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Old 12-03-2012, 03:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Leaking Coolant...but where?

Hey Guys,

You may have read my other thread about the heat blowing cold air....everyone said check the coolant which happened to be low. im on top of this stuff so i dont know how this got past me....

anyway, i was low again today while on the highway and this time so low that the engine temperature started rising dangerously....

i refilled the fluid, bled the system and noticed after reving the motor that fluid was spilling out above the belt just under the alternator (see picture).

any idea what this could be? is it a connector/connection? water pump? manifold? no ideas.. i dropped it off at the mechanic. my girlfriend drove behind me and it was a steady leak the whole trip. ...


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Old 12-03-2012, 03:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That's one of those leaky elbows the 3.8's have isn't it?

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Old 12-03-2012, 04:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auntjemima View Post
That's one of those leaky elbows the 3.8's have isn't it?
Yes. Apparently, the otherwise reliable and popular 3.8 was notorious for these breaking and leaking.

I recently replaced them on my daughter's 1999 Lumina. That version of the 3.8 has two elbows, an upper and a lower. Earlier models only had the upper elbow.

FWIW, here's a good thread on the subject:
coolant bypass tube??? - Buick Forums


But I doubt it's needed since the OP is taking his car to a garage.

Doug

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Old 12-03-2012, 05:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Dorman makes aluminum elbows, also available from ZZP, they should be a lot more durable than those crappy plastic ones.

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Old 12-03-2012, 06:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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easy to do yourself?

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Old 12-03-2012, 07:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Pretty easy. Remove the belt and alternator and you will have some room to work with
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by child_of_fire View Post
easy to do yourself?
In the thread I linked, there's an embedded video:


He does a couple things I don't like, but the vid will give you a pretty good overview of the job.

HTH.

Doug

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Old 12-04-2012, 01:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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guys my mechanic says lot of things need to be moved to access this area...5 hours of labor....talking 450 dollars! is this right?

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Old 12-04-2012, 01:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by child_of_fire View Post
guys my mechanic says lot of things need to be moved to access this area...5 hours of labor....talking 450 dollars! is this right?
I did it in about 2 hours, and I'm far from a pro.

Doug

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Old 12-04-2012, 02:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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guys my mechanic says lot of things need to be moved to access this area...5 hours of labor....talking 450 dollars! is this right?
thats ridiculous. do it yourself.

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Old 12-04-2012, 03:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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also can't find that aluminum elbow....any ideas?

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Old 12-04-2012, 08:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The aluminum elbows are on both ZZP's website and W body store

And yeah. As stated, 5 hours labor is rediculous. Thats shop time for a LIM gasket job. I can do an entire LIM job in 3 hours. Coolant elbows alone in about an hour if I take my time
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:56 AM   #13 (permalink)
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coolant leaks

Hello,
I am the tech manager at Prestone Antifreeze.
Your vehicle has two plastic elbows right in the location you are talking about. They seem to rot out over time, I know we have replaced plenty of them in my shop. The parts are inexpensive but there is a couple hours labor involved. Make sure to refill with OAT coolant like Prestone DexCool or Prestone Extended Life coolant.
If you have any further questions, I can be reached directly at jay.buckley@framgrp.com

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Old 12-05-2012, 07:10 AM   #14 (permalink)
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thanks guys. all great help.

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Old 12-05-2012, 09:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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ended up being the o-rings that hold the elbow, not the elbow itself...

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