Question about 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier

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I have one more symtom to describe. I hope you don't mine.

My last car was an1984 Oldsmobile Royal Brahm, delta 88, etc. I know exactly what the radiator looks like. .....In my Cavalier, I hear it's different so I'm not sure if my question is a no brain-er or not?
Once again I'd like to say, I will be having it fixed shortly. But it's driving me nuts.
Just a moment ago, I was thinking about the leak and how it would be coming from the pump. The guy that mentioned, the way to check if the head gasket was blown. Mentioned that sometimes cavalier pumps will leak.
Then it dawned on me that I've never seen what happens when I carefully fill up the radiator without spilling it.
It took about 2 or 3 minutes, but it did start leaking. ...After my previous sentence,(about ten minutes after I filled it) I went outside to check it again and it has stopped leaking. (There was no way that the line of water on driveway equaled the amount I'd put in, so I double checked to make sure the R. still had water in it. And it does. (I live in Phoenix Az. so the possibility of it all leaking and evaporating already, were pretty good.)
I think that would make sense not to be the radiator. Anyway, I guess all that is left for me to do. Is fret or fix. (I just don't want to keep worrying)
Does that make any difference in what you thought it might be?
Thank you, you seem nice. Thanks

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I believe it's probably the water pump that's leaking. I think it's great that you are trying to figure out what the problem is. By trying to learn what's broken, you have an understanding of how your car works, and less chance of getting ripped off when you get it fixed. You have great potential to be an auto mechanic! I like how you think out the problem, analyze it, and you come to a conclusion that makes sense! Here's the deal, carefully filling the radiator to check for leaks was good, you could have a small leak at the top of the radiator, so the water would leak to that level. When the car is running, the coolant temperature goes up, is circulated thru the engine (where the coolant takes away the heat of the engine, goes into the radiator where it cools down (coolant goes thru many small channels in the radiator, the fan pulls air thru which cools it down) and back to the engine to take on the heat and go around again. And of course, the water pump is what moves the coolant thru the system. As the water heats up, the pressure builds. If there is a small hole in the system, the pressurized coolant will escape. Water pumps go in all brands and types of cars eventually. They usually start out w/ a small leak like you 1st described. Can you find the water pump on your engine? Get a flashlight and a small mirror. Check the bottom of the water pump near the center. There's a small hole there. This is where it will leak when it goes. This is called the 'weep' or 'vent' hole.When the seal in the pump goes, this is where it leaks. There should be some evidence of leakage there. You can fill up with water and start the car to check. Just keep an eye on the temp gauge. As soon as it warms up to 'normal' temp, turn off and check under the pump. Be careful not to touch any hot surfaces. This won't harm the car at all, and you will be 100per cent sure that's where your leak is.Let me know what's going on! countrycurt0

Posted on Aug 11, 2008

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