My Sentra has lost a little coolant on a regular basis, I believe
through a pinhole in the heater core. However, the last time I checked
the coolant, it was down quite a bit (where the reservoir was empty).
I am also seeing a wet spot under the car near the front passenger side
I topped off the coolant about two weeks ago, and have only driven
20-40 miles since then, and it's down about two inches in the reservoir
again. I can smell coolant when I open the hood.
It's not quite into "crawl under the car" weather here in Upstate NY,
so I haven't done an exhaustive search for the leak. Still, even though
the hoses are old (factory), I'm guessing it's the water pump.
I have not had good luck changing things on the engine on this car. The
bolts seem to break (yes, I am careful and used to working on older
engines) and I don't fancy changing the water pump. The car is rusted
out, has 179K on it, and I have another car anyhow. I'm just getting the
"free" miles out of this car as a beater.
1. Any obvious other causes for the coolant leak?
2. How hard is it to change the pump (looks like a pain from the manual,
made worse by the age of the car)?
3. What is the prognosis if the pump is leaking? Will it just leak for
the next 10K mi? or will it get worse rapidly? I have AAA, I have
another car I can use for any long trips, can I just live with the leak
until the registration runs out in Sept when I plan on ending my
relationship with this car. I drive....about 20 miles a week.....maybe.
Thanks for any advice.