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Author Topic: low coolant levels  (Read 5566 times)

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Offline Rogue

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low coolant levels
« on: September 17, 2013, 09:08:03 PM »
Twice the past two weeks GXPsy has had a low coolant level. We can't find any puddles, any steam, or any other telltale indicators except for the reservoir being just low enough to trigger the CEL. GXPsy is a 2008 GXP (May 2007 build date) and just over 50K miles. Any suggestions where to start looking? Thanks.
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Offline Sol Asylum

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2013, 09:27:41 PM »
Water pump?
2007 Aggressive GXP

Offline 1KULSOL

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2013, 09:35:01 PM »
possibly a bad cap on the tank??

Offline Critterman

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2013, 10:15:04 PM »
Get it up in the air and looking around the exhaust for discoloration.  Sometimes it seeps from the pump and runs down the back of the engine.  The exhaust burns it off before it can hit the ground.
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Offline Gadget

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2013, 12:04:49 AM »
Check the drain plug on the bottom of the water pump.
Hard to find unless you know where to look. This sounds exactly like the symptoms I just had with :censor:  Kitty.
Ultimately mine went from no puddles/low coolant to a big puddle a week later.
And I believe the water pumps proximity to the hot exhaust side of the motor could explain the lack of puddles (as mentioned above).
Lift your hood and give her a "sniff"... Any coolant smell?

If you can jack the car up enough to slide under it, the drain plug for the water pump is visible near the front passenger under side of the motor.
My car is a 2008 GXP and only has 32,000 miles.
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Offline elff

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2013, 10:22:25 AM »
Just because of how many other times this has ended up being the water pump. I too am betting on that.

Doesn't it drip onto the frame and then evaporate from there?
That should leave spots or discoloration and maybe help with the diagnoses

Offline Gentleman Jack

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2013, 11:11:46 AM »
For a small fee, I can help with the water pump. My schedule opens up for East coast work in June if next year :)

Hope all goes well. Use the special water pump tool.
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Online 2kwk4u

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2013, 11:52:25 AM »
Although it's doubtful, check the oil and make sure it's not milky/frothy.  If so, you're looking at a head gasket issue.  Again, it's doubtful... like most others state it's probably your water pump giving up the ghost.

Offline e-sarge

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2013, 01:26:09 PM »
Have you had any recent service done?
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Offline Rogue

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2013, 09:20:46 PM »
No recent service. None of the other telltale signs, so it appears to be the water pump. What really annoys me is the dealer replaced the water pump 2 years ago at 40,000 miles under warranty. Now at 50,000 miles it's not under warranty. 10,000 miles out of a new water pump? That's horrific. I plan on meeting with the dealership service manager tomorrow. They've always treated Pat and I well. It will be interesting to see how it turns out.
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Offline elff

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2013, 09:30:43 PM »
Point out to them that while your are past the 12 month warranty period, you are 2000 miles less than the 12,000 miles they give all parts. 
Thats really inacceptable

Offline LatinVenom

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2013, 01:15:27 PM »
If the dealer does not help you, try to PM the GM service person that is on the forum.
Not sure if she post here but definitely on the BB.
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Offline Rogue

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2013, 01:25:47 PM »
Thanks LV. Good suggestion. I'm still playing phone tag with the Service Manager. I do not have an issue with the dealership. They've been great to us. But, they can only do what GM will allow. Will keep you all updated.
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Offline Rogue

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2013, 01:46:15 PM »
Water pump follow up. The dealer is being as cooperative as possible. The problem is, we haven't actually identified the source of the leak (if there is one). No staining, no puddles, no steam, nothing. Just low coolant level. Have been parking GXPsy over a large piece of white cardboard hoping to find drip marks. Nothing. Nothing telltale in the oil, and no bubbling through the coolant. I was able to work an air bubble out this morning and topped off the reservoir. We'll see what happens next. This is nerve wracking. I'm not sending Pat out in the car if there is a potential breakdown waiting to happen.

On a slightly different note, and maybe this should be a new thread....while having a different vehicle serviced at the dealership today I noticed two Solstice in the service bay. One was getting a new water pump, and the other was waiting it's turn for a new water pump. The service tech joked that every time they see a Sky or Solstice it's in for a water pump. If the problem is that severe why hasn't some sort of class action been initiated? Or has there?
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Offline Rogue

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2013, 06:42:15 PM »
Drove GXPsy several miles. Watched the temp gauge the whole time. Temps got as hot as 225 degrees. Then I took Rogue over the same drive and watched the temps. Topped at about 205. Same motors, same tune. With an average difference of 25 degrees I'm inclined to believe there is an efficiency problem with the water pump in GXPsy. Thoughts?
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Offline silverfox90

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2013, 07:29:36 PM »
I just had this service done last month because my low coolant light came on as well and I suspected the water pump. This had happened to me once a few months prior, so I topped off the coolant and drove on. As others mentioned, it can be a slow leak and does not always start with a puddle in the driveway, as in my case, but will eventually.

I looked around the engine bay and found this:

Look just beneath where the pump sits and you will see this area. A flashlight is a must otherwise you will never see down where this puddle was for me. I also looked under the front and found evidence of dripping as shown in the second picture.



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Offline Rogue

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2013, 09:27:20 PM »
Good photos. Thanks. I'm pretty well convinced it is the water pump, but I hate to tackle that job to find out after the fact it was something else.
Go N.A.K.3.D..

Offline DeepBlueGXP

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2013, 11:39:43 AM »
Drove GXPsy several miles. Watched the temp gauge the whole time. Temps got as hot as 225 degrees. Then I took Rogue over the same drive and watched the temps. Topped at about 205. Same motors, same tune. With an average difference of 25 degrees I'm inclined to believe there is an efficiency problem with the water pump in GXPsy. Thoughts?
Sounds like you have developed an air pocket, the high spike in temp will happen with a slow leak.
I had fluid sitting in my frame like the OP

Offline Rogue

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2013, 03:51:54 PM »
There was definitely an air pocket. Got that worked out and topped the cooling system before the test drive. The higher temps were noticed with a full cooling system.
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Offline Goat67

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2013, 01:04:27 AM »
When I experienced low coolant levels a few months ago, GM ended up warranting my motor and replacing my LNF. The symptoms were the same, no obvious leaks, no puddles, just a low reservoir. But take a look at your dipstick and the oil looks like a milkshake, which was why there were no obvious leaks. Although it is rare, it is not unheard of for these 2.0 motors to develop a cracked block. My motor had 34k on it when this happened. The day it was towed into the dealership was the last day of the power train warranty. GM completely covered everything.

Offline elff

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2013, 10:22:55 AM »
I believe there are 3 people on Skyroadster who ran into what Goat is stating.
I believe (but dont hold me to this) Its something to do with the mold used for the block.
It is a very rare problem and no manufacturing process is 100% perfect, but it is a possibility

Offline Rogue

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2013, 10:48:27 AM »
Goat and Elff - Thanks for the tip. The crankcase was one of the first places I looked. Nothing out of place there. I'm planning on going ahead and replacing the water pump as a precautionary move. Fortunately we have an abundance of vehicles to drive so Gxpsy (aka Pat) still has something fun to pick for her daily commute. I'll just take my time and not rush the replacement.
Go N.A.K.3.D..

Offline Rogue

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2013, 06:33:08 PM »
Finally started the water pump replacement today. All is going ok so far. However, I do have a question. The thermostat housing has 3 bolts holding it on. 2 can be seen from the top. I have not located the 3rd yet. For those of you who have already done this job, is it easiest to remove the bolts from the top? Or from the bottom? Or, a combination of the two? Thanks.
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Offline Rogue

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2013, 06:28:08 PM »
Finally. Spent the past week working in bits and pieces to install the new water pump. Got it finished yesterday (Thursday) and used today to finish "burping" the air pockets out. The job was tedious, but not really as bad as I had expected. The most difficult part was the learning curve during disassembly. Reassembly went surprisingly smoothly....except, of course, for those wretched nuts that slip off finger tips and onto the floor. After much crawling around on hands and knees all of the errant nuts were located and assembly was completed. Two test drives today showed temps at 205* +/- 5*. No bizarre temperature spikes. Pat gets GXPsy back in the morning!
Go N.A.K.3.D..

Offline DeepBlueGXP

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Re: low coolant levels
« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2013, 07:26:35 PM »
Congrats, did you replace the thermostat also

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