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Pete, Oldsmobile Technician
Category: Oldsmobile
Satisfied Customers: 28764
Experience:  17 years Oldsmobile training and experience.
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1997 Silhouette: coolant leak..somewhere..the hoses and water pump

Resolved Question:

I have a 1997 Silhouette. I have a major coolant leak from somewhere on the left side of the engine. I have replaced the hoses and water pump and it still leaks. One machanic said it was the timing gasket what else could it be. After 6 machanics I still have no solution. I'm a single mom and need the transportation. It has been sitting for almost a year with a few trips 8 blocks away and always overheats. Replace t-stat and the overheating stopped but the leak got worse.
Submitted: 6 years ago via
Category: Oldsmobile
Expert:  Pete replied 6 years ago.
Hello and Welcome to Just Answer.


I just need a little more info to assist better.

Is the leak on the driver or passenger side of the vehicle as usually the left side is the drivers side but I want to make sure?

Has the system been pressure tested or dye added?

Let me know so we can continue,Thanks Pete!
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Sorry I meant to say the right side, the passenger side
Expert:  Pete replied 6 years ago.

One very common leak this engine can have as I have seen and have had to repair several times before is the lower intake.

The gaskets can crack or break and cause coolant to leak externally on this side and in some cases on the drivers side as well.The coolant can leak externally and in some cases internally into the engine oil.

If the system hasn't been pressure tested then this should be done to help isolate where the leak is coming from.If a pressure test has been done then the next step if the leak is still hard to locate is to add coolant dye into the coolant system.This adds tracer dye and when the coolant leaks a special florescent black light can be used to search over the engine to locate where the dye is leaking from and this would be where the coolant leak is and needs repaired.

Let me know if you need anything else,click accept if you feel satisfied with your answer as this is how I get credited for my time,Thanks Pete!
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Is it possible to be the timing gasket?
Expert:  Pete replied 6 years ago.
I have seen the water pumps leak on the timing cover but haven't seen the timing cover gasket itself fail and cause this problem.

Usually it is the lower intake leaking that causes this fault as this is most common but I would have the water pump checked to make sure it is o.k. and isn't leaking.

Let me know if you need anything else,click accept if you feel satisfied with your answer as this is how I get credited for my time,Thanks Pete!
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