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1998 chevy cavalier 2.2 125,000 miles: has water leak


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chrisking015
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Nov 18, 2008, 4:34 PM

Post #1 of 9 (2747 views)
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1998 chevy cavalier 2.2 125,000 miles: has water leak Sign In

ok i have a 98 chevy cavalier, it ran hot this morning and i put water in it and now half the water is gone. when it heats up white smoke or it could be steam i'm not sure. can some one help??


(This post was edited by chrisking015 on Nov 18, 2008, 4:38 PM)


Loren Champlain Sr
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Nov 18, 2008, 6:14 PM

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Re: 1998 chevy cavalier 2.2 125,000 miles: has water leak [In reply to] Sign In

Excessive white smoke (actually steam) out the exhaust is indicative of a blown head gasket. Depending on where the gasket blows, you may also get water/coolant into the crankcase. Regardless, you will get hot exhaust gasses entering the cooling system which will 'superheat' the coolant which in turn, causes a 'domino' effect. This is fairly easy to confirm, with an exhaust analyzer (looking for exhaust gasses present in cooling system) or with a chemical called Block Check (turns from blue to yellow when exposed to exhaust gasses). If you have water in the crankcase, you won't need to do any further testing <sigh>. Head gasket replacement on the 2.2L is fairly expensive. If you decide to do it, be sure and have the cylinder head pressure tested for cracks and,if okay, have it resurfaced prior to re-installing. A new thermostat as well. Good luck.
Loren
SW Washington


chrisking015
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Nov 18, 2008, 9:56 PM

Post #3 of 9 (2729 views)
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Re: 1998 chevy cavalier 2.2 125,000 miles: has water leak [In reply to] Sign In

the smoke is coming from the back of the motor not through the exhaust. what could happen if you over fill the motor with water??


Loren Champlain Sr
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Nov 18, 2008, 10:03 PM

Post #4 of 9 (2727 views)
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Re: 1998 chevy cavalier 2.2 125,000 miles: has water leak [In reply to] Sign In

You can't overfill the engine with water. If the 'smoke'/steam is coming from the back of the engine, then you have an external water leak. Once the engine cools off, you should be able to refill it with water and watch for the origin of the leak. Maybe, a heater hose? Or a freeze plug? If you still can't find it, take it to a shop so that they can pressure test the cooling system to find the origin of the leak.
Loren
SW Washington


chrisking015
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Nov 19, 2008, 10:55 AM

Post #5 of 9 (2721 views)
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Re: 1998 chevy cavalier 2.2 125,000 miles: has water leak [In reply to] Sign In

ok well thats good to know. ok what does the freeze plug do and where is it normally at??


Tom Greenleaf
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Nov 19, 2008, 11:34 AM

Post #6 of 9 (2720 views)
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Re: 1998 chevy cavalier 2.2 125,000 miles: has water leak [In reply to] Sign In


In Reply To
ok i have a 98 chevy cavalier, it ran hot this morning and i put WATER!! in it and now half the water is gone. when it heats up white smoke or it could be steam i'm not sure. can some one help??



First post you said "WATER" - did you mean that? Outdoor vehicles with a wind of any significant level can't use just water unless you happen to be further south then is indicated unseen to others here. Even then there are other products for corrosion used. Freeze line is 32F for plain water - folks should know that!

If it froze - the items called "freeze plugs" may pop out. They really aren't there to save you but more for engine manufacture but can pop when frozen and leak like nuts.

There are several in an engine so if that's what this is you have to locate which one(s) - some are so hard to get at you need to remove engine to do properly. You may not even know what other damage has happened if it truly froze untill a wild open leak is fixed and tested from there,

T
_________________________________________
Long retired now


Loren Champlain Sr
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Nov 19, 2008, 6:26 PM

Post #7 of 9 (2711 views)
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Re: 1998 chevy cavalier 2.2 125,000 miles: has water leak [In reply to] Sign In

OOOPPPS! I said 'water' for testing purposes...should have been more specific. I tend to 'assume' too much.Frown
Loren
SW Washington


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Nov 19, 2008, 7:24 PM

Post #8 of 9 (2708 views)
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Re: 1998 chevy cavalier 2.2 125,000 miles: has water leak [In reply to] Sign In

Loren - it was "chrisking015" Who first mentioned "water" and we all just call it that - understood. Heck - "water pumps" -- they don't call them "coolant pumps" either as we know.

Just know that there has been a harsh fast blast of cold on the East coast reaching to GA I understand.

I was doing a lot of "reading between the lines" and a leak from the back does suggest a freeze plug - not just from cold but folks have a habit of just adding PLAIN water in warmer weather - same here and they forget. I've never seen a "freeze" plug pop but have seen many rust out from using plain water.

Not just IMO but with my auto tech training we were told NOT to call them "freeze plugs" except that most of the world calls them that. They haven't been placed to protect an engine from freezing since the Model T but rather "casting" CORE plugs to blow out the block when cast! There's plenty of cracked engines out there with them all intact.

It's been ions 'cause I'm an old fart but South of like Lake Worth, FLA it hasn't ever gone below freezing and they really sold products called "coolant" which were much more effective at cooling than even plain water plus had the anti-corrosives needed.

I was just checking on what was a long shot and a maybe with this car??

T


_________________________________________
Long retired now


Loren Champlain Sr
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Nov 19, 2008, 7:45 PM

Post #9 of 9 (2704 views)
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Re: 1998 chevy cavalier 2.2 125,000 miles: has water leak [In reply to] Sign In

Smile Same here; Have never seen a "freeze plug" "pushed out". We had a balmy 48F day, here. Has only 'frosted' once; Our 'real' winter doesn't start until late Dec/early Jan., then lasts until Mar/early April. But, a foot of snow or sub-freezing temps aren't real common, although it does happen. I tend to forget that other parts of the country have REAL winters. LOL. Most of my life, I've been more concerned with raising the boiling point with anti-freeze/coolant than worried about "freezing". I do remember an Astro that came in with the water pump frozen solid. I hung a drop light on it for most of the day. Believe it or not, that's ALL it took. Other than adding anti-freeze after the thaw. Wink Have a great week!
Loren
SW Washington




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