Question about 1985 Pontiac Grand Prix

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Car's temperature gauge goes to "H" on and off

My boyfriend has a 1994 Acura Integra that had its temperature gauge leaning towards "H" so he readily presumed that his car is overheating. When we got to our destination, we chilled for about 2 hours and then he poured a bottle of water in the reservoir (-plastic bottle in the car) prior to us leaving. Since then, his temperature gauge has been normal off and on and back to"H" after we drive about 20=25 minutes,...which also includes going up a steep hill.

Where the antifreeze is suppose to be, the water level went down. At the same time his car is slowly leaking that water he added.

Then yesterday, the radiator was empty, and there were no leaks coming from the rubber hoses.

He does not know what the problem is and has no money to fix the car.

Would you be able to help him and diagnosis this for him?

if there are any other things that we should look at or perhaps "inspect" in proper order...please advise. We are hoping you can rule out possibilities as well as diagnosis this for us so he doesn't have to pay a mechanic. the mechanic he has been going to appears to be "guessing" most of the time and having work done, which i think is like taking advantage of a guy who just wants to fix one problem and not something else that he wants to fix.
Also, can he drive the car short distances while this is going on? like maybe 10-15 or 20 minutes one way?

thank you.

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If coolant is leaking out it has to be going somewhere. First, when parked with engine cooled down (warm is OK) remove the cap. Let it sit like that for a while and look under the car and see what's on the ground. Wherever you find coolant, somewhere in the general area above there is a leak. Remember though that coolant as it's running down can take an indirect path.
If you find no coolant, start the engine and replace the cap and let it idle for about fifteen minutes . turn it off and do same checking again. If you still find nothing, check every hose, hose connection, every place where coolant flows, including checking the floor inside under the dashboard for wetness.
Last, check the engine oil... if it has a coffee milkshake color, the leak is likely internal (head gasket) Generally you will also get smoke from the tailpipe but not always. Whatever you find leaking is what you will need to repair/replace. Don't run the engine on water. Your system is designed to operate at high temperature and water will boil out even if nothing else is wrong. While running don't forget to look at the radiator cap. that can permit coolant to escape too if it's gasket seal is dried out or cracked.
Driving with something leaking is a bad call. if coolant level drops too far the cylinder head will overheat and can warp, causing the engine to fail. If it must be driven, it must be kept full and not only re-fill when it starts to overheat (which is also dangerous to you as it can cause serious burns when opened.)
After repeated overheats, it is also wise to replace the thermostat as they become unreliable after that happens.Sorry I can't give you more, but without being able to see it myself that's the best I can do.
Good luck!!

Posted on Sep 28, 2009


We could talk for hours. I love your theory on his mechanic. Sadly the guy is probably honest just not too skilled in his trade. No money is not good. If you figure this out and repair it yourself you have to part with some cash. Now logically if some or all the water does not leak out where you can see it,driving while under pressure or sitting over night, it can only go one place. Into the cylinders through a head gasket or intake gasket. Thats bad,period,but fixable yourself (if) you have enough tools and ability. If you go to a shop your in big trouble from a financial perspective. It is time consuming but can be done at home. First ,put water in it,leave the radiator cap off,warm it up and as the thermostat opens you may see bubbles in the radiator. Thats bad. Blown head gasket, If water comes out tail pipe,bad intake gasket. Better and fairly easy to change. Could go on but would get to technical. Don't drive with this issue.

Posted on Sep 28, 2009


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