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How to Check for Cooling System Leaks in a Saturn VUE

by Contributor

To keep your Saturn VUE in top operating condition, performing routine checks for cooling system leaks is essential. In addition, any signs of a coolant level drop can also signal a potential leak. Watching your coolant level can save your Saturn VUE from overheating due to a lack of coolant. Inspecting for leaks requires no in-depth knowledge of auto mechanics; just follow a few simple steps.

Step 1

Move your Saturn VUE from its customary parking spot and check the ground for signs of leakage. Radiator coolant is usually green, orange, red or some other bright color, making it easy to spot. However, a lack of obvious ground leakage doesn't mean there isn't a leak present in the cooling system. The heat from the engine can vaporize the coolant before it ever hits the ground.

Step 2

Open the hood, grab a flashlight and check all visible areas of the radiator for leakage. Be sure to check the underside of the radiator for potential leaks. The underneath of the radiator can sustain damage from rock and road debris hitting the radiator during normal operation. Look for any discoloration and corrosion on all parts of the radiator.

Step 3

Inspect the hoses that transport the liquid in the cooling system. These include the upper and lower hoses that connect the radiator to the engine. The other hoses connect the radiator to the heater core behind the engine near the windshield.

Step 4

Examine these hoses for bulging, cracking and splitting, and then check these area for signs of a coolant leak. Be sure to inspect the place where each of the hoses connects to the main auto parts. These connections can become loose due to engine vibration.

Step 5

Check the water pump and gasket seal of the Saturn VUE. The water pump is behind the engine fan and the gasket seal connects the water pump to the engine block. Check for any signs of corrosion, discoloration and fresh coolant leaks.

Step 6

Remove the radiator cap and fill the radiator with fresh coolant until it's within an inch from overflowing. Be extremely careful when opening the radiator as the internal pressure can cause it to erupt and burn anyone nearby. Never open a hot or even warm radiator.

Start the Saturn VUE and turn the heater on high. Allow it to run for about 15 minutes before shutting the engine off. Then, inspect all the auto parts from the previous steps for leaks. If you still can't find a leak, then it's most likely an internal problem and you'll need to consult a cooling system specialist for further assistance.


  • Wear gloves and long-sleeved shirt to protect your skin when working with coolant.


  • Be very careful with engine coolant as it's toxic to people and animals.

Items you will need

  • Flashlight
  • Coolant
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Gloves

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