Q: Coolant leaking

asked by on February 14, 2017

My Chevy Venture does not overheat, but just a few days ago I noticed it has been smoking under the hood on driver side, and the same day, i filled the reservoir with coolant, as well as the radiator, the radiator is still full, but the reservoir is about half empty from where it should be. The coolant smells burnt in both the reservoir and the radiator, and you can smell coolant through the vents inside from time to time. When going up a steep incline, it seems as if it takes a lot from the transmission to get up the hill, but is fine under normal circumstances and everyday small inclines. Once at the top of a steep incline, under the hood, in the same area with coolant problem, driver side, it smokes, but still yet does not overheat. Is this a transmission problem or coolant problem?

If there is smoke, a leak is likely. Losses in the coolant reservoir would suggest a coolant leak. If you suspect a coolant leak, the origin can be pinpointed if you request a coolant leak diagnostic. It is possible to have overheating and not know about it if the temperature sending unit and/or dash gauge are faulty. You can measure the engine operating temperature directly. If your transmission is experiencing delayed shifts or is operating in the wrong gear for the conditions, there might be trouble codes that have been set and those codes can be downloaded during a check engine light diagnostic. Shift problems can be caused by low fluid level, a clogged transmission fluid filter, valve body faults, and control faults in, for example, the throttle position sensor. To address all that, you can request a transmission diagnostic - shifting and the responding certified mechanic will investigate the operating conditions you are describing and determine what, if any, faults exist. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

Hi There, It sounds like you may have a small coolant leak that may not be severe enough just yet to cause an overheating problem, but is noticeable enough to cause the hot motor to burn the coolant. This can happen for a number of reasons and may be difficult to trace without looking at the motor. Typically gaskets and hoses in areas that maintain a lot of pressure during operation are common areas for leaks to happen. The water pump is also another area that commonly will leak, specifically around the output shaft area. If the water pump is leaking or wearing out, you may also notice a bit of a whining sound coming from this area. I would suggest scheduling a coolant leak inspection soon as this will generally only get worse.

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