Question about 1997 Saturn SL

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Hose for antifreeze reservoir 1997 saturn SL2?

Hi, I noticed antifreeze leaking from my car in a major way. Overnight, and it's all leaked out on the ground. So, I took the two lugnuts off the reservoir, holding it to the passenger side of the car and inspected the reservoir. The top hose and the side hose (going to the radiator) looked fine. But there was a bottom skinny hose that was barely hanging on by a thread (that's what it looked like) at the bottom of the reservoir. It had major "wear and tear." I would like to repair this myself. It seems like a simple fix. The only problem is with the reservoir still connected to the other two (black) good hoses, I can't really see how the bottom hose is supposed to be connected to the reservoir. As a temporary fix, a friend suggested an apoxy to repair the hose. But I couldn't get the hose to align with the bottom of the reservoir -- where I thought it should go & I was using my fingers to feel around and couldn't really see. It was really a tight fit to get my hand under the reservoir. So, after adding some apoxy with limited results, I took a piece of masking tape and adhered it to the whole thing and it seemed to help make the connection. I'm sure it's a flimsy way to fix anything. But, I applied a second layer of the apoxy -- it's the kind you smoosh in your hands for awhile and then apply --it's soft but is supposed to dry I guess to a rubber consistency. AlumiSeal I believe it is called. After letting it sit overnight, I added water this morning to the reservoir b/c I am almost broke and don't want to waste my antifreeze. I'm waiting now to see if it will leak. I figure if I can find out what kind of hose goes on the bottom, I may be able to drive 1-3 miles to pick it up without hurting my car. I can't seem to find any photos or information online about the water reservoir and hoses. But this thin hose feels like it's made with metal -- it bends but when I scratch it with my fingernail, it feels like metal (if that makes sense). I can barely touch it b/c there is such a tight fight between the water reservoir and the other reservoir that sits next to it -- about the same size & holds the windshield wash liquid. Should I take all the hoses off the water reservoir so I can see what's going on better, or will I get myself into irreversible trouble? It seems like it would be easy. But, being a female, I haven't had a lot of experience with repairs. It is out of necessity that I need to fix this myself. I would much prefer to have it repaired, but I'm sure even Saturn would overcharge me for something that seems simple like this. I am in FL and it's pretty hot here any day. I need the coolant system to work. Thanks if you can help.

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  • email4gen Aug 27, 2008

    duh... i just tried to look at that bottom hose again, and when i gently pulled on it so i could see where it was going, it looked like it was going up to some electrical lines. it looked like it was the casing for an electrical line. i feel like such an idiot. well, at least, i know that's NOT the reason my antifreeze is leaking. i took off the apoxy. it wasn't hard anyway. it just crumbled off... and the tape. i did a complete visual check on the other two hoses -- saw no leaks no abrasions -- no potential leaking spots... so i'm really stumped. i don't know what to do except see if i can get a nice guy at an auto parts store to look at it for me and tell me what's potentially wrong. if you have any ideas, please let me know. i found the saturn customer site on yahoo and although it's touted as having owner's manuals, i couldn't find a resource like that there.

  • email4gen Aug 27, 2008

    I fixed my problem. No thanks to FREETEK here. I didn't hear from him. My son who works for Yamaha helped -- he helped research the problem via the Internet, etc., and I drove my car and the low coolant light came on. I immediately pulled over and popped the hood to see if I could see any water (I didn't fill it with antifreeze since it was leaking)... and I saw the larger hose coming from the reservoir had a stress type fracture or compromised area -- it looked like a stretched piece of hose and was bright white while it was hot. I never saw it before b/c it was white when it was cool. See the attached photo

  • email4gen Aug 27, 2008

    That last line should be:

    I never saw it before b/c it was NOT white when it was cool.


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There should only be 2 hoses going to the resivoir. A small hose to the top, fender side. And a larger hose bottom toward the engine. There is a coolant level switch on the bottom. If you roll the washer resivoir forward it will lift up out of the way, without un-hooking anything. Hopefully this helps.

Posted on Jan 24, 2009

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