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Thread: Coolant System- 2001 Chevy Cavalier

  1. Default Coolant System- 2001 Chevy Cavalier

    I replaced my water pump with a large initial loss of coolant. I have driven the car ~ 10 miles and there seems to be quit a bit of coolant coming out of the reservoir overflow hose. Seems my temp gauge is showing above normal temp for the engine. Is there a air packet in the coolant system or did I over fill the coolant?
    I thought changing out the water pump was going to be straight forward.
    Any opinions and help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

    Smile Re: Coolant System- 2001 Chevy Cavalier

    blowing coolant out sounds like themostat cheap or head gasket pricy did you over heat it when you wiped out the water pump

  3. Default Re: Coolant System- 2001 Chevy Cavalier

    It did over heat for not more than 1 minute, literally.

  4. Default Re: Coolant System- 2001 Chevy Cavalier

    I did look at the exhaust coming out of the tail pipe:

    1) There is water dripping out of the exhaust (normal?)
    2) Car is still over heating past normal operating temp.
    3) It looks like white smoke coming out of the tail pipe but is hard to tell. I don't know if this is normal for a cng car. Seems like I always had water coming out of the tail pipe.
    4) There seems to be a sweet smell coming out of the tail pipe but that may be from the coolant evaporating from the engine and exhaust.

    If it is a head gasket, what would be the typical cost of such a repair?

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Default Re: Coolant System- 2001 Chevy Cavalier

    I guess the first question is why did you replace the water pump? Was it leaking, did you notice low coolant levels or was the temperature gauge high? When you said it overheated for just a minute was that after you replaced the water pump and how did you know it overheated (i.e. gauge reading in the red or water boiling out)? These engines because of the design of the cylinder block don't tolerate running low on water . Also, they take a while to purge the air out of the system with constant refilling of the coolant tank. However, the white smoke and the sweet smell in the exhuast is a good indication of coolant getting into the combustion chamber--usually, but not always, a head gasket. Because this is a push rod engine, removing the head and replacing the gasket isn't a major deal. Make sure that the head and the block are checked for flatness before reinstalling. There are some aftermarket gaskets and head bolts out there that are better at sealing then the OEM parts. While you have the engine apart, you should have the valves, guides and seats reconditioned. Make sure you change the engine oil and filter before you start the engine again and then give it one more change after you are sure everything is in order. Cost is going to vary based on who does it. Shop around and make sure whomever does it will guarantee their work.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cadillac, Mi. / Deland, Fl.
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    Default Re: Coolant System- 2001 Chevy Cavalier

    BTW--I just re-read your initial post and you mentioned coolant coming out of the reservoir overflow hose. There should be no coolant coming from that hose unless the pressure cap on the reservoir is defective or pressure is building up in the coolant tank due to ---- a failed head gasket. At this point a good mechanic can test for glycol (antifreeze) in either the exhaust gas or engine oil. Some can even test for evidence of combustion gasses in the coolant.

  7. Default Re: Coolant System- 2001 Chevy Cavalier

    Damn thing won't even start now (turns over) .
    The initial leak looked like it was coming from the water pump, so I replaced it.
    The low fluid light on the dash came on but no over heating. Seems like the leak was gradual then really started leaking with engine off before I replaced the water pump.
    The over heating occurred after I replaced the water pump and I know that because the temp gauge shot over into the red. After that I had a hard time starting the car and ran ruff for a few minutes.
    This car has been a lemon since I bought it less than a year ago (39 K miles on it). I have replaced the starter, alternator, & water pump. Now it looks like a head gasket.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Coolant System- 2001 Chevy Cavalier

    The white smoke and sweet smell of AF out the tailpipe is a dead give a way for a head gasket failure. This and lower intake gasket failure are the most common of the NGV conversion issues with GM products. Sounds like you didn't purge the air out of the system properly and this caused an overheat. NGVs don't run real well when they're being cooked, hence the rough running. Follow the manual directions in order to purge air out of the system properly, but it will be hard to do if the exhaust is blowing into the water jacket.
    2009 GX
    2000 K2500
    2002 Cavalier
    1998 Contour
    Phill powered by solar power

  9. Default Re: Coolant System- 2001 Chevy Cavalier

    What would cause the engine to turn over but not start? The car has cng in it.
    The car has been setting for hours now and has cooled down (turns over but not starting). When I take the reservoir cap off there is built-up pressure. Is this a symptom of a blown head gasket?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Coolant System- 2001 Chevy Cavalier

    Yes, stop trying to start it before it's screwed. The head gasket has failed and compressed gases are going directly into the water jacket. Pull the CNG fuse and see if it starts in gasoline. Leave the rad cap off. Don't let it run too long, just enough to see that the engine runs.
    2009 GX
    2000 K2500
    2002 Cavalier
    1998 Contour
    Phill powered by solar power

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