: i smell coolant, is my water pump bad?

02-23-04, 02:59 AM
before xmas i filled up my reserve with proper mixture and then within a month my computer said "engine coolant low". well, it was (weird enough) so i filled up my reserve again. now, i cant find any leaks anywhere. nor can i see spots on the ground where i park (and this is in snow so it'd be easy to find you'd think, but nothing). well, within the last two weeks ive been smelling that hot/burnt coolant smell while i drive. you know, that sweet-ish smell that can only be antifreeze/coolant. well, i still can see any leaks or signs thereof. i bought a new thermostat because it seems as though its not quite warm enough and i figure its about time. but, i just dont know what the problem is and dont really want to have alot of work done on it if its something simple ya know; i hate smelling this stuff. somebody suggested a bad water pump, which sucks but i have no knowledge of this. i have a 94 sls by the way. any suggestions would rock, thanks.

02-23-04, 01:46 PM
The best thing to do is to rent/borrow a cooling sytem pressure tester and pump the system up to pressure (15 PSI) at the pressure cap fitting on the pressurized surge tank. Any leaks are usually much easier to locate when the system is under pressure trying to force the coolant out.

Your 94 needs to have the coolant replaced every 2-3 years/24-32 K miles to keep the corrosion inhibitors in the coolant from becoming depleted. If this is not done the engine and cooling system will start to corrode internally and serious damage can occur. If yours has not been changed regularily it could be corrosion damage causing loss of coolant at the heater core (leaking heater core) the radiator, or inside the engine at the head gaskets or other...???

If there are no obvious leaks and the system has fresh coolant in it (you've been putting some additional fresh coolant in so that is a good thing) you might try the BarsLeaks sealer or the GM Coolant Supplement in the system to see if it will stop the leak that you are experiencing...at least to buy you some time until the weather warms up. Use the BarsLeaks "golden seal" powder in the clear tubes or the GM Coolant Supplement pellets available at a GM dealer. 2 tubes of the BarsLeaks product or 6 pellets of the GM stuff. Make sure you put it in the radiator hose NOT the pressurized surge tank. Putting it into the surge tank will not be effective as the sealer will not get dispersed thru the system. Disconnect a radiator hose and put the sealer material in the hose before reconnecting it and then top off the system.

02-25-04, 03:07 AM
thanks alot. that was, by far, the most detailed and informative reply ive gotten here.

and, no, to my knowledge the cooling system has not been flushed and changed. ive owned it for about 2/3 years now and have put 40k on it and havent done it; nor do i know if the previous owner had. i hope there is no major internal damage.