Q: External leak and car losing coolant

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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.

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