while driving yesterday a light come on for the low fluid and the temp gauge started to rise fast. I pulled in to a parking lot and saw my coolant was leaking all over the place. I refilled it and drove it home which wasn't far. Did some research online and found out it could be the water pump because it was so much fluid. So we replaced the water pump and the coolant is still leaking out as far as I can put it in it seems from the front center of the vehicle. We are 4 days past our due date for our baby to be born so I need to get it up and running stat. Any help you can give me would be great.

  • 2
    when you say front center do you mean front and center of the engine (where the pulleys are)? or do you mean front and center of the car (bumper)? which engine do you have? if it's a v6 have you checked the plastic heater hose pipes?
    – Ben
    Dec 19 '16 at 19:28
  • front and center of the car...its a 2.2L
    – Dale
    Dec 19 '16 at 19:32
  • have you pressure tested the system? is it leaking closer to the engine or closer to the radiator? how are the hoses?
    – Ben
    Dec 19 '16 at 20:26

There is no substitute for having the cooling system inspected, either by yourself or a mechanic, especially when a problem like this is so easy to trace (follow the leakage to its source). As you can attest to, throwing parts on without verifying if they really needed to be replaced can prove to be quite expensive.

That said, here are some possible reasons for significant loss of coolant:

  • compromised coolant hoses

    In my experience, even a small cut in a coolant hose (especially the one on the high-pressure side) can lead to significant coolant loss over a short period of time. If this is the case

  • a gash in the radiator

    Probably due to road debris. The usual fix is to replace the radiator.

  • loose hose connection

    If a hose clamp has failed or was improperly tightened, pressurized coolant will find its way out. Replace/tighten as applicable.

The integrity of the cooling system is vital to the operation of your engine. Failure to ensure can cost a lot more in terms of engine damage and/or repairs.

  • well we got it up and blew through the cooling system and it is leaking around the water pump...possibly gasket?
    – Dale
    Dec 19 '16 at 20:37
  • @Dale yes. I thought your water pump swap would have already addressed that
    – Zaid
    Dec 19 '16 at 20:39
  • @Dale I'd use RTV when installing waterpumps especially when they come with paper gaskets.
    – Ben
    Dec 20 '16 at 2:09

Too many of these threads don't mention a possible leak at the intake manifold gasket. If the leak is not obviously coming from the water pump/gasket, perform a leakdown pressure test and don't forget to check. Those end seals sometimes don't get sealed correctly and they can break down over time due to heat and coolant contamination.

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