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Is this a leaking water pump

2097 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Cruze2.0Diesel
I've been smelling coolant after shutting down the car and it seems to be coming from under the hood. Funny thing is I haven't had to add much coolant - only about 1/2 gallon in 30k miles. I found a little spray pattern on the subframe near the serpentine belt and wiped it off. It came back after only a short while. Here is a picture but the reflection makes it hard to see. The pattern has a gap where the belt lines up with most of the spray on the inboard side.

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Yep, sure looks like it!
Yep. 1/2 gallon of coolant in 30K miles is a lot.
I took my car to the dealer and told them I thought the water pump was leaking and mentioned the spray pattern near the belt. The tech said it showed up as dye from the A/C compressor and they replaced it yesterday. I'm not sure they're right because I still smell coolant but I guess the UV dye must be easy to check with a black light so we'll see.

BTW this is the 4th A/C compressor on this car in 33k miles. The first made a weird pulsing noise when the A/C was off, the second unit didn't fix the problem, the third unit seemed to work OK and didn't make a weird noise but leaked near the pulley. I hope the fourth time's a charm. The service advisor said the newest compressor has a 12 month warranty separate from the overall bumper-to-bumper coverage. If the true leak is from the water pump I'll be covered under the 5yr powertrain warranty.
Been dealing with AC for quite some time. If the compressor fails in an R-134a system the condenser, a parallel flow type, had to be replaced. These are impossible to clean, same with the dryer, and the rest of the system has to be flushed out with approved flushing equipment.

A deep vacuum under 500 microns has to be drawn, and fresh PAG injected from a metal sealed can, it cannot be exposed to any moisture, it turns into paste if it does. Then the system properly charged to specifications.

If you dealer does not service your vehicle in this manner, you will have compressor failures again and again, and again.

I am gathering he is NOT servicing your vehicle in this manner. One way of cheating is to add a filter at the inlet of the compressor that doesn't really work either. with debris in the system from a failed compressor, that filter will plug up.

This was never a problem with R-12, tube and fin condensers were easy to clean, and the mineral oil used repelled moisture. Is a problem now, and has been since 1992. Now they are talking about getting rid of R-134a, claim it is not so environmentally after all, claim its causing global warming. Never proved R-12 was poking holes in the ozone layer, deep study shows R-12 is completely biodegradable. But we never will have an EPA that admits to making mistakes.
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One solid rocket booster does more damage to the ozone than all the R-12 in vehicles, but it still was proven to destroy ozone in a laboratory so who gets the shaft. CO2 A/C systems will be high pressure making it dangerous to work on. As to the OP I can tell you that coolant tends to glow just like A/C dye and you should never have to add coolant. You have a coolant leak.
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