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Please help - 1996 Pontiac grand am radiator hose


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kkaiser80
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Jan 28, 2014, 12:42 PM

Post #1 of 22 (1641 views)
Please help - 1996 Pontiac grand am radiator hose Sign In

I own a 1996 Pontiac grand am SE 3.1l v6. A radiator hose recently came loose and dumped all my antifreeze causing me to overheat, I found the loose hose and reconnected it to the radiator and tightened the clap down. I purged the system and refilled it full of coolant. I drove it about twenty miles and my temperature gauge showed normal temperature the whole way, when I got home a very small amount of steam was coming by where the hose originally came off. could this just be spilled antifreeze being heated up by the engine? should I spray down the engine bay and drive it again?


(This post was edited by carjunky on Jan 29, 2014, 7:31 PM)


GC
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GC profile image

Jan 28, 2014, 12:55 PM

Post #2 of 22 (1628 views)
Re: Please help Sign In

It could be. More importantly, did you figure out why the hose came off in the first place? Before I drove it and risked damaging anything, I would want it pressure tested to be sure that there are no leaks. Look carefully at the fitting on the radiator that it came off of. Did you look at the hose closely when it was off? Normally when a hose pops off, Im inclined to replace the hose and any clamps and look carefully for leaks elsewhere. I wouldnt spray down the engine bay, but thats just my opinion, I dont like spraying water or cleaner onto electronics. People do it, but I dont like it. Id rather spend a bit more time trying to wipe it down carefully.


____________________________________________________
Willing to help, willing to learn... Rob


kkaiser80
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Jan 28, 2014, 1:06 PM

Post #3 of 22 (1623 views)
Re: Please help Sign In

So replace the clap and hose. Ok, I'm just wondering why the steam was so minimal and to the side of the hose, but my cars temperature was normal if not lower then normal after driving twenty miles. I notice a bulge just before the clamp on the hose, not very big though. And just a month ago I could smell antifreeze in the cab, especially with heater on, so I put radiator stop leak which reduced the smell almost completely. could the leak be coming from that hose causing the smell, and maybe a pressure problem which initially knocked the hose off? And its still leaking on something hot causing the steam? I appreciate the help.

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kev2
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kev2 profile image

Jan 28, 2014, 1:13 PM

Post #4 of 22 (1618 views)
Re: Please help Sign In

the swelling bulging hose is reason enough to replace it...

At the shop we would replace hose and then pressure test the cooling system - trying to recreate the failure or being satisfied we have corrected it before returning to service.


kkaiser80
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Jan 28, 2014, 1:20 PM

Post #5 of 22 (1609 views)
Re: Please help Sign In

I only noticed the bulge after it had been running for a while. This all makes sense now. Need to replace that hose. Is it safe to drive the car to get the hose? It didn't overheat at all for twenty miles, the auto part store is near two miles away. Thanks guys.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jan 28, 2014, 1:38 PM

Post #6 of 22 (1609 views)
Re: Please help Sign In

Notes on this: You tightened the clamp so it's not an original clamp that stays tight by itself under spring action. OE clamps can be a pest or cut off along the way and these get used.........



Fine but you need to snug those up after a warm up and again later before they will stay OK for a long time.


This type was almost the only type used TMK by GM that stays tight........Basic style idea shown........



Can take a special tool to get those off and back on. Those first clamp types can wreck a good hose if overtightened.


OK: The smell of any spilled antifreeze should have dissipated in 20 miles of use so needs more checking. Avoid washing engine but suggest blow off any pooled antifreeze if any or dry it up with towels.


You might have lucked out on real damage? T



kkaiser80
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Jan 28, 2014, 1:45 PM

Post #7 of 22 (1603 views)
Re: Please help Sign In

I didn't smell anything today driving that twenty miles, that was a month ago prior to using stop leak. And so the bulge could be from the clamp being to tight? The only thing that happened was a very small amount of steam coming from by the hose that had came off yesterday.


nickwarner
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Jan 28, 2014, 2:01 PM

Post #8 of 22 (1598 views)
Re: Please help Sign In


In Reply To
And just a month ago I could smell antifreeze in the cab, especially with heater on, so I put radiator stop leak which reduced the smell almost completely.

In Reply To



Oh boy, you've gone and made your life much more difficult. You'll find yourself regretting doing that. I wouldn't drive to the parts house to get the hose. The hose is compromised and has failed. You might make it, but maybe not.


Tom Greenleaf
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Jan 28, 2014, 2:13 PM

Post #9 of 22 (1597 views)
Re: Please help Sign In

Thanks for bringing that up Nick. I forgot and was concentration on the dang clamp bull. Days of cutting off a hose to a good spot are long gone too. Hose needs to be out of there and sealer flushed out. I'll save the novel on why just get it out and fix leaks.


Too bad assorted junk doesn't come with bold printed warnings that it may not work and may cause a small problem to be a disaster. If it sells they'll make it. Buyer beware on magic like that,


T



kkaiser80
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Jan 28, 2014, 2:26 PM

Post #10 of 22 (1593 views)
Re: Please help Sign In

So with this said, don't go no where, get that hose. By walking my ***. Lol. And possible flushing and pressure test? Where to go to get pressurr tests? And are the walmart radiator flush kits worthy? Recommendation? Maybe a list of exactly what to do?thanks guys.


Tom Greenleaf
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Jan 28, 2014, 3:44 PM

Post #11 of 22 (1586 views)
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If you have to walk that's a problem getting things or would be for many. I don't like those flush kit things you install in a hose. That's worth just paying to have done and many deals out there but may surface leaks but better to know then not.
Many parts outlets rent things like pressure testers free, full cost deposits on safe return. Know how to use one or learn. Cheap enough to own is a dental type mirror to look for active leaks. Wipe dry and see them return is good proof. 3.1 engine right? Water pump is easy on those so look under side of it, flashlight, mirror or come up with a wet finger there's trouble there to isolate.


Hoses can make a fish line type squirt at another area and fool you so look hard for real source.


Car repairs certainly can be costly but more costly in many area to do wrong or break something for lack of tools or know how so work on what is realistic to do yourself or send out.


Coolant anything warnings: It's highly toxic so don't allow it sitting in a pan as animals really will drink it! Disposal of it - use your head. Ask where you buy it is a good bet. Filling the system can be difficult to know it's truly full. Just that, know how or get help.


As heard from a carpenter. "Measure twice, cut once" is a good rule of thumbWink


Tom


kkaiser80
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Jan 28, 2014, 3:52 PM

Post #12 of 22 (1580 views)
Re: Please help Sign In

Ok I know what to do now. Thanks! Can anyone explain the steam even though the car was not overheating after twenty miles. For details read the top post. It was a very small amount of steam.


Tom Greenleaf
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Jan 28, 2014, 4:01 PM

Post #13 of 22 (1577 views)
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After 20 miles it should have quit active steam so high chance something is however slight still leaking on something hot,


T


kkaiser80
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Jan 28, 2014, 4:10 PM

Post #14 of 22 (1571 views)
Re: Please help Sign In

Yeah because I just checked the level of coolant which is still full. If anything slightly under. And then got the car to normal running temperature (idling) while keeping a close eye, no steam or anything. I'm going to replace the hose, and see if that stops the leak/ that steamy occasion. And then possibly get it flushed, its not overheating at all. Actually since I had to put new coolant in it due to the hose coming off in the first place it actually ran cooler on the temperature gauge then normal.not by much at all.


Tom Greenleaf
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Jan 28, 2014, 4:48 PM

Post #15 of 22 (1570 views)
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OK - just get rid of hose but of course you have to drain coolant to do that. Full at a recovery tank is not proof that it's really full in system, know that. Many cars can cycle just cold to warm and self purge out last air and some don't. That air unseen inside engine where sensors are can fool sensors for how hot it is and should be in liquid not air.


Sealer must go - no if's and's or but's. It's clogging areas usually heater cores first, radiator or just inhibiting system to work properly.


Beat on this a bit as I do: Sealers are mostly just sawdust that seeks a leak, expands and can seal it. Fine except cooling systems for decades are designed with smaller passage ways smaller and more efficient for their size. Lighter metals and don't really even flush out so well. Days of things you could put a coat hanger thru are ancient history - laugh/cry - I was there!


I don't think you can save that antifreeze now or at least the best attempt would be iffy to filter it all out. There should be hex or possibly square bolts low on sides of engine block to get it all out. Know which ones. The easily seal up with junk anyway there but engine is not really empty with a radiator draining alone. Usually those plug bolts mentioned you just poke some soft wire or plastic then the rest comes out. OK if you don't do that or find them at least flush till clear, thermostat out all directions. Add pure antifreeze based on listed capacity first then the water for a 50/50 mix is almost always best with few exceptions,


T


kkaiser80
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Jan 28, 2014, 5:00 PM

Post #16 of 22 (1564 views)
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The coolant in it now, doesn't have the stop leak in, I put that in a month ago. Yesterday my hose came out, dumped the coolant that had the stop leak everywhere, today I put the hose back on, opened up the purge valve or whatever to let air out of the system and filled it with fresh coolant until it filled up and out the purge valve, meaning full. I drive it twenty five miles or so and it didn't get hot, and I didn't notice any steam. I parked and seen a slight amount of steam near where the hose had can undone and dumped coolant. It was a small amount of steam. The steam was gone in probably twenty seconds it was that small of a amount.


Tom Greenleaf
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Jan 29, 2014, 1:40 AM

Post #17 of 22 (1555 views)
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You didn't flush it so it still has sealer in it just less now. No pressure test mentioned so you aren't done and still not sure of much yet. Hope you aren't just adding pure antifreeze as alone it's a terrible coolant and must be a mix with water.


Steam still an unknown and if any air trapped a maybe purge port or not. You need to start engine cold feeling upper radiator hose with no pressure squeeze it and look for bubbles at recovery tank and let warm up also till hose gets warm up to too hot to touch means thermostat has opened and most would burp out air at that time to recovery tank. Shut down engine and as it cools off the volume of coolant shrinks and draws back coolant from the recovery tank not air in cycles of that stays air free inside the engine but only if it is tight. If it can't hold pressure then wherever it leaks just draws air back in there.


You aren't done. You'll blow this engine for not making it right is the risk - your money, your call now,


Tom



kkaiser80
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Jan 29, 2014, 11:14 AM

Post #18 of 22 (1540 views)
Re: Please help Sign In

So start engine and squeeze upper radiator to check if there is pressure? And if I hear air being drawn in I'll know there's a leak. And once I squeezed hose bubbles should or shouldn't appear in reservoir? And yes, the antifreeze I had to dilute by Adding water. Dexpool extended life.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jan 29, 2014, 11:41 AM

Post #19 of 22 (1535 views)
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The idea is feeling the upper hose, a larger hose, you should be able to squish it some cold -- that should be NO pressure feel. Saying this as I doubt you have a pressure tester - yet?
Start engine and as it warms the coolant mix will expand as it warms and you would feel hose gain pressure as it should. At the point of the rating on pressure cap it sends the extra out to that tank maintaining the pressure but not too much.


As coolant cools it shrinks and pressure cap will allow air up top into the recovery tank but return liquid coolant from the bottom to engine and radiator. I'm saying that the small hose from radiator to that recovery tank goes into bottom of the recovery tank, any air would rise but draw back only liquid. That if perfect on many would self purge air out of the system but not all.


If you just squeeze that upper hose when there's no pressure and air bubble up into recovery tank there more air where it doesn't belong - test still inconclusive as to why. It could just not have bleed out air from draining for any reason or sucking air back in thru a leak instead of the recovery tank. OR, could have combustion gasses being introduced into cooling system which is usually from a blown head gasket.


If head gaskets can do that the pressure frequently builds in the system much faster than from just warming up, never be properly air/vapor free and problems will show up and get worse.


Doing this with about no tools so just know that upper hose stays cool till thermostat opens. Also if heater whether needed or not can't blow warm/hot air it's probably air in system or vapors from combustion as a clue. Another clue it level in recovery tank getting fuller is indicative of problems. Pressure cap controls how much pressure and allows the air back in. That if no good screws the show up too.


HEY - USE A GLOVE IT TOUCHING HOSE AS I SAID. HOSE SURE CAN GET HOT ENOUGH TO BURN YOU AND STAY AWAY FROM MOVING PARTS WITH A RUNNING ENGINE ALWAYS!


Some cars are plain fussy and time consuming to plain fill. Shops will use a vacuum fill method which is a must on some cars and doesn't tie up the vehicle getting it properly filled quickly.


Anything more confusing about this it needs to be sent out. That's as primal as I can get,


T



(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on Jan 29, 2014, 11:48 AM)


kkaiser80
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Jan 29, 2014, 3:03 PM

Post #20 of 22 (1523 views)
Re: Please help Sign In

When I squeeze the hose with engine cool and off no bubbles appear, so no air is being pushed in the reservoir, and with engine on and at running temperature the hose has good pressure.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jan 29, 2014, 4:13 PM

Post #21 of 22 (1519 views)
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OK, so far so good and glad it holds pressure but again not build up too fast as said.


As for odor for so long IDK for sure. If it runs well and coolant level stays between cold/hot marks on the recovery tank you may be ok. Heater should be able to run normally and no overheat warnings from a light or the gauge. You may have lucked out. Check it like a hawk till all is stable and carry some extra antifreeze with you.


One more: If the spring looking type clamp that both a hex or flat head screwdriver works it check it on a new hose later, engine off but on warm side and just make those - say - screwdriver tight. They work and are used a lot. Good luck,


T



kkaiser80
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Jan 29, 2014, 4:44 PM

Post #22 of 22 (1512 views)
Re: Please help Sign In

Thanks, yeah, no over heating, and I've carried a antifreeze jug and a couple liters of water in the trunk in case anything happens. The hose seems to be tight and stable everytime I Check it, and antifreeze remains in the reservoir everytime I check. Thank you so much.






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