Leaky overheating hot & cold heat on my Pontiac ! Help

Asked by Nov 17, 2016 at 07:49 PM about the 2004 Pontiac Grand Am SE2

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

So yesterday when I was in a drive thru, I
noticed steam coming from under my
hood, and my temperature gauge started
going up, normal is 200, and it went up to
about 210 I put water in it and drove it
home the heater was blowing cool air,
while the gauge never went all the way to
the red it was going up and down. So
today I filled up the reservoir water and
coolant.. In a matter of maybe a minute it
was all drained out! There's a small leak on
the passenger side close to the wheel. I
turned the car on, refilled with coolant, left
the top off and squeezed the hoses, it
seemed like it wasn't leaking anymore, let
it run for thirty or so minutes while
repeating refilling with coolant. Eventually
the heat started working, and the
thermostat was normal for a while. But
then when I went to drive the temp. Gauge
started going up and down and then it
started blowing cool and hot air off and on.
Please help!! I know nothing about cars.

3 Answers

4,325

You have a leak in the system somewhere. Probably just a hose. Take a close look around where the steam is coming from and you will likely spot it. When you find the source, change the hose and any others that appear old or do not feel flexible at the same time.

I thought that too!! But unfortunately it's not steaming anymore, but the temperature gauge is still going up and down and blowing cold air out of the heater on and off, the leak is very strange, when the car is off, coolant disappears, but when I start it up the coolant doesn't really leak bad. I don't think it's the heater core bc the inside of the car is not leaking. I tried to find the leak, but it doesn't seem like any hoses are the source.

4,325

The coolant is supposed to retract into the radiator from the overflow reservoir when the car cools but the reservoir is never supposed to get empty. There are 2 lines on it - cold fill and hot fill. Depending on the engine temp, make sure it is full to the proper line. If it is not, your coolant is low and you should add more up to the proper line. If you do that, your "leak" may re-appear (or disappear if it was really low and the steam was causing the cap to exceed its rating instead of coolant exiting to the reservoir).

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