Coolant smell

cornick

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2005 Lasabre
While replacing my front engine mount and having the car jacked up (front end only) Sunday my car decided to create 2 other problems for me.

One of them being coolant spilled onto the ground. Today it had that distinctive smell of burnt antifreeze. I replaced the heater core in 2018 and have checked all around the inside of my car and see no evidence of it leaking into the cab.

Start the car up at work and have the gurgling sound of air in my core now. I get home, throw a cardboard box under it and I've not nothing. No drops, drips, nada. Fill the reservoir as it was low (naturally at this point) but still don't know where it's going.

Radiator looks good, cap looks fine, car isn't overheating....but I have that smell.

Any help would be appreciated as I'm a little baffled at this point. My next thought was to jack it back up and see if I can spot it that way. *shrug*
 

Thunderhawk09

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If no signs and you cant find it leaking anywhere but still having to keep adding coolant my guess would be you popped A head gasket and it's using it or the intake is leaking it into the oil check oil for milky color
 

Homer Jay

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How did you lose coolant while replacing the front mount, did you disturb the upper radiator hose?
Refill at the radiator, bleed the system and watch for leaks. Areas to monitor, water pump, coolant elbows, all hose connections and throttle body. Other possible suspects is the upper intake manifold/gasket & lower intake gasket.
It is highly unlikely to be a failed head gasket.
 

MelsRegal

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Rent or buy a cooling system pressure tester and make sure to test the cap also.
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2007LucerneCXL

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All the above, check the plastic elbows if they have never been replaced, check by and under the TB. There's test that can tell if you have exhaust gases in the coolant and you may want to look at coolant dye kit for external leaks, another less scientific way is to smell the exhaust if it has a sweet smell. Hopefully something will work on all the posted suggestions.
 

imidazol97

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IF your local box stores loan tools, they may have pressure testers for the radiator and cooling system.

BUT a cold system may not leak while it does hot. Don't forget your radiator has some age on it now. I had the upper shoulder area on my
1998's develop a crack that opened only under high pressure. Then it seeped down into the pan under the radiator and flowed
to the drain hole in the center. But this onlly happened after shutting the car off after running for a while and the system built up
full pressure after the water pump was shut off.

Since you saw coolant when you were working, there's something that you likely can find. I second inspecting around the
elbows and their seals. I had one that seeped onto the intake manifold around the seal IIRC. It left a trail of brown almond
shells from the sealer that GM has for the cooling system--those tables that dissolve and then the fine shreds of almond shells
swell when they go through a seeping crack.

The likelihood is you had run the car and turned it off hot. The pressure built up and seeped somewhere.
Oh my radiator leak fooled me because occasionally I'd back out of the driveway and see a small wet area near the middle
of the car and thought it was the AC dripping when the car was shut off.

You can also put UV dye into the cooling system, be sure to get one compatible with DexCool if that's what you're using.
I had a small UV flashlight from labeling son's computers when he went to college.

Be aware the UV dye I used can permanently stain shirt sleeves and all if it gets on them even diluted in the coolant. But
it glowed where it was seeping.
 

cornick

New member
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Buick Ownership
2005 Lasabre
I added more coolant and found that it leaked while not being used just sitting in my driveway.

Checked it tonight and found this under the hood. I can't tell where it's coming from though but that's the highest spot I see where it's coming from.

I found this video that talks about the 90 degree elbow and the condition of it. To the human eye my elbow looks good but it's tough to say without taking everything apart I guess. But under that elbow is where everything seems to be collecting.

Here is a link to the video

So I'm thinking I need to take it all apart and see if that's where my problem actually exists.


IMG_3669.jpg
 

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2007LucerneCXL

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Appears like it's one of two plastic elbows. If it is get two aluminum ones as the other will break while taking it apart. YouTube videos on how to do a R&R.
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cornick

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Thanks for your reply. You replied while I edited my post lol....good timing!

I think that's what I need to do and in the video I found he replaced with aluminum as wel.
 

2007LucerneCXL

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Sorry about the leak, but it's the lesser of other evil possibilities LOL.
 

Thunderhawk09

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depending on the mileage I would get a new belt tensioner while doing that job that tension is made to the bracket that the alt mounts to you got to have it off anyway both heater core hose also run through it 71OVeLybS+L._AC_SL1500_.jpg 710KA6YqdkL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
 

Frampton

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2003 buick lesabre custom
While replacing my front engine mount and having the car jacked up (front end only) Sunday my car decided to create 2 other problems for me.

One of them being coolant spilled onto the ground. Today it had that distinctive smell of burnt antifreeze. I replaced the heater core in 2018 and have checked all around the inside of my car and see no evidence of it leaking into the cab.

Start the car up at work and have the gurgling sound of air in my core now. I get home, throw a cardboard box under it and I've not nothing. No drops, drips, nada. Fill the reservoir as it was low (naturally at this point) but still don't know where it's going.

Radiator looks good, cap looks fine, car isn't overheating....but I have that smell.

Any help would be appreciated as I'm a little baffled at this point. My next thought was to jack it back up and see if I can spot it that way. *shrug*
Welcome to the wonderful world of upper and lower intake jobs! Or just the coolant elbows.
 

2007LucerneCXL

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Illinois
Buick Ownership
2007 Lucerne CXL. and 1995 Lesabre currently, past 1973 Riviera, 1968 Riviera
The mechanic in the can crap will clog up the system and should be used when the vehicle is being sold or emergency repairs. Find the problem, repair it correctly and additional issues later on will be avoided.
 

Frampton

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2003 buick lesabre custom
I have the same problems. I would advise you buy coolant leak repair or stop leak.
That stuff is junk! Clogged up everything. Fix it right. Upper and lower gasket job and elbows
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