DIY Dialog

1994 Grand Am GT leaking engine coolant

  • My grand am is leaking engine coolant from the bottom of the engine I was just wondering if anyone had any ideas of what it could be. As it is I cant drive it this way because it over heats.

  • In 1994 the Grand Am GT had two different engines, both of which were common to have coolant leak issues. The 4 cyl. or 2.3L engine often has a water pump leak that is hard to see due to the location of the pump on the back side of the engine. Often it would leak from the weep hole due to worn pump shaft bearings and the shaft seal would not seal on the shaft correctly. This type of leak happens commonly when the engine is running and the cooling system has started to pressurize and water/coolant will do as it does naturally, it follows the path of least resistance.

    The V6 or 3.1L also has its own water pump issues. Similar to the 4 cyl. it will leak and not be so easily seen as the weep hole for this one is located behind the water pump drive pulley and when it leaks it will travel down the front cover of the engine and show as leaking/dripping off of the oil pan or front engine support. This engine also has leaks from the intake manifold that will happen as well. Often the evidence can be seen at the rear of the manifold above the starter. Near were you might expect a distributor to be mounted if it were t have one.

    In either case having the vehicle up on ramps or properly supported with jack stands and use of a cooling system pressure tester can help locate the leaks. As it sounds your leak is pretty noticeable and I would think that once you were to pressurize the system the leak should show up. Of course  keep in mind that any were the coolant will flow it can leak from. So don't over look the simplicity of a loose water hose clamp on a radiator hose or heater hose. Also worst case scenario is the dreaded head gasket leak especially on the 4 cylinder with DOHC. Follow the trail to its source.    

    Good luck.