only cost a tiny bit more and will not rust through. The manufacturers, of course, will save a penny anywhere they can: pennies add up to millions of dollars!

SIGNS OF BAD FREEZE PLUGS

If you have a bad freeze plug your vehicle will leak coolant. Freeze plugs are in different places on different cars, but normally they will be down the side of the block (at least 3 of them) and in the back of the block, between the engine and the transmission. Some are fairly easy to get to, others require removing various parts off the engine, some even require removing the transmission or engine to replace! Some cylinder heads also have smaller plugs in them, often under the intake or exhaust manifold.

So if you have water leaking down the side of your engine, or water leaking from the hole in the bell housing between the engine and transmission, you probably have a bad freeze plug.

FREEZE PLUG REPAIR

If the leak is slow and small, a stop leak or block seal compound might work. I have had good luck with K&W Liquid Block Seal: it's good stuff! Of course, as with any "rig" of this sort, it might not work, might not last for long, and could clog up something else in your cooling system. The right way to fix it is to replace the freeze plug.

FREEZE PLUG REPLACEMENT

To remove a freeze plug, first hammer it into the block with a big screwdriver or a large punch. It won't go far into a modern engine: there isn't much room behind the plug. When it "pops through" you can easily pry it back out of the hole sideways with a pair of pliers or a screwdriver. Be careful not to scratch the surface of the hole where the plug sits, or it could leak around the circumference of the new plug.
After the plug is removed, clean the hole in the block with sandpaper to remove the corrosion and old sealant. Once again, if you don't do this the new one might leak.

Normal freeze plugs are hammered in with some sealant around them. I use aviation grade Permatex sealer. If you can't get to them to do this, you have to take off whatever parts are in the way to access the plug. If access is limited, they make replacement freeze plugs made of copper and also ones made of rubber with a nut on them which expands the plug against the block when tightened. I have had bad luck with the rubber type: they blow back out quite often. I have had good results with the copper type (made by Dorman).
I have not had good results with either type on Ford products: Ford for some reason makes their freeze plugs in "odd" dimensions, like 1 and 51/64 of an inch. You can get the copper type plug in 1/8 th increments, but it won't expand enough to fit the Ford size. The rubber type will SEEM to expand enough, but it will stay in for a week or so then blow out, dumping all your coolant out in a matter of seconds!!!

So on all Fords I just do whatever it takes to pound a regular style brass plug into the block.

Here are some pictures of a Ford F-150 truck I just did. The hard part is taking the exhaust and intake manifolds off: after that the job is easy.

Apr 04, 2014 | 1995 Chevrolet Lumina

3 Answers

I have a 1998 Ford Expedition. I have been told that I have a bad coolant leak coming from rear freeze plug and that I should replace the engine. My question is, do the engine need too be replaced or do I...


If you look on the side of an engine block you will see a line of circular depressions about an inch and a half in diameter and about a quarter of an inch deep. These are actually holes in the side of the engine block which are plugged with a dish shaped metal plug called a "freeze plug" or "expansion plug". WHAT FREEZE PLUGS DO As with many things on a car, there is an "official reason" and a "REAL" reason for freeze plugs. The official reason (and the source of the name) is this: If you run just water with no antifreeze in your car's cooling system the water can freeze. When water freezes, it expands. If water freezes inside your engine block, it can expand and crack the block, destroying the motor. Freeze plugs (or expansion plugs) will "pop out" and supposedly prevent this. In reality this doesn't work all the time: I've seen MANY blocks destroyed by cracking without the freeze plugs popping out, or if they do pop out the block cracks anyway. THE REAL PURPOSE OF FREEZE PLUGS OR EXPANSION PLUGS Engines are "sand cast". A special type of sand is poured into a pair of boxes. A "die" is pressed into the sand, making an impression of the engine block to be cast. The sections of the mold are then put together and molten iron is poured in, forming the engine. This is why engines have a rough texture on most areas: this is the texture of the sand used to cast them.There have to be "cylinders" made of sand in the middle of this mold to create the cylinders of the engine block. These chunks of sand can't just "float" inside the mold: SOMETHING has to hold them in place. There are little columns of sand that connect the cylinder mold to the outer mold half. The mold for the cylinder "sits" on top of these. After the block is cast, these holes are machined smooth and a "freeze plug" or "expansion plug" is put in to plug the hole.
THE PROBLEM WITH FREEZE PLUGS OR EXPANSION PLUGS The problem with freeze plugs or expansion plugs is that they are made of very thin metal, AND THEY RUST!!! From the factory they are made of galvanized steel, and if you always run a 50/50 mix of antifreeze in your cooling system you should never have a problem. Unfortunately many people don't do this, and the freeze plugs rust through, creating a cooling system leak.When I replace freeze plugs or rebuild an engine I always use brass plugs: they only cost a tiny bit more and will not rust through. The manufacturers don't use brass plugs of course: they cost a few cents more, and they will save a penny anywhere they can: pennies add up to millions of dollars!
SIGNS OF BAD FREEZE PLUGS If you have a bad freeze plug your vehicle will leak coolant. If you have a slow cooling system leak that comes and goes, you may have a pinhole freeze plug leak. l Freeze plugs are in different places on different cars, but normally they will be down the side of the block (at least 3 of them) and in the back of the block, between the engine and the transmission. Some are fairly easy to get to, others require removing various parts off the engine, some even require removing the transmission or engine to replace! Some cylinder heads also have smaller plugs in them, often under the intake or exhaust manifold.So if you have water leaking down the side of your engine, or water leaking from the hole in the bell housing between the engine and transmission, you probably have a bad freeze plug. Sometimes the hole in the freeze plug is very small, and can periodically stop when a piece of crud from the cooling system jams in the hole.
FREEZE PLUG REPAIR If the leak is slow and small, a stop leak or block seal compound might work. I have had good luck with K&W Liquid Block Seal: it's good stuff! Of course, as with any "rig" of this sort, it might not work, might not last for long, and could clog up something else in your cooling system. The right way to fix it is to replace the freeze plug. FREEZE PLUG REPLACEMENT To remove a freeze plug, first hammer it into the block with a big screwdriver or a large punch. It won't go far into a modern engine: there isn't much room behind the plug. When it "pops through" you can easily pry it back out of the hole sideways with a pair of pliers or a screwdriver. Be careful not to scratch the surface of the hole where the plug sits, or it could leak around the circumference of the new plug.
After the plug is removed, clean the hole in the block with sandpaper to remove the corrosion and old sealant. Once again, if you don't do this the new one might leak.Normal freeze plugs are hammered in with some sealant around them. I use aviation grade Permatex sealer.
A special tool is made to install freeze plugs: the tool is available at a good auto parts store. In a pinch you can use a large socket that just barely fits inside the rim of the plug, however this can damage the new plug if you aren't careful.
If you can't get to the freeze plug to hammer it in, you have to take off whatever parts are in the way to access the plug. Sometimes it's easier to remove the engine from the car. Another option when access is limited is an expanding replacement freeze plug. These replacement plugs are made of either copper or rubber. A nut on them expands the plug against the block when tightened. These plugs can be installed in areas too tight to hammer in a regular freeze plug. I have had bad luck with the rubber type: they blow back out quite often. I have had good results with the copper type (made by Dorman).
I have not had good results with either type on Ford products: Ford for some reason makes their freeze plugs in "odd" dimensions, like 1 and 51/64 of an inch. You can get the copper type plug in 1/8 th increments, but it won't expand enough to fit the Ford size. The rubber type will SEEM to expand enough, but it will stay in for a week or so then blow out, dumping all your coolant out in a matter of seconds!!!
So on all Fords I just do whatever it takes to pound a regular style brass plug into the block.

Here are some pictures of a Ford F-150 truck freeze plug job I did.

The hard part is taking the exhaust and intake manifolds off: after that the job is easy. CAUTION! I have one issue with this freeze plug video: He uses no sealant on the new freeze plugs, and he's not using brass freeze plugs.
I always use aviation grade permatex sealant on freeze plugs. It's available at any good auto parts store.Don't use RTV silicone: I've seen freeze plugs "pop out" with silicon seal.
Freeze plugs will work when put in "dry", but they might "weep" a small amount of coolant.
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Apr 03, 2013 | Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

Leaking oil on right side of motor.


The crankshaft oils seals are known to leak after approx 100,000 miles. The Harmonic Balancer (fan belt pulley) end of the engine will have lots of oil and road grit around the oil pan, air conditioning compressor, power steering pump and other area in the engine bay due to wind spread. This seal can be replace without removing the engine. Remove the harmonic balancer bolt and use a pulley puller. If the seal mating surface is grooved replace the balancer too or the new seal will fail soon.

The transmission "bell housing" will weep oil and or trans fluid if the rear crankshaft seal or the transmission seal develops a leak. This seal is much larger than the front seal so it lasts longer and need replacing less often. The transmission will need to be removed from the car to reach these seals.

The oil pan is sealed with silicone engine sealant and will dry out and leak also. Sometimes the leak looks like it is the front or rear seal (pulley or transmission end of engine) but it may be the oil pan leaking and dripping into the pressure plate inspection plate or the pulley. The oil pan can be removed and resealed without removing the engine or transmission but it is a little tricky. Dropping the engine's under brace and exhaust pipe is recommended. Additional engine/transmission support is needed to do that.

While you are under the car look near the oil filter. Above and forward (toward the fan belt is forward) and see if there is oil dripping from the oil pressure sending unit wire. It will leak into the electrical connector. Squeeze it and see if oil seeps out. If so replace the sending unit. It looks kind of like a spark plug screwed into the block.

Near the oil filter you will see the power steering pump mounted to the side of the pulley end of the engine and it is over the right CV drive axle and has several hoses connected. One larger hose is a none pressure hose that gravity feeds the pump from the fluid reservoir mounted above it on the passenger side wheel well in the engine bay. This hose eventually leaks and drips power steering fluid everywhere! It is a molded hose from the dealer parts dept. and relatively easy to replace. Messy but do-able.



Now the top side of the engine. The valve cover has a rubber gasket that shrinks over time in that hot engine bay. Take a Phillips head screw driver is see how loose the screws holding it are. Really loose hu? You can tighten them but you should replace it because it shrunk and that makes the screws loose.

You will need some silicone engine sealant each side of the distributor bridge at the driver's side of the cover. Get a manual to make sure you tighten those screws in the correct order.



Distributor "O"ring seal can leak. Two 12MM bolts to remove it and put a new "O"ring on and you are set. Mark the Distributor's position to the bridge bracket BEFORE you loosen those screws. Line it back up to the marks so you don't mess up the timing and reset the timing after is even better.

Jun 26, 2011 | 1996 Nissan Sentra

2 Answers

Radiator is leaking from right hand corner on a 2008 chevy malibu


Radiator leaking...nothing to do here but replace it. The "new" aluminum and plastic radiators cannot be repaired. Kinda sad considering how new this car is. If you need a temporary fix and it's a fairly small leak there a lot of stop leak products on the market. Check your local parts house not the dealer they will rip you off big time for a new radiator and tell you can't use stop leak but it really does work pretty well, but you will need a new radiator, no way around it.

Jan 19, 2011 | 2008 Chevrolet Malibu

1 Answer

Have a antifreeze leak towards the back of the engine, is there more than one freeze plug?


Yes, actually they are casting plugs that hold the supports for the inner sand core that allow casting a water channel in the block. Steel plugs are hammered into these holes to seal up the block, and in the old days when people used alcohol antifreeze that often boiled off and left pure water in the block, and it froze. The expansion of freezing water pushed thes steel plugs out if you were lucky and did not split the block.

There is one of these plugs on the back of the engine, especially if the engine is a cast iron block. You may be able to put in some antifreeze that has more antileak compound than normal antifreeze. Check with a parts supply store. Also see http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_do_you_fix_an_antifreeze_leak

be aware that some sealants clog the radiator at times.

Jan 11, 2011 | 1998 Ford F150 Regular Cab

1 Answer

Steam from antifreeze coming from right side of engin


I would check the hoses in that area. It maybe the the water pump bearing shaft seal. There is usually a small drain hole towards the bottom of the pump, that will leak anti-freeze when the seal goes bad. With an inspection mirror, you may be able to see if anti-freeze is leaking from the pump.

May 13, 2010 | 2002 Chevrolet Malibu

3 Answers

Hi,iv got 2002 jaguar s type r last week it started leaking engine cooling liquid from back of engine above gearbox i tried evrything to see where it was coming from but couldnt find out so i assumed it...


yes you got it in one,, its an air lock stoping the water going round the heater, you need to blead the air out rad seal wont block up the heater,,,,iv used it many times,,,my old truck ran with it in for years!
look for a bleed scew on a water pipe and open it with the motor running let water ran out till no air is in it, top up header tank as well

Nov 21, 2009 | 2002 Jaguar S-Type

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