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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I have a 2003 saturn ion, 155,000 miles. Seems like every time I turn around I'm replacing something on this vehicle but it's worth it over the cost of a new car. My latest issue has me scratching my head. I have a coolant leak (Ecotec 2.2) somewhere on the drivers side.

I was at McDonald's getting my lunch and I noticed steam coming from the drivers side hood. Before I ate my spicy chicken sandwich, I popped the hood to look. The whole area I can see some wetness but I can't determine from where the leak was coming from. At night so I can see better with a flashlight, I filled the reservoir up with hot water and ran the engine. The wetness was still there but no obvious leaks seen.

I took the car for a spin up a hill and the temp went close to the red zone and weird cool air (thermostat closed) blowing from inside vents.

Went home dumped some hot h2o in the reservoir, twisted the throttle from the throttle body the the water got sucked in vavoom in about 30 seconds. no leaks but steam coming up from below flowing over my ignition pack.

I checked my oil (no water) and when I popped my oil cap with the engine running I can feel air pulsing out of the cap. (pushing out). I put mu hand over the oil cam and the engine runs the same, pretty smoothe. (normal).

I'm thinking on pulling the reservoir to check for leaks, I'm thinking to replace the thermostat and see if anything is going on below, I'm thinking to replace all of the coolant hoses but I'm getting too old for this.
So, just asking if anyone had seen this before so perhaps I can learn from others experiences. Oh yea, evidence of fluid under the car so it's leaking form somewhere.

Worse case maybe a blown head gasket affecting only the water flow.

Oh, when the engine is running and hot, I don't have that good old fashion pressure in the radiator hose. Wierd, I have an opening somewhere but where?

any input welcomed.
Jeff
 

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The thermostat and water pump are both on the firewall side as I'm sure you figured out.
Where exactly is wet?
Could be the the o rings on the cross over tube or the thermos gasket
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welp, filled the reservoir up, drove the ION until the temp was at 50%, left car idle in front of the house, popped the hood but this time had my son-in-law help to find the leak. Directly under the ignition pack near or at the spark plug on top of head you can see the puddle of water forming and bubbling and spraying a little.

Looks like a cracked head to me or a block head gasket. I don't know if I want to pull the top of the motor apart but I'm considering dumping it for another auto. I'm a little worried on replacing the head gasket because that plug I pulled once and whenI reinstalled, it seemed to never completely tighten. It's tight but not torqued as it should be.
 

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Any chance you can grab a picture? There shouldn't be water there period. The lower rad hose is right there tho
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Any chance you can grab a picture? There shouldn't be water there period. The lower rad hose is right there tho
2003_ecotec.coolant.leak.jpg


I have a pic and I hope it uploaded. I found the leak as shown in the pic. Seems like the coolant is flowing from the top of head where my thumb is and spilling down onto my trans and everything else there.
 

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That's a super odd place for coolant to be leaking. Did you check the coolant line and rad hose in that area for maybe a pinhole?
 
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