Water pump?


Old 07-14-03, 03:41 PM
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Water pump?

Hi. My car is continually running out of water lately. Sometimes the water is low in the radiator, but more often, the coolant/water container runs dry after driving an hour or so.

Sometimes after driving, (but not always) I can see the water dripping under my car from somewhere between the radiator and the coolant container. I can't seem to pinpoint exactly where though.

A couple times lately (but not always), I am getting cool air from the heater.

When I turn the car off, just sitting in the front seat, I can hear a gurgling kind of noise coming from under the hood.

Does this sound like I need a new waterpump? or?

Thank you.

p.s. The car is a 1992 Chev Cavalier.
Old 07-14-03, 04:16 PM
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Chances are good either the water pump is leaking or one of the small bypass hoses is leaking.

You can check the water pump with a mirror. Look for a green coolant trail from the water pump's weep hole.

If you don't see any leaks there, inspect all hoses and the radiator. The radiator core/tank joint is a common leak point.

If you still can't find the leak, look at the cylinder head/block mating surface. The 2.0L / 2.2L OHV GM engines were famous for external leaks from the head gasket.

The good thing about these cars (I've had 2 of them over the years) is that nearly everything is dirt cheap and relatively easy to fix.
Old 07-14-03, 04:59 PM
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Thumbs up

(Agreed from someone driving a 1989 Cavalier 2.0).

Old 07-15-03, 04:45 AM
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JOE---89 Cavalier? and it still runs? my friend just got rid of his GM clone, a 97 Sunfire w/ 78k which the 4 banger ran fine (repl water pump, radiator, alt--not bad)
but then the auto trans started slipping and went out. A Toyota it is not.
BTW--the only small car GM makes that is any good is a SATURN. I love mine.
Old 07-15-03, 11:30 AM
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I've had 2 of these cars. Both were free & both were abused for most of their lives. The '85 Skyhawk wagon finally died at 185000 miles. The '85 Cavalier had 185K on it when I gave it away. It's still on the road today.

These cars are far from perfect, but they're good cheap, reliable transportation. I'd put an '89 Cavalier up against an '89 Corolla any day.
Old 07-15-03, 12:33 PM
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Thumbs up Agree.

Not only does it run, it runs MINT! It has 27,000 original miles on it, it's "loaded" and like Knuckles vehicles, it was free.

My grandfather hit someone a long time ago and paint and materials was only $300 at the time with me doing the work and the paint match was great. That was for a new fender, header panel/mounting bar and a marker light as WELL as paint and materials!

Most people do not know how to maintain a car and subsequently when something doesn't put up with their abuse or lack of maintenance, it's junk to them. Baloney.

The metal on many Japanese cars is pretty thin and flimsy---I've used tin snips to cut parts out in the junkyard.

I'll stay out of the sardine cans in case of accidents, thank you .
Old 07-16-03, 11:32 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

Today I filled the radiator and drove for 15 minutes. Went into a store for less than an hour, and when I came out I checked the car again, and had to add lots and lots of water to the rad again.

When I shut the motor off, I can totally hear a noise coming from under the hood that sort of sounds like gurgling. Would I have this loud gurgling type of noise if the problem was something small like a leaky hose? Or does this noise definitely point to the problem being the actual water pump?

I have an appointment to take it into the garage next Tuesday, and I was hoping to somehow pinpoint the problem before I take the car in..... I always worry about getting taken and hate to just take the car there and then just say 'it's leaking......'. Yikes.......they could tell me just about anything and honestly, I wouldn't have a clue, so.....


p.s. A few years back the plug on my radiator was actually broken off (by a friend who was going to flush the rad) and since then, I've only ever put water in the radiator (so can't look for the green drips).
Old 07-17-03, 01:36 AM
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that gurgling my friend, is your radiator. too bad you only put in water as the
radiator is rusty by now. its a wonder your heater core hasnt started to leak.
always put radiator fluid in your radiator, unless topping off a reservoir. oy vay!
Old 07-17-03, 06:12 AM
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If you have a neigborhood garage they will pressure check it sometimes for free on the fly it only takes a few minutes. Just pull in and ask.
Old 07-17-03, 06:46 AM
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Original poster: Get the vehicle to a competent repair shop and have them go through the cooling system. Let them give you an estimate.

It will likely be quite high as it seems that your cooling system has been neglected for some time.

On these 2.2 and 2.0 GM engines, it is ABSOLUTELY critical to have the cooling system 100% or you will waste the head gasket/cylinder head in short order. Water "ain't" gonna cut it.

Get to the root of the problem and have it fixed right.
Old 07-28-03, 01:24 AM
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Hi. Thanks again for the replies. Thought I should post back here to say that a friend of a friend put a new water pump in for me, and it seems to have fixed the problem. I no longer lose any water at all, and I no longer hear that gurgling under the hood. Yippee!

Thanks again, everyone. Much appreciated!

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