ack! coolant belching out...t belt question as well

Phil and Judy Rose pjrose at
Mon Jan 27 10:27:53 EST 2003

At 5:41 AM -0800 1/27/03, jim catterson wrote:
>arrived at work this a.m. to find a trace of steam coming from the
>grill and a 12" diam. puddle of coolant forming under the bow of the
>avant...too dark at 7 a.m. to discern the source but it is up front on
>the drivers side.  had no indication from the temp gauge.  will look at
>lunch and see if the leak is obvious.  any thoughts on driving it to
>the shop [about 20 miles away] in 16 F weather?

Check the fusible link for the radiator fan. If it's broken (that
might be just a slight, hard-to-see crack) then the loss of the fan
probably caused overheating (assumed from the "steam") and lost
coolant resulting from some extended idling or stop-and-go. If that's
the case (and if you can avoid prolonged idling during your 16
degree, 20-mile drive to the shop) then go ahead (carry spare coolant
of course). But if the fan is OK, your main concern would be
something is about to open up and quickly dump all coolant. I
wouldn't chance it unless I knew my temp gauge is functioning so I
could pull over and stop the engine before disaster struck.

>  at the risk of putting
>the bad mojo on myself,  the car has been bullit-proof reliable to this
>point.  but then again,  it only has 60 k on it...which brings me to
>the other question:  the t belt is original as far as i know.  should i
>change it now?

I would replace it (and did, on my 58 K mile '91 200q just one year
ago.) These belts suffer from age as well as use, so the mileage
becomes secondary when you're dealing with 12 yr-old rubber. The belt
I replaced at 58K had a lot of cracks but probably would have gone
another 10K. My peace of mind (loss thereof) was not worth chancing

>   dealer [yeah i know, but this one is run by a friend of
>mine] says leave it until 70k...

Will he put in writing that he will cover all repairs to your engine
caused by a failed TB during that period?

*  Phil & Judy Rose           Rochester, NY  *
*        mailto:pjrose at       *

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