99 Alero slow coolant leak


solidussolidus
12-28-2010, 06:04 PM
Greetings,

I am new here - trying to figure out a plan of action for a slow coolant leak in my mom's 99 Alero. It may well be the infamous gasket, but not positive. And I would rather not write a big check if something else might fix. For example, one thing that concerns me is that I am not certain her gas station oil change guy has always used dex-cool.

Symptoms:
occasional smell of coolant
every so often the low coolant light will flash on; topping it off seems to keep it going for six months or so
approx. 60,000 miles

To add to the problem, she lives in a small town and there is not any good choice for service other than the local dealer.

So I guess I have two questions:

1) What should be my plan of attach, to diagnose the problem - pre-dealer?

2) How critical is it to get fixed? If it is a gasket, could it blow unexpectedly? Other concerns?

I really appreciate any and all assistance. I am out of my comfort zone here.

Many thanks,
solidussolidus

kingcamus
01-11-2011, 08:18 AM
well if your head gasket was gone youd have white smoke from the exhaust and/or oil in coolant or coolant in the oil....so you can check those things....id start by checking the hoses and clamps

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