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97 ECOTEC constantly low on water

Bryce_VS

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Hey guys my 97 VS has to be filled up with water every day. Mechanic says it may be a blown head gasket, and to look for bubbles coming out of the radiator cap... There are little bubbles sometimes when i was looking yesterday, but i was topping it up with water and it was foaming a bit just from the pressure of the hose, so i'm not sure. :(
Could it be anything else?
And if it most probably is the head gasket, how much am i looking at for repair? A mechanic told me maybe up to $2500, which i thought was stupid. I'm thinking $1000-$1500?
Thanks for any help in advance.
 

FstStig

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Got an internal leak in your radiator? No hoses split? Doubt it would be a head gasket, as it would be running like a dog. Best way to see if it is a head gasket is check your dipstick and under your cap, if the oil is all milky then your head gasket is gone. You could be up for new Inlet manifold gaskets as well, these could be stuffed.
 

Coast_Calais

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Could still be had gasket, but between exhaust and coolant. This would create bubbles in your cooling system and/or a LOT of moisture in you exhaust system.
 

Bryce_VS

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Well, I had to get a new radiator maybe 2 months ago or there abouts, im not sure but it may be the new radiator? I'm a bit slack when it comes to looking after my engine, dad installed the radiator. I'll take it to a mechanic as soon as i have the time. Cheers.
P.S, runs fine.
 

Bizmark

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Any external leaks? Best to check with engine running so the cooling system builds up some pressure.

If it does turn out to be a head gasket, you could have a go at repairing it yourself if you're good with tools and a repair manual, if not chances are you have a mate that does. You will save a lot in labour costs.
 

jesse_lankey

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Its most likely your inlet manifold gasket as already been suggested the gasket between exhaust and coolant, its a really easy job to do and I'm sure theres a how to on this forum explaining it.
 

Kcboiye

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Hey guys my 97 VS has to be filled up with water every day. Mechanic says it may be a blown head gasket, and to look for bubbles coming out of the radiator cap... There are little bubbles sometimes when i was looking yesterday, but i was topping it up with water and it was foaming a bit just from the pressure of the hose, so i'm not sure. :(
Could it be anything else?
And if it most probably is the head gasket, how much am i looking at for repair? A mechanic told me maybe up to $2500, which i thought was stupid. I'm thinking $1000-$1500?
Thanks for any help in advance.
did you check ur oil cap on the engine? i had the same prob, checked the oil cap, and the oil had gone a light brown goo, the water was mixing with the oil, and turned out it was the head gaskets

but 2.5k? dam man hes tryin to rip you off there, i was quoted 1.2k, then turned out it was only gaskets which only cost 600
 

Cpt Awesome

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tell us if your ehaust pipe is wet at the exit.... just give it a wipe with your finger after a bit of a drive. that will give you some clues
 

Cpt Awesome

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Just remembered you have a new radiator. if you got new hoses they will need retightening as they would have bedded in and are not making a tight seal anymore. That will account for your high coolant loss
 

FstStig

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Just remembered you have a new radiator. if you got new hoses they will need retightening as they would have bedded in and are not making a tight seal anymore. That will account for your high coolant loss
I highly doubt that. If the clamps were tighten enough in the first place it will keep the seal there no matter how "bedded" in they get. Even if they weren't sealing properly it would only be a very slow leak and not enough to see it being filled up every day. He would also see coolant marks everywhere if this was the case!

To the OP if you may find that your inlet manifold gaskets need replacing depending on how many K's your car has done if they have ever been replaced before. My VS had 266,000K's on it before they were replaced and they where so stuffed they hold molded to each other. They were also very weak and flexible. If you need a hand let me know, I have done about 3 of them before.
 
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