Coolant leak MAJOR - Pontiac G6 Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-09-2018, 07:12 AM Thread Starter
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Coolant leak MAJOR

So I've been experiencing a leak lately. Pretty sure it's the coolant as the other morning I went and checked on fluids and the coolant was at the bottom of the tank, way below the cold line. I also notice when I go to park after driving that there is a CONSTANT drip under neath the car more on the passenger side but behind the firewall. I have done a visual inspection by the coolant tank and hoses but don't see any signs. What could it be? I don't have any jack stands so getting under the car might not be obtainable. I can try and provide a video and pictures of the tank and the puddle that the leak creates. It's clear liquid so I'm a bit confused as the coolant is orange...?
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2018, 11:23 AM
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Sounds like what you are describing from that location is the heater core. Does it smell like anti-freeze in the car? Do the windows have a slight greasy feel or haze to them, if so then that's it. I really hope I am wrong about that because I been fixing cars professionally for about 25 years and that is a bi*** to replace. The entire dash has to be removed and the heater box which includes part of the A/C system. It is a all day job for two guys at a shop. If you have little experience and are not very mechanically inclined and attempt this repair will find yourself way in over your head. It requires a lot of specialty tools as well. I can give exact directions if you feel you can do it if in fact that is what the leak is. You can take your car to most shops and they will do a free coolant pressure test. This is pressurizing the coolant system while the car is not running or hot making it easy to pin point the exact spot of your leak. It is a good idea to wash your engine before getting this done. When washing your engine at the car wash either your engine needs to be cool and not running or if its up to temp or higher you MUST leave it running as if it cools too fast, it is the same that happens to glass when cooled fast, it develops cracks. This can make things A LOT worse. You can always buy a coolant pressure tester and do it yourself, the test that is. They are handy tools to have and help find coolant leak very easy. The best trick is to CLEAN your engine. Its easy to find a leak on a clean motor.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2018, 11:45 AM
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I have discussed the intake manifold gaskets before but from where you have described the leak coming from it does not sound like it. But it a good idea to check them as well as they WILL FAIL eventually. It is inevitable on all GM built Buick and Chevy V6's. Yep your Pontiac has not had a "Pontiac built" engine in it for many many years. Most having Chevy or Buick engines. Unless its a 3.8l, (Buick) it is a Chevy "High Value" built V6 (almost all GM front wheel drive mid-size cars).
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2018, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like what you are describing from that location is the heater core. Does it smell like anti-freeze in the car? Do the windows have a slight greasy feel or haze to them, if so then that's it. I really hope I am wrong about that because I been fixing cars professionally for about 25 years and that is a bi*** to replace. The entire dash has to be removed and the heater box which includes part of the A/C system. It is a all day job for two guys at a shop. If you have little experience and are not very mechanically inclined and attempt this repair will find yourself way in over your head. It requires a lot of specialty tools as well. I can give exact directions if you feel you can do it if in fact that is what the leak is. You can take your car to most shops and they will do a free coolant pressure test. This is pressurizing the coolant system while the car is not running or hot making it easy to pin point the exact spot of your leak. It is a good idea to wash your engine before getting this done. When washing your engine at the car wash either your engine needs to be cool and not running or if its up to temp or higher you MUST leave it running as if it cools too fast, it is the same that happens to glass when cooled fast, it develops cracks. This can make things A LOT worse. You can always buy a coolant pressure tester and do it yourself, the test that is. They are handy tools to have and help find coolant leak very easy. The best trick is to CLEAN your engine. Its easy to find a leak on a clean motor.
No I haven't experienced antifreeze smell in the car nor have I seen the windows being hazy. Although when I get out of the car after driving for some time I do smell a burning smell under the hood. The engine gives off quite a bit of heat if I stick my head near the headlights. Although my thermostat never goes over 225. I will try and supply pictures of the leak when I get a chance.


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Originally Posted by jayram1408 View Post
I have discussed the intake manifold gaskets before but from where you have described the leak coming from it does not sound like it. But it a good idea to check them as well as they WILL FAIL eventually. It is inevitable on all GM built Buick and Chevy V6's. Yep your Pontiac has not had a "Pontiac built" engine in it for many many years. Most having Chevy or Buick engines. Unless its a 3.8l, (Buick) it is a Chevy "High Value" built V6 (almost all GM front wheel drive mid-size cars).
Where are the gaskets located at? Are they easy to access and determine if they are at fault?

Thank you for the replies!
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My2ndCar-My1stG6
So I've been experiencing a leak lately. Pretty sure it's the coolant as the other morning I went and checked on fluids and the coolant was at the bottom of the tank, <snip>
It's clear liquid so I'm a bit confused as the coolant is orange...?
I would suspect heater core, too, but, since the liquid is clear, I think what's being seen dripping is condensate from the AC evaporator. (But a heater core leak would drain in the same place.)

What year is the car, and what motor is in it? The LZ4 3.5L V6's have a cross over pipe between the heads on the passenger end of the motor. The gaskets on it are a common source of coolant leaks. I had to replace them on my 2007 G6.

If it's the 3.5L LX9 V6, also used in the G6's, I might suspect the lower intake gaskets. I have no experience with that particular motor, so I can only speculate. But it's based on the earlier 3.4L LA1, which was known to have issues with the lower intake gaskets. (I had to replace those on both my LA1 equipped Impalas.)

That said, before doing anything, as jayram1408 indicated, get the cooling system pressure tested to isolate the leak. Also, you can check your RPO sticker to determine which motor you have.

HTH.

Doug

.

Last edited by plano_doug; 08-12-2018 at 10:44 AM.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 10:39 AM
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Last edited by plano_doug; 08-12-2018 at 10:42 AM.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plano_doug View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by My2ndCar-My1stG6
So I've been experiencing a leak lately. Pretty sure it's the coolant as the other morning I went and checked on fluids and the coolant was at the bottom of the tank, <snip>
It's clear liquid so I'm a bit confused as the coolant is orange...?
I would suspect heater core, too, but, since the liquid is clear, I think what's being seen dripping is condensate from the AC evaporator. (But a heater core leak would drain in the same place.)

What year is the car, and what motor is in it? The LZ4 3.5L V6's have a cross over pipe between the heads on the passenger end of the motor. The gaskets on it are a common source of coolant leaks. I had to replace them on my 2007 G6.

If it's the 3.5L LX9 V6, also used in the G6's, I might suspect the lower intake gaskets. I have no experience with that particular motor, so I can only speculate. But it's based on the earlier 3.4L LA1, which was known to have issues with the lower intake gaskets. (I had to replace those on both my LA1 equipped Impalas.)

That said, before doing anything, as jayram1408 indicated, get the cooling system pressure tested to isolate the leak. Also, you can check your RPO sticker to determine which motor you have.

HTH.

Doug

.
Not sure what motor I have all I know is the 3.5. I'm in the hospital with my newborn so I won't have time until tomorrow or tu3sday to get a good look. Where can I locate the RPO sticker? Not sure what that stands for.

Also want to note while I was out driving I checked for the leak when I parked and didn't see anything leaking. However I wasn't using the AC during the drive so perhaps it is just the condensation from the a.c. that I was noticing. However there still is a leak of some kind because my coolant is running low still. Maybe I can take some cardboard and stick up under the car to see if I can find out the color. I know I'm leaking something because of the smell I smell when exiting the car. Oil level looked fine. What does a coolant leak smell like? I don't know how to describe the smell.

Also how can I clean my engine by myself? Last time I tried cleaning an engine on my last car I ended up with transmission problems and had to sell it. Don't need a repeat...
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My2ndCar-My1stG6 View Post
Not sure what motor I have all I know is the 3.5. I'm in the hospital with my newborn so I won't have time until tomorrow or tu3sday to get a good look. Where can I locate the RPO sticker? Not sure what that stands for.

Also want to note while I was out driving I checked for the leak when I parked and didn't see anything leaking. However I wasn't using the AC during the drive so perhaps it is just the condensation from the a.c. that I was noticing. However there still is a leak of some kind because my coolant is running low still. Maybe I can take some cardboard and stick up under the car to see if I can find out the color. I know I'm leaking something because of the smell I smell when exiting the car. Oil level looked fine. What does a coolant leak smell like? I don't know how to describe the smell.

Also how can I clean my engine by myself? Last time I tried cleaning an engine on my last car I ended up with transmission problems and had to sell it. Don't need a repeat...
RPO stnds for Regular Production Option. These are three character codes used to summaraize all the options installed on a given car. One well known RPO is Z28, for example.

I can't recall where the RPO sticker was on my G6. It may be on the inside of the trunk lid, or perhaps in the glove box. On my Impala, it's on the shock tower in the trunk, behind the carpet, as I recall. Hopefully, someone else here can chime in on that. I've uploaded an example one.

A coolant leak smells...well...like coolant, sorta sweet. The red coolant is pretty easy to see on the ground. It evaporates very slowly, and has an oily feel to it.

I can't help much with cleaning the engine. I've heard horror stories of guys spraying in the wrong places and causing all sorts of problems. I will say, if you're looking for a leak near a seam, such as where the intake meets the block, and you want clean it off then check it later for moisture, I use wadded up paper towels and a pair of long needle nosed pliers to reach into tight places like that. You just need to get it clean enough to know, if you see it wet later, you're looking at a fresh leak.

HTH.

Doug

.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plano_doug View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by My2ndCar-My1stG6 View Post
Not sure what motor I have all I know is the 3.5. I'm in the hospital with my newborn so I won't have time until tomorrow or tu3sday to get a good look. Where can I locate the RPO sticker? Not sure what that stands for.

Also want to note while I was out driving I checked for the leak when I parked and didn't see anything leaking. However I wasn't using the AC during the drive so perhaps it is just the condensation from the a.c. that I was noticing. However there still is a leak of some kind because my coolant is running low still. Maybe I can take some cardboard and stick up under the car to see if I can find out the color. I know I'm leaking something because of the smell I smell when exiting the car. Oil level looked fine. What does a coolant leak smell like? I don't know how to describe the smell.

Also how can I clean my engine by myself? Last time I tried cleaning an engine on my last car I ended up with transmission problems and had to sell it. Don't need a repeat...
RPO stnds for Regular Production Option. These are three character codes used to summaraize all the options installed on a given car. One well known RPO is Z28, for example.

I can't recall where the RPO sticker was on my G6. It may be on the inside of the trunk lid, or perhaps in the glove box. On my Impala, it's on the shock tower in the trunk, behind the carpet, as I recall. Hopefully, someone else here can chime in on that. I've uploaded an example one.

A coolant leak smells...well...like coolant, sorta sweet. The red coolant is pretty easy to see on the ground. It evaporates very slowly, and has an oily feel to it.

I can't help much with cleaning the engine. I've heard horror stories of guys spraying in the wrong places and causing all sorts of problems. I will say, if you're looking for a leak near a seam, such as where the intake meets the block, and you want clean it off then check it later for moisture, I use wadded up paper towels and a pair of long needle nosed pliers to reach into tight places like that. You just need to get it clean enough to know, if you see it wet later, you're looking at a fresh leak.

HTH.

Doug

.
thank you for the quick reply! I will go out in the morning and check for that sticker. In the process of bringing my newborn home from the hospital so things might be delayed.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-13-2018, 04:36 AM
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directions for intake manifold gasket

Through directions
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-13-2018, 04:37 AM
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continued
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-13-2018, 04:40 AM
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Still continued
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-13-2018, 04:43 AM
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still more
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-13-2018, 04:53 AM
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The last few missing ones

Sorry they up loaded out of order. They start with number 2 to 26 these are out of order so check when going thru them.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-13-2018, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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That looks very intimidating of a task!
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