Automotive Forums  Where Car Enthusiasts Go to Discuss Cars Online

  
 
 
Home | Active Posts | Search | Log In / Register | Terms | FAQs
Xml
Item Posts   

Coolant Leak, No Heat, Overheating Car.

 
 | 
specopbookie specopbookie
New User | Posts: 7 | Joined: 01/09
Posted: 01/11/09
08:15 PM

Alright, I have a problem with my 1997 Chevrolet Lumina and joined these forums for some help. I'll tell you what's going on. My car obviously has a coolant leak somewhere because it doesnt hold coolant for more than a few days. The belt is wet, with coolant, NOT WATER, and my heat guage fluctuates from Hot to the middle every minute while driving. When I first start my car, my lights are dim, and my heater does not even turn on, after a while of either driving or revving the engine, my belt will make a loud squealing noise, a burnt rubber smell will emit, a small amount of white steam or smoke will spill out of the right side of the hood, and my electronics will all kick on. My heater always blows cold. Im guessing from the lack of coolant in the engine, when I first put coolant in it. it blows hot. and my guage goes back to normal. One more thing added to this problem which im clueless to why: The car is hard to steer. like the power steering goes out, BUT it has power steering fluid. Im guessing its tied to something with the belt being wet or the belt squeeling. Ill sum this all up for you so maybe some mechanic guru can help out.

What We Know:

No Heat
Coolant all over belt
High Temp guage
belt hard to rotate before a while when everything kicks on
Hard Steering

Now I dont know alot, but my guess is either the water pump is bad, but i cant explain why my belt and alternator would act that way... A bad heater core, but I think I rule that out because when the engine has coolant, it works fine and i dont see any coolant inside the cab.... Im not sure if a thermostat would cause that.... or maybe the a/c unit.. since the belt rotates around that... maybe its not turning on... but that doesnt explain alot of things either. so im guessing its a combo of one or more things. Can someone help me out here? I do most of my own repairs. is this out of my league? Should I just get a new car instead of spend alot to fix it? Thanks in advance everyone.  

waynep712 waynep712
Enthusiast | Posts: 652 | Joined: 10/08
Posted: 01/11/09
09:15 PM

did you know that the water pump is right up in front...

copy and paste this link to view the picture of the water pumps location..

http://econtent.autozone.com:24991/znetrgs/repair_guide_content/en_us/images//0900c152/80/09/0c/f0//medium/0900c15280090cf0.gif


loosen the pulley bolts... then take the belt off.. then take the pulley off... the water pump is only held on by a few bolts..    be sure to tighten the pulley tight after you put the belt back on...  

Matt-AZ Matt-AZ
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 01/09
Posted: 01/11/09
09:20 PM

I would suggest if replacing your water pump to also change the thermostat at the same time since you will also have to replace coolant (not required but I like to be thorough).  Something else to consider, if your serpentine belt is cracked I would also change that, they are very easy with a torque bar (the idler pulley is tension loaded).  

specopbookie specopbookie
New User | Posts: 7 | Joined: 01/09
Posted: 01/11/09
09:22 PM

Yes I did thanks. Smile Im not sure what the problem is though and HOW to TELL if the water pump is bad... can anyone help with this? Or what's causing all of these things to happen..  

specopbookie specopbookie
New User | Posts: 7 | Joined: 01/09
Posted: 01/11/09
09:25 PM

okay, so from the replies, it seems everyone is thinking the water pump. Any explanation to why you all think it's that? before i go taking my engine apart, I want to gather as much facts as I can. Thanks!  

waynep712 waynep712
Enthusiast | Posts: 652 | Joined: 10/08
Posted: 01/12/09
09:21 AM

you don't have to take the motor apart to check or change the water pump...  the hardest thing is getting the belt off...

it is right behind the water pump pulley...  but on this application.. it is offset... right up where you can get to it...

it is like a 15 minute job to do the water pump on that model....  including the time it takes to open the hood...  

when the water pumps go bad... they spray coolant all over the belt...   it is probably a good idea to wash the pulleys down with water after you install the new pump ... but before you put a NEW belt on...  antifreeze on the belt will shorten its life span..

were you able to copy and paste to a new window the link  to see the image i posted above...   or go to autozone.com... click on the repair info in the left frame.. put your car info in,  the water pump replacement will be down on the engine repair link...  

specopbookie specopbookie
New User | Posts: 7 | Joined: 01/09
Posted: 01/12/09
08:28 PM

alright. It's late-ish here, and I went out and got a new water pump. The belt is no problem, just loosen the tensioner pulley, and wallah. I'll pull the car in the garage and take a look now. I'll post the results. Anyone have a clue as to why the power steering and alternator are out for the first few minutes? Or is that just because the belt is all wet and slipping possibly?  

rollsafe rollsafe
User | Posts: 213 | Joined: 11/08
Posted: 01/12/09
09:48 PM

If you have checked your water pump and if your are not finding any issues then please consult your mechanic

usedpartx  

Wenis Wenis
User | Posts: 132 | Joined: 10/08
Posted: 01/13/09
08:34 AM

From your first description the belt is soaked with antifreeze, if so, the belt will slip and yep smelled like burnt rubber. therefore the power steering and alt will not work properly and will cause the other problems you talk about.  

specopbookie specopbookie
New User | Posts: 7 | Joined: 01/09
Posted: 01/15/09
11:06 PM

Picked up a new water pump, gasket and sealant today, took a look at my old water pump, looks like coolant was leaking out of the weep hole, how much can leak out of that little hole anyway? I was losing coolant rapidly... so im afraid i may have a leak elsewhere as well. maybe not. I thought best to get a new thermostat as well, since my car had been overheating so much. and to top it off.. while im at it, decided to go for a coolant system flush and a new belt. I'll post my results tommorrow. Thanks for all of the help in advance, and if anyone has any tips on coolant system flushes or thermostat replacement, shout em out, Im new to both but very capable. Thanks.  

waynep712 waynep712
Enthusiast | Posts: 652 | Joined: 10/08
Posted: 01/15/09
11:14 PM

one more thing... if you have not finished the job yet... look along the water passages... see if there are any bleeder screws...  i seem to recall that there were some on the 3.1 and 3.4 motors...  but i cannot remember where they are...


i will do some research...


i cannot find anything fast on it.. but i am almost sure that there is a black water outlet that comes out the top of the timing cover just behind where the water pump bolts on..  that there is a bleeder screw on top of that...  

Wenis Wenis
User | Posts: 132 | Joined: 10/08
Posted: 01/16/09
12:08 AM

Yep, your right Wayne, there's one there and there's another opposite that on the drivers side, both easy to see and loosen. These engines have to be bled out good once empty, sometimes you fill the system and bleed, done.

Other times you try and bleed and they keep overheating while your doing it, (watch the temp gauge in the car) If it keeps getting hot, make sure it's full, try the bleed and then shut it off and walk away, if the over flow is full when you walk away it'll be low or empty when you return, continue to bleed until no more air comes out the bleeders and then drive it.  

specopbookie specopbookie
New User | Posts: 7 | Joined: 01/09
Posted: 01/16/09
02:57 PM

Alright Guys, here's the results:

Installed Water Pump and used sealant/gasket creator.

Flushed the Coolant system, about... 6 times. There was sooo much rust and old gunk.

installed new belt, topped off all fluid levels.

Downside... I set my torque wrench to the wrong torque for the bots on the water pump. 2.. BROKE OFF. not good. So if anyone has any tips on how to remove the old bolts and where to find new ones that are correct, im a needing them.

So far.. it looks as if I have corrected the problem. for the mean time. i need to get that waterpump bolted in all 5 holes though. no over heating yet, and ill have to wait and see if i still have a coolant leak or not.

All in all I'd say it was for the most part a success since all of this was new to me. I'll remember for the future.. now it's all cake walk Wink. Thanks soo much guys for all of your help. Hopefully you all wont be seeing me replying saying it's not working haha.  

Xml
Showbuyersguide Hide2
Get a free and easy new car
price quote in minutes
Button Getmyprice

Research Categories:

Sponsored Links

 
 
  • Trade-in-Value.com