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Old 06-13-2011, 09:36 AM   #1
breckbrew
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Default Coolant leak

Noticed some coolant leaking from my 07 Aura XE (75,000). First noticed a small spot on the garage floor near the front passenger side wheel. Tried to spot where it was coming from, could only see the underside of the frame piece where it had dropped from. Started it and saw some coolant was dripping from the resevoir tank. Level is definitely low, but there it still some in there. I'm not sure if the coolant traveled down to the tire area or if that is a seperate leak. GM dealer can't see it until next week so I guess I'll be carrying around a container of Dexcool for a while. Any ideas?

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Old 06-13-2011, 10:17 AM   #2
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Default Re: Coolant leak

Reservoir tanks are known to leak,especially near fittings. Start looking there & follow your way down.

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Old 06-13-2011, 10:36 AM   #3
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Default Re: Coolant leak

Idea... it is possible that *if* you have a stuck thermostat that the coolant would not reach the radiator and overheat coolant in reservoir and could result in drip.

Question - how is your temp gauge after about 15 minutes of driving or idling? Does it leak when car is off *and* when car is running?

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Old 06-13-2011, 11:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: Coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by regenoldiii View Post
Idea... it is possible that *if* you have a stuck thermostat that the coolant would not reach the radiator and overheat coolant in reservoir and could result in drip.

Question - how is your temp gauge after about 15 minutes of driving or idling? Does it leak when car is off *and* when car is running?
Temp gauge seemed normal on 20 min commute to work this morning (below half on the temp scale anyway). I only noticed the leak from the reservoir when I started it up. No new puddles on the garage floor this morning though.

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Old 06-13-2011, 12:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: Coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by breckbrew View Post
Noticed some coolant leaking from my 07 Aura XE (75,000).
Use fluorescent coolant dye & a cheap black light at night if you want to be absolutely sure but you probably just need a new overflow tank. Pretty easy DIY.

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Old 06-13-2011, 12:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Coolant leak

I would guess a dealer will charge double or triple this price plus install. I'm guessing this is the OEM part.

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Old 06-13-2011, 01:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Coolant leak

I'm confused. The coolant leak is on the passenger side near the front? I have an 08 and without looking I am almost positive the coolant reservoir is more-or-less on the drivers side close to the firewall (that seems quite far to travel). FYI I also currently have a coolant leak on the passenger side near the front. It is nearly impossible to see where it is coming from. I'm taking it to the dealer tomorrow as I purchased it as a certified used vehicle. I'm assuming its the radiator or a hose connection in that area.

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Old 06-13-2011, 01:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBird02 View Post
I'm confused. The coolant leak is on the passenger side near the front? I have an 08 and without looking I am almost positive the coolant reservoir is more-or-less on the drivers side close to the firewall (that seems quite far to travel). FYI I also currently have a coolant leak on the passenger side near the front. It is nearly impossible to see where it is coming from. I'm taking it to the dealer tomorrow as I purchased it as a certified used vehicle. I'm assuming its the radiator or a hose connection in that area.
It seems like I have two leaks. The reservoir tank is definitely leaking as I saw it dripping from the bottom last night. I haven't noticed it leaking anymore today, but I'll try to check again tonight. I also noticed a spot on the floor near the passenger side front wheel. Like you said, that's pretty far to travel down from the reservoir tank, so I'm guessing there is a leak somewhere down there too, but I can't locate it. Let me know what you find out because at least that part sounds similiar.

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Old 06-13-2011, 03:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Coolant leak

One option, other than the agreed upon dye and black light, is to just jack the car up or get up on ramps and start vehicle and let it run for 15 or 20 minutes (heat up and pressurize coolant system). As the system heats up and pressure builds, there will be a significant amount of pressure on the overflow... watch for leaks underneath vehicle (while running) with a good flashlight.

By the way, just to be clear... make sure that you are using jack stands and/or sufficient ramps and have at least one good wheel chock behind the rear wheel as you do this (obviously in Park w/ emergency brake engaged).

You probably already know that, but don't want to take any chances and don't want the next thread to be from your wife regarding how to remove her husband from underneath a leaking Saturn Aura.


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Old 06-14-2011, 10:52 AM   #10
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Default Re: Coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by regenoldiii View Post
One option, other than the agreed upon dye and black light, is to just jack the car up or get up on ramps and start vehicle and let it run for 15 or 20 minutes (heat up and pressurize coolant system). As the system heats up and pressure builds, there will be a significant amount of pressure on the overflow... watch for leaks underneath vehicle (while running) with a good flashlight.

By the way, just to be clear... make sure that you are using jack stands and/or sufficient ramps and have at least one good wheel chock behind the rear wheel as you do this (obviously in Park w/ emergency brake engaged).

You probably already know that, but don't want to take any chances and don't want the next thread to be from your wife regarding how to remove her husband from underneath a leaking Saturn Aura.
haha! No worries, I don't have ramps or jack stands. I know, shame on me. I topped off the coolant last night and ran it for a bit in the garage and didn't notice any leaks, not even from the reservoir tank. The pressure cap seemed to have a lot of coolant inside it, not sure if that's normal or not. The leak near the passenger side tire seems like it could be coming from the water pump. I don't know for sure where it is located on the Aura, but the belt runs on that side, so I would imagine its there toward the bottom. With 75,000 miles, it could be nearing its end.

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Old 06-16-2011, 09:18 AM   #11
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Default Re: Coolant leak

Well I took mine to the dealer, they told me they pressured up the coolant system and found a leak in the head gasket on the right side near the front of the vehicle. I'm still skeptical that this was the issue as from what I could tell my leak was closer to the very very front of the car where the radiator would be (passenger side). What I had been able to see was a drip at the bottom of the car coming from a thin piece of metal on the passenger side which is encased by a plastic guard (very front of car beneath radiator area). The plastic guard makes it impossible to look above and I did not take it off. I had not noticed any leaking while I am driving it during the week. However I have a different car I like to drive on the weekend. And this is when I noticed the Aura leak to develop, after it sits a couple days without use... I probably won't know if the head gasket was the actual cause until after this weekend or possibly the next. By the way, I had to bring the car back to the dealership the very next day after they replaced the head gasket because an o-ring split that was used on the coolant return pipe. I got online this morning searching for Saturn Aura head gasket leaks, I didn't find alot. However I did find this:


(Ooops looks like I could not post a link because I don't have 15 posts yet! Stupid stupid stupid!!!!!!! thanks alot saturnfans! )



I have a 07 Saturn Aura. The heater will not blow out warm air unless the car is in motion. The fan is running but no air will come out of the vents. The temp guage is reading the correct temp. but no hot air unless you ar in motion. What could that be?
Submitted: 489 days and 20 hours ago.
Category: Saturn
Value: $13
Status: CLOSED

Optional Information

Year: 2007
Make: Saturn
Make (other): Aura

Posted by Dave Nova 489 days and 19 hours ago.
Response From Expert

Which engine do you have in your Saturn?

489 days and 19 hours ago.
Customer Reply

All I can tell you is it is a V-6 front wheel drive.40220.7952620718

Posted by Dave Nova 489 days and 18 hours ago.
Expert's Answer

This normally happens when the coolant level gets a little low and there is some air in the cooling system. Check the coolant level in the reservoir and top off if necessary. If the coolant level was low, check carefully for coolant leaks. Have seen several of these cars with the 3.5 liter V6 that have head gasket leaks where the coolant leaks external to the engine. Below is a technical service bulletin with more information on this.


TECHNICAL

Bulletin No.: 08-06-01-012A

Date: November 19, 2008
Subject:
Engine Coolant Leak, Loss of Coolant (Replace Affected Cylinder Head Gasket)


Models:
2006-2007 Buick Terraza
2006-2007 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
2006-2008 Chevrolet Impala, Uplander
2008 Chevrolet Malibu
2006-2008 Pontiac G6, Montana SV6
2006-2008 Saturn Relay
2007-2008 Saturn Aura


with 3.5L or 3.9L Engine (VINs N, K, R, W, 1, 3 - RPOs LZ4, LZE, LZ8, LGD, LZ9, LZG)

Supercede:

This bulletin is being revised to better clarify the number of cylinder head bolts that need to be replaced. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 08-06-01-012 (Section 06 - Engine).

Condition

Some customers may comment on a coolant leak. The comments may range from spots on the driveway to having to add more coolant.

Upon inspection, the technician may find that there is a external coolant leak coming from the top end of either cylinder head.

Correction

Follow the appropriate diagnostic information in SI. If a leak is found to be coming from a cylinder head gasket, the gasket must be replaced. When replacing the gasket be advised that larger flange hex head bolts are now to be used at locations 5 and 8. The larger flange hex bolts are the same as the ones used at the other six locations. When installing the two large flange hex head bolts at locations 5 and 8 a new style lower intake manifold gasket that has provisions to allow for the larger flange bolts must be used. These new lower intake manifold gaskets are contained in the gasket kits listed below. Replace the other six bolts as well as stated in SI.
Caution: Failure to use the new lower intake manifold gaskets when installing the larger flange hex head bolts at locations 5 and 8 may result in the lower intake manifold not fitting properly, which may result in a leak condition.

Important: Lower intake manifold gaskets contained in older gasket kits will not have the provisions needed when installing the larger flange bolts.



The question proposed to the "expert" does not pertain to us but in his answer he states "Have seen several of these cars with the 3.5 liter V6 that have head gasket leaks where the coolant leaks external to the engine." That said I think the water pump as you say would be a good place to start considering where you drip was coming from. What a pain...

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Old 06-16-2011, 03:16 PM   #12
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Default Re: Coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBird02 View Post
Well I took mine to the dealer, they told me they pressured up the coolant system and found a leak in the head gasket on the right side near the front of the vehicle. I'm still skeptical that this was the issue as from what I could tell my leak was closer to the very very front of the car where the radiator would be (passenger side). What I had been able to see was a drip at the bottom of the car coming from a thin piece of metal on the passenger side which is encased by a plastic guard (very front of car beneath radiator area). The plastic guard makes it impossible to look above and I did not take it off. I had not noticed any leaking while I am driving it during the week. However I have a different car I like to drive on the weekend. And this is when I noticed the Aura leak to develop, after it sits a couple days without use... I probably won't know if the head gasket was the actual cause until after this weekend or possibly the next. By the way, I had to bring the car back to the dealership the very next day after they replaced the head gasket because an o-ring split that was used on the coolant return pipe. I got online this morning searching for Saturn Aura head gasket leaks, I didn't find alot. However I did find this:

The question proposed to the "expert" does not pertain to us but in his answer he states "Have seen several of these cars with the 3.5 liter V6 that have head gasket leaks where the coolant leaks external to the engine." That said I think the water pump as you say would be a good place to start considering where you drip was coming from. What a pain...

Thanks for the info. So they replaced your head gasket? Was it still under warranty?

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Old 06-18-2011, 06:56 PM   #13
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Default Re: Coolant leak

Yes they told me they replaced my head gasket. I just bought mine a month ago and it came with a 1 year bumper to bumper warranty to go along with the manufacturer warranties, so yes it was of no cost to me for the work they did. I was skeptical of the head gasket diagnosis and told them so. I was proven correct yesterday. I did not work this Friday, so I had not driven it since Thursday after work. I kept an eye on the car Thursday evening and Friday and all was clear up until Friday afternoon. I went outside and noticed the original coolant leak had returned at the very front of the car on the passenger side as previously described. I had about an 8" diameter moist spot on the pavement that seemingly came on out of nowhere. I took the car back to the dealer Friday afternoon and its going to sit in their garage over the weekend so they can repeat the setting scenerio. (By the time I dropped it off Friday afternoon most of the coolant dried up) The car seems to only leak after it sits as I do not see any leak at all while driving it each day to work. It may be a while before I am able to get a final verification on whats happening here. I'll continue to take it back until they fix it

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Old 06-23-2011, 11:33 AM   #14
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Default Re: Coolant leak

Dropped mine off Monday at 9am (mind you I had to wait a week just to get it in) I told them about the leak, where it was, and that I thought it was the water pump. It gets to be 1 p.m. and I still haven't heard anything from them, so I called. "Oh yeah, we're just taking it in the garage now, we'll give you a call after we look at it." 4 pm rolls around, still no call. Call them up "Oh yeah, I just got the paperwork in now. We didn't find anything." They pressure tested it for about 30 min and it didn't show any leaks so they added some dye and said keep an eye on it. The best was in the write up, the tech said "Customer is probably just seeing water from the a/c on the garage floor." Really? I'm not a mechanic, but I now the difference between water and engine coolant. I asked about the water pump when I picked it up and the guy said it couldn't be that because it was going bad, it would leak constantly, not just intermittently. I asked about the weep valve on the water pump and he was like "Oh, well, could be, but probably not. Just keep an eye on it." Well, I saw another small spot of coolant (dyed this time) on the garage floor behind the passenger side front wheel again and when I opend the hood, you could clearly see more came out of the resevoir tank. So now I will have to call again, likely wait another week, and pay another diagnostic fee to get it checked out. Awesome.

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Old 06-23-2011, 12:53 PM   #15
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Default Re: Coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by breckbrew View Post
Dropped mine off Monday at 9am (mind you I had to wait a week just to get it in) I told them about the leak, where it was, and that I thought it was the water pump. It gets to be 1 p.m. and I still haven't heard anything from them, so I called. "Oh yeah, we're just taking it in the garage now, we'll give you a call after we look at it." 4 pm rolls around, still no call. Call them up "Oh yeah, I just got the paperwork in now. We didn't find anything." They pressure tested it for about 30 min and it didn't show any leaks so they added some dye and said keep an eye on it. The best was in the write up, the tech said "Customer is probably just seeing water from the a/c on the garage floor." Really? I'm not a mechanic, but I now the difference between water and engine coolant. I asked about the water pump when I picked it up and the guy said it couldn't be that because it was going bad, it would leak constantly, not just intermittently. I asked about the weep valve on the water pump and he was like "Oh, well, could be, but probably not. Just keep an eye on it." Well, I saw another small spot of coolant (dyed this time) on the garage floor behind the passenger side front wheel again and when I opend the hood, you could clearly see more came out of the resevoir tank. So now I will have to call again, likely wait another week, and pay another diagnostic fee to get it checked out. Awesome.
Which engine? There are some bulletins out on the 3.5l.

Last edited by greenman; 06-23-2011 at 01:00 PM..

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Old 06-23-2011, 01:15 PM   #16
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Default Re: Coolant leak

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Originally Posted by greenman View Post
Which engine? There are some bulletins out on the 3.5l.
It is the 3.5.

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Old 06-23-2011, 04:06 PM   #17
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Default Re: Coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by breckbrew View Post
It is the 3.5.

Bulletin No.: 08-06-01-012A has already been posted here. If your VIN falls into that range, that may be your problem. Hope you still have time left on your powertrain warranty.

Here is another that appears to apply (PM me with your email if you want diagrams for the coolant crossover):

Service Information 2007 Saturn AURA | AURA, BAS Hybrid (VIN Z) Service Manual | Document ID: 2006050
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

#PIP3900D: Low Coolant Indicator Or Coolant Leaking From Engine - keywords coolant crossover cylinder engine gasket head indicator leak low - (Aug 24, 2007)


Subject: Low Coolant Indicator or Coolant Leaking from Engine


Models: 2006-2007 Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo, Malibu, Uplander

2006-2007 Pontiac G6, Montana SV6

2006-2007 Buick Terraza

2007 Saturn Aura

Equipped with 3.5L (LZ4/LZE) or 3.9L (LZ9/LZ8/LGD) Engines




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This PI was superseded to update Recommendation/Instructions. Please discard PIP3900C.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following diagnosis might be helpful if the vehicle exhibits the symptom(s) described in this PI.

Condition/Concern:
Some owners may comment about a low coolant indicator or coolant leaking from the engine. The gasket/seal located between the coolant crossover and the front of the right (rear side) cylinder head may be leaking.

Recommendation/Instructions:
At the present time the only recommended fix is to install a new currently available service gasket (P/N 12577704). When replacing this gasket it will also be necessary to replace the gasket on the opposite side cylinder head. That gasket is P/N 12590668. Before installing the new gaskets make sure that the mating surfaces on the crossover manifold and cylinder head are completely clean and that NO OIL or OIL RESIDUE exists. The correct labor operation for this repair is J3527.

Please follow this diagnostic or repair process thoroughly and complete each step. If the condition exhibited is resolved without completing every step, the remaining steps do not need to be performed.

Last edited by greenman; 06-23-2011 at 04:17 PM..

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Old 07-28-2011, 02:49 PM   #18
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Default Re: Coolant leak

Just wanted to follow up and see if your leak has been fixed and if so what was it? I kept bringing mine to the dealer with my issue and they ended up replacing the radiator. Actually they replaced it with another one that leaked on the opposite side and had to install a second one. Thankfully this was done before they returned it back to me. Anyhow my issue has been solved! How have things worked out for you?

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Old 09-08-2011, 09:41 AM   #19
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Default Re: Coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBird02 View Post
Just wanted to follow up and see if your leak has been fixed and if so what was it? I kept bringing mine to the dealer with my issue and they ended up replacing the radiator. Actually they replaced it with another one that leaked on the opposite side and had to install a second one. Thankfully this was done before they returned it back to me. Anyhow my issue has been solved! How have things worked out for you?
Just took it back to the dealer today - it was the water pump going bad, but also the coolant resevoir tank. Water pump is under warranty, coolant tank is not. They want $170 for the coolant tank replacement, but I think I can do it much cheaper. Anyone replace the coolant tank before or have any tips. Seems like it would be an easy fix.

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Old 09-08-2011, 01:42 PM   #20
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Default Re: Coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by breckbrew View Post
Anyone replace the coolant tank before or have any tips. Seems like it would be an easy fix.
It's very simple to replace.

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