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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, all.

I'm hoping someone out there can give me some help with my engine troubles. About 6 months ago I replaced the transmission in my 2003 2.0L ZX3 and since then my car has shuddered from time to time while I've been idling for more than a few seconds (at a red light, in a drive-thru, etc.) and seemed to have a little less power. I assumed that it was just the new transmission settling in and didn't think much of it, but the problem never went away.

Maybe a month after that, when the car shuddered the tachometer would dip slightly, from 700 or so to maybe 600, for only an instant and I would hear a fan kick in. Still felt like I was missing a few horses too. Again, didn't think much of it and let it slide.

Then this past Sunday I took the car on the freeway for 20 miles or so and (as usual) didn't have any real problem, but when I got off the freeway and was idling on the offramp the car shuddered and the remperature moved up a few degrees - nowhere near the redline, but enough to make me nervous. Finally, it seemed like I had to do something about the problem, so I pulled over and popped the hood to find my coolant tank with maybe 1/2 inch of fluid in it. Immediately I went to the nearest Pep Boys, bought some Prestone 50/50 coolant, and threw it in as soon as the engine was reasonably cool. The tank took about 3/4 of the 1-gallon jug.

Hoping my problem was solved I went on my way with no further problems for two days. But, I just checked the tank that I filled two days ago to the "max" line, and it was a hair below the "min" line. I topped it up again and decided to take a long look around my parking spot, and I finally found a leak - the first one I've seen in the 5 years I've owned the car.

The weird part is that the fluid leaking out was dripping once every minute or so, and it looked too thin and too yellow to be the thick, greenish Prestone coolant I just put in. Plus the rate of the leak was so low that I can't believe it caused me to lose about a pint of coolant in two days.

On top of all that, the leak seems to be coming from a box near the axle on the driver's side, which is pretty far (relatively speaking) from the coolant tank and the radiator. From what I can tell in other posts it seems like the thermostats are prone to problems, but I don't think that's what I'm looking at. Sorry I can't be more precise, but I'm not exactly a gearhead.

So... what's going on? Is it really just a coolant leak or is something else going on? Could it be related to that replacement ransmission? Any help would be appreciated.

· FF's Night Security
32,225 Posts
[welcome] Could be the T-stat housing or maybe a heater hose have you looked under the to try and find where it is coming from? Also when driving the water pressure in the system will make more fluid come out that just sittin there. Can you can some poictures? that would be helpful? [loveff] [ffrocks]
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