2003 Buick Regal has sprung a coolant leak - Buick Forum - Buick Enthusiasts Forums

Regal (1973-2004) Buick's sporty mid-sized sedan

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Old 07-02-2017, 10:01 PM
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Default 2003 Buick Regal has sprung a coolant leak

Hello All! Definitely not the way I like meeting people, but alas. It would seem that my 2003 Buick Regal has a bit of a coolant issue, of course right after I finally got the A/C fixed. I noticed today after driving about 60 miles or so that the engine started to overheat. I didn't really pay attention to it as it was 90+ outside and it wasn't overheating that much. I stopped at the local electronics shop to get some parts and returned to my car, which is when I saw the coolant all over the ground. At first I didn't think it was mine, but something (wife) told me to pull the car back. Sure enough, it was from my car.

I drove it over to the local Target, picked up two bottles of 50/50 and filled the reservoir tank. I didn't see any leaks when I did that. After which I started for home, praying I'd make it.... and ran smash into two accidents on the I-95. Something must hate me. Well, after getting past those accidents, I sped all the way home and the car still never hit the red. Once I pulled into the drive way, I could see it leaking out completely, and heard some draining back into the reservoir tank. I put some more back into the tank, but not the radiator just yet. I'm hoping it's my water pump, but I didn't hear anything, so there was no telltale signs that it was dying. That said, the car does have 150K on it, so I'd expect the water pump to give out. I don't know if it was replace prior as the car used to belong to my father before he passed.

There was no smoke either, just coolant leaking. I also noticed a bit of it on the top of the engine, but a like a few drops that could have blown up there while driving. There's no massive amount up there.

I can't get a mechanic to check it out as it's Sunday, so I'm going to have to wait until later this week. But in the back of my mind, I'm dreading the fact that it could be a cracked block. Water pump, intake manifold gasket, I can manage. Cracked blocks, no can do.

Any hints on what I can do to start diagnosing the potential issue and if i have to worry about a cracked block just yet ;(

Thanks and Happy Holiday!
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:22 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Minot, ME
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Hate when all that happens. Usually if water pump is leaking or radiator it's quite visual. Leakage can develop around hoses, clamps but again should be visible when pressurized.

Possibly a blown head gasket over pressurizing coolant system. A dead giveaway is when you open overflow tank it'll smell like exhaust. The other option is coolant leaking into cylinder, vaporizing and exhaust at tailpipe(s) will have a sweet smell at least with the old style glycol products.
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