Niagara Gazette

Columns

February 28, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: Colder weather affects gas mileage

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — •••

LYNN FROM ALBION, MI: I own a ‘98 Pontiac 2.4L with a severe coolant leak on the right side of the motor towards the front. What is the source of this leak?

TOM: Lynn, without proper cooling system diagnostics it is impossible to answer your question. A cooling system pressure test will help to pinpoint the source of the coolant leak. It could be a hose or head gasket. Sometimes the source of a coolant leak is hard to find and a coolant dye test is necessary to track it down. A fluorescent dye is added to the coolant and then a fluorescent light (black light) is shown on the engine. The coolant becomes visible (a bright yellow color) under the light so you can identify the source of the leak. If I had to guess as to what the leak was I would say the head gasket. But have it checked out. Good luck.

•••

PETE FROM LUBBOCK, TEXAS: I own a ‘02 Neon. First the vacuum pump was replaced because the gas cap was not on right. Then the gas cap was replaced; then a vacuum hose between the air intake and the engine was repaired. However, the car still idles! At first it was a high idle. Now it is up and down like a washing machine. Can my mechanics be missing something? The car has over 100,000 miles.

TOM: Pete, vacuum pump? Gas cap replaced? What are you talking about? Have your tech scan the system for codes. It sounds like the IAC motor is acting up or the car could have a vacuum leak at the intake manifold. Now I hope you are not going to go out and replace the parts that I just mentioned without testing. If you do, I can’t say I didn’t try, but it’s your money! Good luck.

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