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Coolant reservoir leak - Prizm Geo Cars & Trucks

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  • Geo Master
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Time to buy a new one.

Posted on Oct 15, 2014

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redbeard00
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SOURCE: Sebring 2003 2.4l Coolant reservoir emptied

Fill the coolant system back-up to level and pressure test the system. Check for chalky, white trails, antifreeze trails, spots on the ground, and see that the pressure is holding for more then five minutes. Could be: head-gasket, freeze plug, hose, heater core, water-pump, or radiator.

Posted on Jun 11, 2009

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Losing coolant from the reservoir but cannot see

my '01 Jetta had a similar problem. I could always smell coolant and the bottle was always low. I crawled under the car and there it was..a caked on mess of pink antifreeze. There is a plastic intersection 3 way valve where the coolant temp sensor resides. it has 2 bolts and a rubber o-ring. Because it is plastic, it cracks. it drips down onto areas which are really not visible from above and then sizzles and melts onto areas under the engine. The part was only about $25, took 30 min to install and my problem is now fixed. Air was getting into the system through the small crack in the valve further complicating the system operation.

Posted on Dec 24, 2012

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Check the water pump and see if coolant is around it.

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Coolant reservoir empty when sitting overnight


You must have a coolant leak. If there are no signs of a leak, you may have a gasket on the engine that has gone bad, and the coolant is being pushed out the exhaust system. The coolant expands when hot and cools when the engine cools. During the cooling stage the cooling system creates a suction on the coolant in the reservoir and draws enough coolant back into the system to keep it full. Apparently you are loosing enough coolant somewhere that the reservoir can not fill the system before going dry.

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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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WAIT UNTIL YOUR ENGINE IS COLD,YOUR RADIATOR PRESSURE CAP IS LOCATED ON THE COOLANT OVER FLOW RESERVOIR, THATS WHERE YOU ADD COOLANT WHEN COOLANT LOW,YOU POUR COOLANT IN THE OVER FLOW RESERVOIR UNTIL COOLANT LEVEL REMAIN AT FULL COLD MARK DONT OVER FILL OVER FLOW RESERVOIR, WHEN COOLANT LEVEL STOP DROPPING WHEN ADDING COOLANT AND COOLANT LEVEL STAY AT COLD MARK ON THE RESERVOIR YOU RADIATOR HAS THE CORRECT COOLANT LEVEL IF COOLANT LEVEL KEEP DROPPING CHECK FOR COOLANT LEAKS AROUND RADIATOR AND THE TOP AND BOTTOM RADIATOR HOSES, LOOK FOR COOLANT LEAK AT WATER PUMP GASKET OR SEAL OR LEAK AT WATER PUMP WEEP HOLE IF YES REPLACE WATER PUMP.

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I am losing coolant on my car and I see that the coolant from the reservoir is leaking from a little black rubber hose that"s connected to the firewall.


The black rubber hose may be bad and needs replaced. This hose should connect to the radiator at the radiator cap and run along the firewall to the coolant reservoir. Also the coolant reservoir might be cracked and leaking on to the rubber hose, if this is the cause just replace the coolant reservoir which may be a dealer only item, check at you local auto parts store and they will tell you if it is a dealer only item. If you have to replace the coolant reservoir, make sure the car has not been run and the coolant at the radiator is cool, cause when the engine is hot the hot coolant runs into the coolant reservoir till it cools and returns to the radiator when engine is turned off and cools.

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3 Answers

Losing coolant from the reservoir but cannot see any coolant leaking on drive. Fill reservior to MAX and within ~10miles, reservoir is drained. Refill while engine still hot and don't lose nearly as much...


my '01 Jetta had a similar problem. I could always smell coolant and the bottle was always low. I crawled under the car and there it was..a caked on mess of pink antifreeze. There is a plastic intersection 3 way valve where the coolant temp sensor resides. it has 2 bolts and a rubber o-ring. Because it is plastic, it cracks. it drips down onto areas which are really not visible from above and then sizzles and melts onto areas under the engine. The part was only about $25, took 30 min to install and my problem is now fixed. Air was getting into the system through the small crack in the valve further complicating the system operation.

Nov 09, 2010 | 2006 Volkswagen Jetta

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