2011 chevy impala evasive coolant leak


Asked by Chris Nov 21, 2017 at 04:28 PM about the 2011 Chevrolet Impala LT FWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Need some advice.  I recently observed a coolant leak in my car due to the
smell emanating from the hood.  I kept the fluid level in the reservoir up until I
had a chance to investigate this past weekend.  After running at OP temp by
driving around town, I popped the hood to find that there was a visible "squirt"
coming from the upper radiator hose connection to the radiator inlet port.  The
leak was a small pinhole-type stream that came and went a bit while
observing.  It was somewhat coming from the underside so I thought it was a
simple hose (may still be) or clamp, etc.  I drained the coolant a bit, then
replaced with a new house with the original manufacturers pressure clamps as
they seemed serviceable, then refilled the system.  Now having driven about
100 miles, I noticed I still had that smell when I parked and last evening,
observed more of a weeping drip.  Very slow - barely a drip.  I decided to put a
hose clamp on there as well - careful not to over tighten.  After driving another
100 miles today, I once again observed a pinhole stream that almost appears
to come out from the hose - where it connects to the radiator inlet port.  When
I installed the hose, I picked up some radiator hose sealant and had put a thin
amount inside the hose before installing.  I am not in a position to pressure test
quite yet - it seems as though its just a bad seal still - or a crack in the inlet
(but did not observe when I replaced the part).  Any thoughts as to what could
be happening?  I'm worried that maybe pressure is out of whack or something.  
I am going to try to put the hose clamp as low as I can on the hose - so to be
as close to the bottom of the inlet port when the hose is installed.  It seems
simple enough but is evasive at the moment.  The leak is not coming from
anywhere else - temp in car is stable, etc etc.  Results in coolant on the side of
my radiator and all towards the underside of the car.  Turning off car when
observing the pinhole stream causes it to subside pretty quickly.  Should I try
to reseal with something better for the hose?  or more liberal with the sealant?

4 Answers


When you replaced the hose did you clean bot connectors till they were smooth .. no bumps? Tighten those clamps down ,,, tight when the engine is warm. Get a sheet of clean white printer paper and slowly move the paper a couple inches above the leak to confirm that what you think is the leak isn't coming from somewhere else .. take a picture

1 people found this helpful.

I wiped them down but honestly, both sides the hose connected to seemed very clean/smooth. Radiator is plastic, other side metal. Metal side is bone dry. Good recommendations, I'll give them a shot.....

1 people found this helpful.

Ok so it I think I used a bad hose clamp - it won't torque down enough. I found it strange how loose it was also. I let the car heat up for about 10 minutes, then had a very very minor drip - almost couldn't see it. When I rev'd the car (increased the RPMs), then checked the hose, it was a clear leak coming out of the hose. Thats how I found I couldn't tighten the hose clamp anymore. Paper test was also helpful, but again, was a very clear leak - seems to occur more when I increase the load on the system by increasing the RPMs. I'll pick up a new, proper hose clamp and re-comment. Do you think this condition is strange at all? I find it odd that this is just a hose clamp problem. In other words, is it possible I'm trying to fix an over-pressurized system or something? I kind of want to replace the radiator cap just in case but hate replacing without truly knowing. Added a pic for measure. leak comes out of the hose at the top where it looks a little white in the pic


I popped the hose off today and inspected the radiator inlet, cleaning the hose and inlet in the process. I applied a bead of high temp rtv and also replaced the radiator cap for good measure. Refilled and began testing 5+ hrs later, having installed a new worm gear clamp as well. All conditions from previous post are still true PROBLEM still exists. I am so frustrated. As the car is heated up, I can actually wiggle the hose to change how bad the leak is. It seems to turn on the radiator inlet pretty easy - like it's still not really sealed. I don't get it, this shouldn't be that hard. Is it just a crappy hose I bought? After I shut the car off and let it sit for a few minutes, I could actually squeeze the hose and create the leak. The worm gear is pretty tight and the radiator inlet is plastic (and don't want to break or rip into the hose).

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