Question about 1999 Oldsmobile Alero

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My coolant light keeps coming on even when the reservoir is full. there is a definite leak because theres liquid everywhere i park, but the amount of liquid doesnt seem to be matching the amount thats missing from the reservoir. and when i look at it with the engine on and the hood open it seems to be spraying up through the belts from somewhere under the engine..? my heat gauge is broken so i cannot tell if its overheating. but thus far it has not started smoking and blown up.

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  • 5,316 Answers

Well, that's a good engine test, anyway, not smoking and blown up yet, lol. I like your attitude, are you sure you don't drive a cavalier?
It sounds like the water pump, Molly. Better get it changed before serious damage results.

Posted on Aug 01, 2013

Testimonial: "yes i got it changed and all is well now! kind of. i just had to post a new problem."


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: Overheating and Heat doesn't work

Sounds to me like air trapped somewhere in the coolant's path. You said there's a warm spot on top of the engine. This makes me think of possibly a cracked intake manifold or cylinder head. Did it overheat right before this started? I would have the coolant system 'back flushed' and if the problem is still there, I'd next do a compression test (with the radiator cap off).and check to see if there are air bubbles in the radiator while testing. Good luck, please let me know what you find.

Posted on Jan 18, 2009

  • 27 Answers

SOURCE: overheating

have you checked if the water in the radiator is flowing constantly

Posted on Mar 16, 2009

  • 41 Answers

SOURCE: 2005 Honda Civic- Loses heat and Coolant.

sorry but these cars with 1.7L engines have vary poor head gaskets that sounds like what has happened i hope not for your sake bigg $$$$. good luck

Posted on Mar 23, 2009

  • 335 Answers

SOURCE: Smoke comes from around engine

If you saw where the oil came out then that is the repair needed. It may not leak enough oil to get to the ground. Engine temp will make the oil leak smoke before it ever hits the ground. It may be valve cover gaskets because when they start to leak the oil gets all over the exhaust manifold and the exhaust manifold runs very hot. Rate if this helps

Posted on May 18, 2009

  • 305 Answers

SOURCE: my 1999 alero is overheating and engine coolant is leaking

hi, i dont know about the dipstick, but your overheating problem is most likely to be the thermostat...sounds like its stuck in the closed position,not allowing colder water to circulate, hence the overheating.......needs changing

Posted on Jul 27, 2009

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1 Answer

Low coolant light stays on until system heats

Your overflow tank(aka coolant recovery reservoir) is low on coolant. The coolant expands when warm and raises the level in the tank, which turns off your light. Top off the reservoir (when cool) to the "Full Cold" line. If you have to keep adding on a regular basis, then you have a leak somewhere in your cooling system, could even be the reservoir itself.

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Vehicle overheating tips

If your vehicle engine coolant temperature gauge indicates overheating, if you experience a loss of power,or if you hear a loud knocking or pinging noise, the engine has probably overheated. You should follow this procedure............

Pull safe off the road, stop the vehicle and turn on our emergency flasher. Put the transmission in "P" (automatic) or neutral (manual) and apply the parking brake. Turn off the air conditioning if it is being used.

If coolant or steam is boiling out of the radiator or reservoir, stop the engine. Wait until the steam subsides before opening the hood. If there is no coolant boiling over the steam, leave the engine running. CAUTION: To avoid personal injury, keep the hood closed until there is not steam. Escaping steam or coolant is a sign of very hing pressure.

Visually check to see if the engine drive belt (fan belt) is broken or loose. Lock for obvious coolant leaks from the radiator, hoses, and under the vehicle. However, note that water draining from the air conditioning is normal if it has been used. CAUTION: When the engine is running, keep hands and clothing away from the moving fan engine drive belt.

If the engine drive belt is broken or the coolant is leaking, stop the engine immediately and call your mechanic of assistance.

If the engine drive belt is okay and there are no obvious leaks, you may help the engine cool down more quickly by running it at about 1500 rpm for a few minutes with the accelerator pedal lightly depressed.

Check the coolant reservoir. If it is dry, add coolant to the reservoir while the engine is running. Fill it about half full. CAUTION:Do not attempt to remove the radiator cap when the radiator are hot. Serious injury could result from scalding hot fluid and steam blown out under pressure.

After the engine coolant temperature has cooled to normal, again check the coolant level in the reservoir. If necessary, bring it up to half full again. Serious coolant loos indicates a leak in the system. You should have it checked as soon as possible at your mechanic's workshop.

Good luck.

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Why would the coolant light keep coming on when it is full?

Is the reservoir full and radiator and if so check if theirs a sensor on the reservoir if there is a sensor possibly have to replace the reservoir or try and disconnect the sensor and see if light goes out just make sure you have no leaks.

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Loses water from resevoir but not from radiator

So the level keeps dropping in the reservoir? If you have to keep adding coolant to the reservoir, the system is leaking or losing coolant somewhere. Have the system pressure tested to find the leak. Is the reservoir itself leaking? When the level gets low enough, first the reservoir will go dry, then the radiator level will start to drop.
Here's how the reservoir works: coolant is under pressure from the radiator cap seal. As coolant heats up from hot engine, it expands, and pressure forces the radiator cap seal up, coolant is forced into the reservoir-remember the hot mark on the reservoir? When car is shut off, coolant contracts, creating a vacuum in top of radiator. This vacuum works to suction coolant back from reservoir into the radiator, keeping the radiator topped up, and coolant should now be at the lower cold mark on the reservoir. It is a closed, sealed system. The only loss of coolant will be a very small amount of evaporation from the reservoir. If coolant level keeps dropping, there is a leak somewhere.

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