Question about 2002 Chevrolet Impala

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It has a smoking radiator and it hesitates when on highways and a coolant leak

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You have a vapour lock. The coolant isn't flowing. The remaining water is not cooling your engine evenly so you could crack your engine block. The water that isn't circulating turns to steam. The water pump could need replacing if the impeller failed. You may need a new thermostat. Get someone knowledgeable enough to fill your radiator properly and then keep the overflow resevoir filled to half. Check that bottle at least every week.

Posted on Nov 28, 2013

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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1 Answer

Why is my car loosing antifreeze


There can be numerous reasons for coolant loss.

External Coolant loss
1. Coolant escaping from the radiator cap. Replace the cap.

2. There is an external leak in the system which could be from a hole or crack in the radiator(especially the plastic sections) or a hole in a radiator hose or there is a loose hose connection.

3. The water pump gasket has deteriorated and coolant is escaping from around the water pump fitting.

4. There is a crack in the coolant overflow reservoir and coolant is leaking out.

Internal Coolant Loss
1. Coolant is escaping into the engine's cylinders in which event you will see white smoke coming out of the exhaust and you will also have combustion gasses leaking into the coolant passages which will cause bubbles and overheating of the coolant. This problem will be due to a failed cylinder head gasket, a crack in the cylinder head or both.

2. Coolant is escaping into the engine lubrication system and in that event you will see evidence of coolant in the engine oil. Pull the oil dipstick and check the condition of the oil. If it looks a bit like chocolate milk and not just normal oil colouring you have coolant in there. Also check the radiator cap when the engine is cold. There may also be evidence of oil in the radiator coolant that is stuck to the radiator cap and around the neck of the radiator.
This problem will also be due to a failed cylinder head gasket or a crack in the cylinder head or both.

Whatever the cause in your case don't hesitate to have it checked out by a competent professional If you lose coolant and you allow the level to run significantly lower than normal the engine will overheat and you will cause very expensive engine damage.

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