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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I think I have a coolant leak. :mad:

A few weeks ago I was about to leave on a 300 mile trip. I was checking all of the fluids and noticed the coolant was almost to the bottom of the reservoir. I filled it up to "full" and left on my trip. I get to my destination and check the coolant and the reservoir is still showing full. The car sits all night. I go out to check it the next morning and the reservoir is at about the same level it was before I left on my trip (almost completely empty).

This went on for a few days with it being at a different level each time I checked (not always completely to the bottom). I would usually add a cup or so to get it back to the full mark. It has never been completely dry and I haven't gotten any warning lights. I have no puddles under the car. However, I have noticed a small redish puddle in one of the grooves of the top of the transmission.

I have wiped it up and it has reappeared. I have now been back from my trip for about a month and the coolant level has showed "full" (or close to full) each time I have checked it, but the puddle is still there. Anyone else having to add coolant more than once? Is this normal for the way the reservoir operates? Is it normal for the reservoir coolant level to go up and down daily?

I am going to have it checked eventually since I can see fluid on the engine. If I hadn't checked my fluids and looked around the engine bay, I would have been driving all this time with low coolant. :'(
 

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I thought my coolant level looked a little low once, but then I discovered that the full line actually is pretty darn low on the reservoir. Other than that, I've never noticed it being low and have never had to put any additional coolant into it.

On to the other item I noticed in your post, not related to coolant, you said that you wiped up a reddish puddle from the top of your transmission. That could be a transmission fluid leak. My dealership found a leak when I had it in for service one time. They replaced the seal, and it leaked again, so they replaced the seal again. I've had it in for service once since that time and they haven't mentioned the leak again, so I'm assuming it's been fixed for good. You might want to have that checked out. I don't think I'm the only one on the forum who experienced that problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply.

I don't think the fluid is transmission fluid. It is on top of the transmission in one of the metal grooves. I checked the transmission fluid level when I first noticed this problem and it was normal, however the coolant was low. This makes me believe it is coolant either leaking from the engine or a hose. Of course, the amount of coolant I can see in a puddle is alot less than I am having to add to get the reservoir back to full which is puzzling to me. :confused:
 

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BigGuy said:
Thanks for the reply.

I don't think the fluid is transmission fluid. It is on top of the transmission in one of the metal grooves. I checked the transmission fluid level when I first noticed this problem and it was normal, however the coolant was low. This makes me believe it is coolant either leaking from the engine or a hose. Of course, the amount of coolant I can see in a puddle is alot less than I am having to add to get the reservoir back to full which is puzzling to me. :confused:
That is extremely peculiar. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to bring it into the dealership and have them test for a leak. Though, if you're losing that much coolant, you'd think it would be visible somewhere and in a more massive quantity. Weird.

However, if the vehicle isn't overheating, is operating normally and none of the sensors are telling you otherwise... maybe it's something to not fret over. Hopefully someone else here has some insight for you. :)
 

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BigGuy said:
Thanks for the reply.

I don't think the fluid is transmission fluid. It is on top of the transmission in one of the metal grooves. I checked the transmission fluid level when I first noticed this problem and it was normal, however the coolant was low. This makes me believe it is coolant either leaking from the engine or a hose. Of course, the amount of coolant I can see in a puddle is alot less than I am having to add to get the reservoir back to full which is puzzling to me. :confused:
I agree with Web Raven that the coolant reservoir is really low when cold/full. When the engine heats up, it expands into the reservoir, and when it cools back down, it sucks the coolant back out of the reservoir. It could be you are over filling and when the engine heats up the excess goes out the over flow tube. If that tube is in a place that could put the coolant into your puddle, that could explain it. I had this happen once and it turned out the airflow when driving was blowing the coolant back onto the engine.

Check the coolant level against the full line and see where it is. If you truly have a leak, eventually you will get ZERO coolant in the reservoir when the car has completely cooled. I would suggest not adding anything to the reservoir for awhile and seeing if the reservoir ever goes completely dry.
 

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BigGuy, did you ever have that problem addressed? I am noticing the same thing on my 2008 Outlook: Coolant leaking (slightly) onto the top of the tranny. It appears that there is a rubber hose routing to a fixed metal tube which appears to feed into the block. Mine is leaking where the metal hose meets the engine block. I have wiped the fluid twice in the past couple months, no more than a teaspoon each time. It has not leaked since, however, if I reach down under the metal hose/engine block junction, I will get coolant on my hand. Just wondering if you had it fixed or not. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Unfortunately, no I have not had it fixed or looked at. I hate having it in the shop. I am going to do it soon since the problem has not gone away. I have been watching it closely. It sounds like you have the same thing going on that I do. I still have never had any warning lights or anything. I stopped adding coolant (like I had been when I noticed the reservoir was low). It still seems low from time to time but it has never been completely empty which makes me wonder if there is a leak at all. But the puddles have to be coming from somewhere. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I finally got the Acadia in the shop for them to look at this problem. They found that it was coolant leaking and they replaced the coolant return housing and gasket. Hopefully this has fixed the problem. I will check later today to make sure there are no puddles.

One thing that still has me puzzled is the coolant level in the reservoir. I checked it last night when I got home from the dealer. It was up to the full mark. After no driving overnight, the coolant has dropped to almost the bottom of the reservoir. I can still see coolant in there, it just isn't to the full mark. Anyone else notice their Acadia does the same? How can we know if the coolant is full if the level changes?
 

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I think that is totally normal. There is no air in the coolant system but the coolant expands as it heats up. So the purpose of that reservoir is to hold the "extra" coolant while hot. When it cools down, it gets sucked back into the radiator.
 

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Our Acadia just went into the shop today for a probable "Coolant Leak." It smelled like Dex-cool and was dripping down from the passenger side engine compartment, by the belt. I crawled under the car, but couldn't see exactly where it was coming from. It was reddish in color, like coolant. I'll post an update when we get it back from the dealer.

UPDATE: Received the Acadia back from the dealer after 6hrs. Water pump was leaking and bad. Removed and replaced. It was covered under extended GMPP Major Guard warranty. Dealer said it would have cost about $500 without the warranty (parts and labor). Our Acadia has 40,000+ miles on it. I noted where the coolant level was in the reservoir post the dealer repairs and will post updates if it fluctuates.
 

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+1 for same issue as Damron. 44k miles and leaky water pump causing coolant to spill out. dealer fixed under warranty (cant say that for much longer)
 

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Hi everyone!! I have not been here in awhile, but I have a coolant leak. I am going to have to take it in on Monday, but that is not what I wanted to address.

BEWARE!!!!! If your engine over heats the fan will go on and will trigger a warning beep. I totally turned off the car and it continued to beep. If you go inside thinking it will cool down and the beeping will stop, it won't.[/color]

I was driving home and the DIC told me it was overheating and turning off the air then it started telling me to turn off the engine. This happened within a minute. I pulled over immediately and let it cool down. The beeps went off, I lifted the hood and let it sit. When the fan went off I turned on the car to see how hot it was since I was less than a mile from the house. I didn't think about the key turning off the warnings. When I got it home everything started up again. I just left it and started unpacking groceries (I had driven about 5 miles in 85 degrees). About an hour later my husband came out to the car still beeping. You have to turn the car back on to clear it.
 

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mckcab

welcome back

Where was the coolant leaking from? Did the DIC display a reduced engine power warning? If you did; your engine oil took over keeping the engine cool so your engine doesn't get fried. Good luck and let us know what your dealer says
 

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They think it is the pump since I drove my daughter to school and the coolant stayed in. I read somewhere people have had to pay for the pump, but my dealer says it is covered under engine. Let's hope!

Of course, "You will need an oil change and while you are here you might as well get all of you other services done like the trans flush and the coolant and fuel flush" Of course I'm like, my laptop is broken, I had to hook it up to the TV to type in, my 3 month old puppy broke her leg while I was gone taking my son to one of the most expensive Universities, I guess they can try to squeeze some $$ out of my big toe since there is none left in the checkbook!
 

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mckcab said:
They think it is the pump since I drove my daughter to school and the coolant stayed in. I read somewhere people have had to pay for the pump, but my dealer says it is covered under engine. Let's hope!

Of course, "You will need an oil change and while you are here you might as well get all of you other services done like the trans flush and the coolant and fuel flush" Of course I'm like, my laptop is broken, I had to hook it up to the TV to type in, my 3 month old puppy broke her leg while I was gone taking my son to one of the most expensive Universities, I guess they can try to squeeze some $$ out of my big toe since there is none left in the checkbook!
Your water pump is covered under the powertrain warranty; so your dealer is correct. Now; the oil change might not be a bad idea; if your engine temp got too high and you received a reduced engine power warning; then your oil was on double duty-lubricating the engine as well as cooling the engine. Other than that; you shouldn't need anything else at this point.
 

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AA/78U said:
Your water pump is covered under the powertrain warranty; so your dealer is correct. Now; the oil change might not be a bad idea; if your engine temp got too high and you received a reduced engine power warning; then your oil was on double duty-lubricating the engine as well as cooling the engine. Other than that; you shouldn't need anything else at this point.
+1 I would agree with this advice. Dealership is trying to get some high profit service work out of you.
 

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mckcab said:
They think it is the pump since I drove my daughter to school and the coolant stayed in. I read somewhere people have had to pay for the pump, but my dealer says it is covered under engine. Let's hope!

Of course, "You will need an oil change and while you are here you might as well get all of you other services done like the trans flush and the coolant and fuel flush" Of course I'm like, my laptop is broken, I had to hook it up to the TV to type in, my 3 month old puppy broke her leg while I was gone taking my son to one of the most expensive Universities, I guess they can try to squeeze some $$ out of my big toe since there is none left in the checkbook!
Coolant flush? Ask them what happened to the five year 150K extended life coolant? Trans flush prob not a bad idea every 35K or so but it's not inexpensive.
 

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I was told I was late on all of my flushes. They want to do the brakes, transmission, steering, coolant, and oil. It will cost around 500. I told them I was going by the book and he told me it was UP TO 100,000 miles. What does that mean? I can choose the miles?

I did ask if they would check my sunroof and he said, "No we are only doing warranty work right now" I also asked about the steering and he said they looked under the car and didn't see anything. Of course they weren't looking for it.

By the way, it was the pump.

The only funny thing that happened today was I got the report from OnStar about 10 minutes after they towed the car. The only thing it said was a problem was that I needed to air my tires. :facepalm:
 

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mckcab said:
I was told I was late on all of my flushes.

I did ask if they would check my sunroof and he said, "No we are only doing warranty work right now"
This is how your dealer makes money above and beyond warranty work

They are only doing warranty work?, but yet they want to do non warranty flushes :facepalm:
 

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Time to find another dealer or an independent shop you can trust.
 
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