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98 neon....wheres my coolant going????
01-21-2012, 11:28 PM
Post: #1
Question 98 neon....wheres my coolant going????
engine started knocking (telling me something is wrong) I have no leak, very minimal sweet smell (attribute to low coolant level) nothing coming out the head, nothing on the ground. I replaced the water pump 6 months ago and that was the last time i filled the reservoir. any help would be helpful.

there was another notice i has heard twice and the only way i can describe it as sounding like a hand sliding down wet glass. like a squeak. checked the belts,nothing broke there....very puzzled

any suggestions??
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01-22-2012, 12:56 AM
Post: #2
RE: 98 neon....wheres my coolant going????
Sooooo, the first question is along the lines of are you actually using coolant?
The second is about the level getting low while you are not looking?
The third is about reading the plugs and if one cylinder is showing a CLEANER plug than the rest?
The last is if you have ever had the engine hesitate while trying to crank it up on a cold start?

Any of these may point to a leaking head gasket.

You have already stated you have a sweet smell out the tail pipe so all we are tryig to do is pin point the issue. I would put a presure test on the system while cold and let it sit for a bit. Try starting it say after an hour and see what happens. We can chat more after that. I suspect you really do have a head gasket problem.
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01-22-2012, 03:40 AM (This post was last modified: 01-22-2012 04:10 AM by kcnutt.)
Post: #3
RE: 98 neon....wheres my coolant going????
(01-22-2012 12:56 AM)Rupe Wrote:  Sooooo, the first question is along the lines of are you actually using coolant?
The second is about the level getting low while you are not looking?
The third is about reading the plugs and if one cylinder is showing a CLEANER plug than the rest?
The last is if you have ever had the engine hesitate while trying to crank it up on a cold start?

Any of these may point to a leaking head gasket.

You have already stated you have a sweet smell out the tail pipe so all we are tryig to do is pin point the issue. I would put a presure test on the system while cold and let it sit for a bit. Try starting it say after an hour and see what happens. We can chat more after that. I suspect you really do have a head gasket problem.

hey thanks for the reply. i have not checked the plugs. Yes it hesitates a little but that has always been a issue going on 4 years. it is a slight confirmed air leak in the fuel system causing it to loose prime the fuel to go back down into tank. knowing that fuel pumps dont continually run when starting. 3 short turns of the key and she starts right up. when shut down, always starts back up, no problem.

the sweet smell just happened today after a long drive. It has been super cold and the car has been a slower start.

i used coolant (recommended by manufacturer), have not had any problems since the water pump was replaced. also replaced all belts.

i will pull the plug in the AM and run it how you said.

would a low coolant level produce the sweet smell? like the little bit left just burning off?

could it be the heater core??
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01-22-2012, 10:17 AM
Post: #4
RE: 98 neon....wheres my coolant going????
If that "sweet" smell is inside the car rather than at the tail pipe your heater core is the likely culprit. However; just to be on the safe side, if you have an Automatic Transmission, I would highly recommend checking the fluid. If it looks Pink; sort of like a Strawberry Milk Shake, your coolant is getting into the transmission through the cooler. I really don't think that is your problem due to the smell in the car but a transmission rebuild / replace is quite expensive. It only takes a couple of seconds to pull the stick and check it.

Another helpful option would be to have the computer scanned. Record all of the code NUMBERS, post those numbers here for review, and have the computer cleared.

Please keep us posted.

Thanks for using the forum,
Garner

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01-22-2012, 11:32 AM
Post: #5
RE: 98 neon....wheres my coolant going????
As Garner mentioned (and I forgot to ask) some depends on where you smell it. As you start the car walk around back and notice if the exhaust is more puffy than usual. If you have a head gasket issue the exhaust will usually have a sweet smell.

Of course we could be over reacting and all you have is a hose clamp that needs to be tightened. It only takes a few drops of coolant to give you an odor as you walk by the car and that's something you may never find on a warm day with the engine hot because most hose leaks happen at the connection points on extremely cold days.
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01-22-2012, 01:30 PM (This post was last modified: 01-22-2012 01:37 PM by kcnutt.)
Post: #6
RE: 98 neon....wheres my coolant going????
(01-22-2012 10:17 AM)Garner Wrote:  If that "sweet" smell is inside the car rather than at the tail pipe your heater core is the likely culprit. However; just to be on the safe side, if you have an Automatic Transmission, I would highly recommend checking the fluid. If it looks Pink; sort of like a Strawberry Milk Shake, your coolant is getting into the transmission through the cooler. I really don't think that is your problem due to the smell in the car but a transmission rebuild / replace is quite expensive. It only takes a couple of seconds to pull the stick and check it.

Another helpful option would be to have the computer scanned. Record all of the code NUMBERS, post those numbers here for review, and have the computer cleared.

Please keep us posted.

outstanding sir! i certainly will. thank you much
(01-22-2012 11:32 AM)Rupe Wrote:  As Garner mentioned (and I forgot to ask) some depends on where you smell it. As you start the car walk around back and notice if the exhaust is more puffy than usual. If you have a head gasket issue the exhaust will usually have a sweet smell.

Of course we could be over reacting and all you have is a hose clamp that needs to be tightened. It only takes a few drops of coolant to give you an odor as you walk by the car and that's something you may never find on a warm day with the engine hot because most hose leaks happen at the connection points on extremely cold days.

i will check my clamps, im hoping that this is the issue b/c i justmoved back to chicago and i do not have access to a shop or tools to do the repairs....
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01-22-2012, 06:16 PM
Post: #7
RE: 98 neon....wheres my coolant going????
ok guys. coolant had a slow leak out top radiator hose, still had factory crimps. replaced and so engine is running fine. Trans is on its own radiator.

would low trans fluid be the cause of y knocking when accelerating? there is no knocking when car is idling in park. certain that the knock is comming from the trans and only when accelerating. the knock sounds like wood blocks banging together and consists of two to three knocks and then no more until accelerating again. drove up a hill and the car seemed to drive fine (minus the knocking)
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01-22-2012, 06:28 PM
Post: #8
RE: 98 neon....wheres my coolant going????
A trany usually doesn't make any noises like that but it's worth a look to see if the bolts are loose where the converter connects to the flex plate. The flex plate itself may also be cracked. You may need to remove the starter or the bottom converter shield (if it has one) so you can see more clearly. Typically a noise from here can be duplicated by loading the engine against the brakes in drive. Get a helper to assist you and listen around with the hood up. Be careful!
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01-22-2012, 08:32 PM
Post: #9
RE: 98 neon....wheres my coolant going????
(01-22-2012 06:28 PM)Rupe Wrote:  A trany usually doesn't make any noises like that but it's worth a look to see if the bolts are loose where the converter connects to the flex plate. The flex plate itself may also be cracked. You may need to remove the starter or the bottom converter shield (if it has one) so you can see more clearly. Typically a noise from here can be duplicated by loading the engine against the brakes in drive. Get a helper to assist you and listen around with the hood up. Be careful!

sounds good, i read a little about flex plate. what does it do exactly? just a plate between engine and trans to provide flexibility?

Im going to get some trans fluid becuase i noticed it was low and try that. if still issue my uncle in wonder lake said i can use his shop and tools to fix.

ill keep you posted as soon as i know more. thanks again sir!
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01-22-2012, 08:36 PM
Post: #10
RE: 98 neon....wheres my coolant going????
Think of the flex plate as a light weight flywheel attached to the engine. It's also got the ring gear on it for starting the engine. The reason it's lighter than the usual flywheel is because the torque converter weighs enough to make up the difference.
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