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Hello all! I’m new here just bought my first Sky! Love it! Wanted one for 13 years.

Low coolant issue - need some help

Two weeks ago I purchased a 2009 Sky Redline with 62k miles from Texas, I had it shipped to Vermont. No mods on the car.

Four days ago the low coolant warning came on and off while driving. I got home and let the engine cool down and checked the coolant reservoir and it was about an inch below the molded (cold fill line). I added some coolant. I drove it the next day about 70 miles and no coolant light did not come on but when I got home and checked the reservoir it was about 1.5” low again.

I have monitored the temps over this same time frame. The temps on the dash display have been between 189 and 202. No spikes.

I have had no puddling under the car. I did not find any leaks. I did however see a small amount (dime size)of reddish (coolant colored) liquid pooled on a piece of metal on the bottom front passenger side of the motor. This area seams to be below the water pump. See pics below. The pics are progressively zoomed into where I found the dime size spot. I have not been able to ramp/lift it up to check under it yet.

The PO (second owner) said the original owner changed the water pump. The PO also flushed the coolant in April of this year.

What could my issue be? Water pump? Seals? Thoughts?
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Welcome to the forum.

That area is definitely a potential for the water pump, but there is no way to say definitively.

Second pump failures are exceptionally rare, but it could be that or the gasket. It could also be a hose.

I would add coolant again to see if the loss continues. Depending on how much the car was driven after it was done it is possible that you are purging air left from the refill.
 
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Welcome to the forum, sorry it's with an issue such as this. Our coolant systems seem to be one of the few complaints that we as owners have.

It certainly sounds like a water pump. I just did mine a couple weeks ago at 64k miles, it was not an easy task at all. They usually fail around 50k-70k miles it seems. I understand your car's owner before the PO had it replaced, but it's possible maybe they didn't. That last shot looks like a fairly dirty WP for being recently replaced IMO. It looks like some residue coming from or near the turbo boost bypass valve based on the same residue in the shot before it on top of the intake hose below the BPV. You may want to check that out too. I'm surprised the PO didn't clean that up before the sale unless that is all occurred since.

I would suggest to anyone buying one of these cars with around those miles to look as close as they can for a WP failure as it's most likely why the owner is looking to sell it. It's around a grand plus to get it fixed and I imagine most folks don't want to sink that much money into the car. There are a lot of stories of people buying their Sky RL with around that mileage and then replacing the WP soon after. I highly doubt the PO of all of those cars weren't aware. I imagine the PO of mine was in the same predicament. I had similar symptoms shortly after we bought it, a slow loss of coolant, no temp spikes, no signs of a leak anywhere. I would randomly loose about an 1" in the reservoir after a long drive and would refill it. I changed the coolant reservoir cap and did a coolant flush. It stopped leaking for a while and then came back this time leaking enough that I could actually smell the coolant sitting at stop signs or red lights. I checked underneath and sure enough, enough coolant had leaked while driving that it had blown back under the engine and I knew it was time. I spent about a week working on it at night little by little, but I replaced the WP myself.
 

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Second pump failures are exceptionally rare, but it could be that or the gasket. It could also be a hose.
Seeing as how a few that have made it to the 120k mile mark a few of those cars have seen them a second time, I'm not sure I could say for certain that there won't be a 2nd or 3rd failure. I know of 3 that have happened this year...all cars were between 110,000 and 125,000 and all 3 were turbo cars. One of them was on their 3rd, having to replace it he said at (IMSMC) ~35k, ~85k and again at 125k. He was a fourth owner at 110k. So it might be that many of us just don't have the mileage to say for sure. I'm keeping my fingers crossed though!!! And seeing as how I had an early failure at 55k, I'm now at 89k, I'm going to have my pump done again when my timing and balancer chains are done over the winter.

On a side note, my parents had a '73 Grand Prix when I was a child...and the first wp went on at 40k...and every year there after like clock work every 10k. I only remember this because the scene of "Christmas Story" comes to mind with his "old man" always having to go down and beat up the furnace while saying choice, colorful words. That was my father every year. He would take an entire weekend and do the WP, radiator, points, cap and rotor, plugs, plug wires and whatever else needed to be fixed on our only car. So we don't have it bad with our cars!!!
 

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Seeing as how a few that have made it to the 120k mile mark a few of those cars have seen them a second time, I'm not sure I could say for certain that there won't be a 2nd or 3rd failure. I know of 3 that have happened this year...all cars were between 110,000 and 125,000 and all 3 were turbo cars. One of them was on their 3rd, having to replace it he said at (IMSMC) ~35k, ~85k and again at 125k. He was a fourth owner at 110k. So it might be that many of us just don't have the mileage to say for sure. I'm keeping my fingers crossed though!!! And seeing as how I had an early failure at 55k, I'm now at 89k, I'm going to have my pump done again when my timing and balancer chains are done over the winter.

On a side note, my parents had a '73 Grand Prix when I was a child...and the first wp went on at 40k...and every year there after like clock work every 10k. I only remember this because the scene of "Christmas Story" comes to mind with his "old man" always having to go down and beat up the furnace while saying choice, colorful words. That was my father every year. He would take an entire weekend and do the WP, radiator, points, cap and rotor, plugs, plug wires and whatever else needed to be fixed on our only car. So we don't have it bad with our cars!!!
Maybe I should have said that a second water pump within 62k miles would be exceptionally rare.

As a single data point, my RL has 92k miles on its original pump.
 

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Maybe I should have said that a second water pump within 62k miles would be exceptionally rare.

As a single data point, my RL has 92k miles on its original pump.
Wasn't trying to correct you at all John. Here on the forums, people seem to be under 100k miles, while on Facebook many are nearing 100k or over. You are one of the rare ones that hasn't needed a WP yet. There are a few of this scenario too that haven't needed one yet. Several of the guys here in MI are 70k+ that are still on their original wp. But normal flushes every 20k or 3 years seems to be the "cure". Those here that are above 60k have done the flushes about every 20k. 🤔 a good friend here just hit 99k and had to replace his thermostat the week of NASSAM, but he's still on his original WP. We were talking about shipping our cars to SD for NASSAM next summer because of this very fact. But at over $2500/car, I don't see that happening...lol. On a side note, it's amazing how much shipping has increased! Just last Feb, I was going to ship my charger to the dealer and ship my new camaro back from SD and they only wanted $600 each way. Scary times!
 

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My 2.4L is due to be serviced for a low-coolant/coolant-leak on 10/19/21. It has 138K miles. We replaced the water pump around 110K.

By 11/01/21 I'll know how it all turned out. I'll follow up here.
 

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I would suggest to anyone buying one of these cars with around those miles to look as close as they can for a WP failure as it's most likely why the owner is looking to sell it. It's around a grand plus to get it fixed and I imagine most folks don't want to sink that much money into the car.
I guess my shop really loves me. I paid 200 in labor for the WP, plus 80 or so for a brand new ACDelco unit with no core/exchange fee. Granted they were there replacing tons of other stuff, but 200 extra for labor for the WP is an amazing price IMO.
 

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I guess my shop really loves me. I paid 200 in labor for the WP, plus 80 or so for a brand new ACDelco unit with no core/exchange fee. Granted they were there replacing tons of other stuff, but 200 extra for labor for the WP is an amazing price IMO.
If they were doing something like timing chains or something with the turbo, that is fairly reasonable as they are already in that neck of the woods anyway. I've heard of plenty of people who have had their WP replaced and decided to do their timing chains as well as it's a similar additional cost and it saves paying another grand or two down the road to replace those at a later date. If someone was having a shop do the work I would recommend having them do the WP/ timing change combo since it's a better value than just one without the other.
 
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