Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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?

A: Hello! If there was a loud ticking noise yo...

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?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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: Transmission slips off line under mid-full throttle

Hello there, thank you for asking about your 1998 Oldsmobile LSS. The first thing to have checked in a situation like this is the transmission fluid level. Using the directions laid out in the owner's manual, inspect the transmission fluid...

Q: Engine burning excessive amount of oil

In order to find out if the amount of oil your engine is consuming you will need to have an oil change. Then you will drive the vehicle for exactly 1000 miles and have the oil level checked and topped...

Q: Can gasket cover leak. Can this make the car struggle or jump/ jerk when driving?

Hello. Yes, if the valve cover gasket is leaking, oil can leak down into the recesses where the spark plugs live, soak the rubber boots from the coil, and cause the plugs to misfire. If severe, considerable misfiring and stalling...

Related articles

What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.