Q: External leak and car losing coolant

asked by on

There is an external leak that I can see and my car has been losing a lot of of coolant. My gasket needs replacing and I’m going to soon do that. Just need to find out if it is the upper or lower intake or both. Here is what has happened: Yesterday after starting my car, there was a very loud ticking noise. I drove it up the street a little to test it and there was a loss of power, it drove roughly and was hesitating. After opening the hood, I saw orange coolant (that had an oily feel) covering the top of the intake manifold (near the injectors). Red flag! I’m wondering if that is a sign of pre-hydrolocking. (I’m not driving until the problems are solved.) I’m wondering if that leak damaged anything internally and the elbows probably should be replaced. I’ve never done this before, but have an idea of how to… Will the problem be solved by my replacing the upper intake gasket and then doing an oil change, or is it the lower intake and should I replace the lifters?

Hello! If there was a loud ticking noise you may have some internal engine damage. But I wouldn’t go replacing the lifters just yet. I would recommend checking what is leaking first. If you’re doing the upper gasket it is always good to do the lower one as well, vice versa.

I suggest to have a technician inspect the location of the intake gasket leak to compare it to a diagram if necessary to determine if it is the upper or lower. After replacing the gaskets, remove the spark plugs and use some type of siphon to extract any oil or coolant that is pooling up on top of the pistons. I would also suggest testing the head gasket as well to ensure that that there is not a potential cause of your oil and coolant mixture.

If you need some assistance with these checks, enlist a certified mechanic who can pinpoint the coolant leak and make the necessary repairs for your vehicle.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. External leak and car losing coolant

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Q: Car just cranks and won't start

Hi there. It looks like you've replaced most of the usual suspects here, but it could be several other electrical or fuel related components that are causing your Cutlass Ciera to not fire-up including spark plug wires, spark plugs themselves,...

Q: Check engine light is on car sluggish and shaky

Your check engine light is on due to the misfire and engine running issue and should not be due to the oil change overdue. You should have the check engine light scanned then the code can identify that cause of...

Q: Q: Possible blown head gasket

The engine overheating erratically is the first thing that comes to mind. Other problems like hoses, radiator or heater core bursting or leaking all of a sudden. The extra pressure from combustion pressure entering the cooling system causes this. Continuous...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.