Coolant leak on a 90 geo prizm

Asked by Sep 30, 2016 at 02:31 PM about the 1990 Geo Prizm 4 Dr STD Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I recently bought a used 1990 Geo Prizm with 82,000 on it. After I bought it I
checked the fluid levels on it and found that the coolant level was low.Last
week I had the coolant system flushed and refilled. They told me to bring it
back in a week which I did, The radiator was half full again, so they flushed
out everything again with me standing next to them and watching. As I was
pulling into the service bay I noticed steam coming from the front of the car,
The car runs fine and doesn't overheat. I took it to a mechanic who with a
flashlight looked for leaks, he didn't see any, so he told me to drive it for
about an hour, which I did. He then rechecked everything but can't see any
leaks.He said the radiator which is original along with at least the top hose,
looked iffy.

1 Answer

23,845

A leaky radiator will leave some tell-tale sign of a leak. They do make a UV dye you can add to coolant and help find leaks. A pressure test on the cooling system will also help. Some leaks are just hard to see, like a leaky heater core, that's where the pressure test helps. If you're going to replace the top hose you should do the thermostat as well. Try running the car in place and then checking all under it for any sign of leaks. If not, you may be losing coolant through the head gasket (in which the coolant is going out the exhaust). A compression test in that case may determine that.

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