Question about 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier

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Antifreeze leak only when car cools down

Car is fine outher then that had some places put it on preasure test no leaksfound but 4or5 hours later there is antifreeze on ground I was told it may be valve cover gascate what do you think

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There should be no anti-freeze under the valve covers, just valves, rockers, springs, and oil. If you are getting any antifreeze leaks at the valve cover then you have a cracked head. Since the engine has been pressure tested and has passed, my guess would be that the coolant reservoir is overfilled. Drain it down to the correct level and see if it does it again. If you are getting a strong sweet antifreeze odor when the car is running, you may be in need of a heat core. My PT Cruiser would leak sporadically, and after running a pressure test, it turned out that the 16 pound radiator cap I had on the car was losing pressure at around 8 pounds. so it would only lose antifreeze when it was really hot and/or I was running the AC.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009


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Check your water pump for signs of seepage. Do this with no pressure in the system and cap off. Sometimes in the beginning stages of failure pressurizing the system will drive the seal against the shaft and actually hide the leak. I have seen very small cracks in cylinder heads, especially between the valves that won't show up on a pressure test 'till they get worse. Check the plugs for any coloring from antifreeze.
You are going in the right direction so far, but need to go over everything sometimes a few times before a small leak is found. Keep an eye out for dried or semi-dried stains, especially around the perimeter of the head /block parting line...sometimes small leaks will only leave a slight stain, often white or antifreeze colored powder residue.
Hate to say it, but sometimes when you can't find it, just put some block sealer in there and see if it corrects the problem.I'm a professional but sometimes just doing that saves a big headache for a small problem.

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