Springfield

The "Ask a Mechanic" Thread

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7 minutes ago, twa said:

 

are you losing coolant in the radiator?

could be a leaking heater core.

 

other than that check the drain for the evaporator case(which is a pain)

 

I know I've had a leak, but as far as I know, it's just been the overflow tank to the radiator. The level on the overflow would go down really fast, but when I check the radiator at the main cap, it's full. So I assumed it was just a leak in the overflow, which didn't seem so serious. So as a result, to save money temporarily, I've just been carrying around a gallon jug of water, to keep topping off the overflow only.

Could that be it ?

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2 minutes ago, Malapropismic Depository said:

 

I know I've had a leak, but as far as I know, it's just been the overflow tank to the radiator. The level on the overflow would go down really fast, but when I check the radiator at the main cap, it's full. So I assumed it was just a leak in the overflow, which didn't seem so serious. So as a result, to save money temporarily, I've just been carrying around a gallon jug of water, to keep topping off the overflow only.

Could that be it ?

 

probably from the description

when the system leaks it sucks from the overflow/reservoir tank

 

you can try alumaseal ,but if that doesn't work replacing it or bypassing it and getting a heater/defroster that plugs into the lighter are your options.

 

you can have it pressure tested or just quit filling the overflow and see if the radiator level drops(careful not to run low)

 

if you were using coolant the smell and gummy film on the windows would be a tell.

 

 

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Low coolant light always on, faulty sensor, no prob. I watch it & oil every month (well, my husband does).

Now emergency brake light is staying on...

My go-to is the fuses, right? And it can wait till I actually give a hoot, right? 🤞

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Just now, skinsmarydu said:

Low coolant light always on, faulty sensor, no prob. I watch it & oil every month (well, my husband does).

Now emergency brake light is staying on...

My go-to is the fuses, right? And it can wait till I actually give a hoot, right? 🤞

 

emergency brake light is many times the contact on the switch by the pedal dirty or the pedal is not springing up all the way(try pulling up while holding release)

 

I assume you checked brake fluid level?

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11 hours ago, twa said:

 

probably from the description

when the system leaks it sucks from the overflow/reservoir tank

 

you can try alumaseal ,but if that doesn't work replacing it or bypassing it and getting a heater/defroster that plugs into the lighter are your options.

 

you can have it pressure tested or just quit filling the overflow and see if the radiator level drops(careful not to run low)

 

if you were using coolant the smell and gummy film on the windows would be a tell.

 

 

 

Just for comparison, the overflow tank will fully leak/empty out in just 1 to 2 days, after filling it up.

On the other hand, the radiator might just need to be topped off with about 8 oz coolant, but just once every 1 to 2 weeks.

However I'm guessing that could simply be just evaporation, because after messing with the radiator levels a lot lately,

my coolant-to-water ration could be off, and favoring the water volume vs the coolant volume.

So it doesn't appear to be radiator-related, but rather the overflow tank. Would that likely be correct ?

Thanks so much for all your replies.

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from the description I would say the heater core is leaking(like a small radiator inside dash)

which is resulting in steam in the air vents.

 

in effect it is like a steam kettle running inside

 

try alumaseal and make sure the heat is on while it circulates

 

add

the radiator system is a closed system that does not evaporate w/o a leak

 

 

Edited by twa
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6 hours ago, twa said:

from the description I would say the heater core is leaking(like a small radiator inside dash)

which is resulting in steam in the air vents.

 

in effect it is like a steam kettle running inside

 

try alumaseal and make sure the heat is on while it circulates

 

add

the radiator system is a closed system that does not evaporate w/o a leak

 

 

 

 

Thanks so much ! Could I just ask a few super quick questions.

 

Do I add the alumaseal to the overflow tank or to the radiator, or it doesn't matter ?

Is the steam or fumes coming out of the vents toxic in any way, if I drive with windows closed ?

I'm about to go on a long trip, about 700 miles each way. Would it be unsafe or unwise to take the trip before taking care of this ?

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1 hour ago, Malapropismic Depository said:

 

 

Thanks so much ! Could I just ask a few super quick questions.

 

Do I add the alumaseal to the overflow tank or to the radiator, or it doesn't matter ?

Is the steam or fumes coming out of the vents toxic in any way, if I drive with windows closed ?

I'm about to go on a long trip, about 700 miles each way. Would it be unsafe or unwise to take the trip before taking care of this ?

 

You add it to the radiator when cool enough to open, then it must be run for 15 minutes at least(w/heater on)

 

I'm sure the fumes are not good for you,but not really toxic that I know of.(I'm mildly allergic to antifreeze)

 

I would add the alumaseal before the trip to reduce or stop the fogging

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41 minutes ago, twa said:

 

You add it to the radiator when cool enough to open, then it must be run for 15 minutes at least(w/heater on)

 

I'm sure the fumes are not good for you,but not really toxic that I know of.(I'm mildly allergic to antifreeze)

 

I would add the alumaseal before the trip to reduce or stop the fogging

 

 

Cool, man. Is there a Tip Jar here somewhere, for you and @Springfield  ?

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On 11/27/2018 at 9:12 PM, twa said:

 

emergency brake light is many times the contact on the switch by the pedal dirty or the pedal is not springing up all the way(try pulling up while holding release)

 

I assume you checked brake fluid level?

Yep, good. And it's the push pedal/push harder to release kind...pedal comes all the way back up, but the dash light stays on. Only happens sometimes. 

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Old, sentimental truck has been totaled.

It was high maintenance, but that meant I was high maintenance in this thread, as well.

So, I'm looking for a replacement, that won't be so high maintenance.

Can only spend $2000, maybe up to $3000.

What's the best place to buy a dependable used car in that price range ?

Prefer a truck or SUV, but I can't be picky.

Searching the net, a lot of people suggested auto trader, gumtree, ebay, pistonheads.com.

You all agree ? Is craigslist bad for buying cars/trucks ?

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I ended up buying a Saturn, because it was a really good deal, and the car had really low mileage.

The salesman told me that parts and repairs should be no problem because Chevy actually built all those Saturns,

so they're basically the same as Chevy parts.

For some reason, I just took him at his word without pause.

After buying the car, and trying to verify that info on the internet, I can't seem to find info that matches that.

Again, I know I should have verified it before buying the car, but it was one of those brain fart moments.

Some articles are even stating that getting Saturn parts can be difficult and costly.

Is that true ? Or can I get a Saturn repaired at a typical garage, without any major hassle ?

@twa  @Springfield I'm starting to get concerned.

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9 minutes ago, twa said:

parts and getting them worked on should not be a real problem , parts on any car can be pricey or hard to get.

 

some of my customers love them

 

I get parts for them thru the chevy dealers or aftermarket....age is more of a factor

https://www.genuinegmparts.com/saturn-parts

 

Thanks

When you say that age is more of a factor, is that simply indicating that most Saturn cars are older, since they stopped making them ?

Or is there more to it, with the phrase you used ?

Also, should I be concerned that the parts page you linked does not list the "SL" model ?

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30 minutes ago, Malapropismic Depository said:

I ended up buying a Saturn, because it was a really good deal, and the car had really low mileage.

The salesman told me that parts and repairs should be no problem because Chevy actually built all those Saturns,

so they're basically the same as Chevy parts.

For some reason, I just took him at his word without pause.

After buying the car, and trying to verify that info on the internet, I can't seem to find info that matches that.

Again, I know I should have verified it before buying the car, but it was one of those brain fart moments.

Some articles are even stating that getting Saturn parts can be difficult and costly.

Is that true ? Or can I get a Saturn repaired at a typical garage, without any major hassle ?

@twa  @Springfield I'm starting to get concerned.

 

Yes, GM produced Saturn.  Parts shouldn’t be much of a problem now, hard to say in the future.  Saturn is discontinued, so some of the less common parts may be harder to come by.  GM is not obligated to make any parts for Saturn for the future, so you’ll likely have to rely on the aftermarket in the even of some repairs.

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dealers typically discontinue stocking parts for 10 yrs or older.

the SL's are fairly popular and most mechanical parts should not be a real issue....body parts are a bit harder,but ebay ect or junkyards still have them

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15 minutes ago, Springfield said:

 

Yes, GM produced Saturn.  Parts shouldn’t be much of a problem now, hard to say in the future.  Saturn is discontinued, so some of the less common parts may be harder to come by.  GM is not obligated to make any parts for Saturn for the future, so you’ll likely have to rely on the aftermarket in the even of some repairs.

 

14 minutes ago, twa said:

dealers typically discontinue stocking parts for 10 yrs or older.

the SL's are fairly popular and most mechanical parts should not be a real issue....body parts are a bit harder,but ebay ect or junkyards still have them

 

Ok, thanks. I kind of panicked, and I appreciate you guys putting me at ease.

Especially since I planned on keeping this car for a decade, if possible.

Sounds like I should be fine, with the possible exception of minor gadgets like door handles and trinket little things

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I had a '99 Saturn SC, manual. Loved that car. I had a moonroof that eventually had issues, otherwise I'd still have it. Best gas mileage EVER.

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I have a '99 Ford Explorer and when I turn the ignition the red brake light comes on, however when I engage the parking brake the light does not come on.  From what I've read online it seems as if there's a bad connection somewhere.  Does anyone have any recommendations on how to fix said problem?

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53 minutes ago, skinsmarydu said:

I've got the same sort of issue with my '99 Monte Carlo. 

When I push the brake, the car stops. I'm good. 😁

Very funny, but when I apply the brake the light doesn't come on.  My wife had the same issue with her '02 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and failed the state inspection over it.  The place that did the inspection wanted to charge $180 just to diagnosis the issue.  Luckily my father-in-law just cleaned off the switches that are in the center console near where her parking brake is located.  The Explorer is a different animal with the brake being a pedal and I'm not sure what wires or connections I need to being looking for to correct this issue so the brake light comes on when the pedal is engaged.

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1 hour ago, bushwack said:

I have a '99 Ford Explorer and when I turn the ignition the red brake light comes on, however when I engage the parking brake the light does not come on.  From what I've read online it seems as if there's a bad connection somewhere.  Does anyone have any recommendations on how to fix said problem?

 

My assumption based on my experience is that the parking brake switch is likely faulty.  The light works, as it comes on when you start the car, but doesn’t come on with the parking brake.  The parking brake switch is generally a simple open/closed switch that makes contact or loses contact when the brake is applied.  Sometimes they can be adjusted, sometimes they just need to be replaced.  Shouldn’t be hard to replace it and the switch is rather cheap.  Absent of power probes or other test equipment, this trial and error may be your simplest solution.

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There is a contact switch on the emergency brake as well(at the point the arm hits when released.) but I agree with Springy with your description.

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Helped push a friend out of snow today (AWD minivan). The ground was soft under the snow and when he initially tried to roll out the mud turned to slop. The tires were new but all seasons. 

 

Anyway, I thought I knew what AWD meant. His rear tires wouldn’t engage through this whole ordeal. I thought AWD all 4 wheels had power to them. His van has sensors that tell when all 4 wheels were needed. Didn’t understand why the tears wouldn’t kick in.

 

Its a Toyota. I know some have a push button override. Couldn’t find it on this one. 

 

Any clue?

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