Let me first begin with my Dodge Dakota Sport. It had a busted head gasket and alot of other things. It always needed to have water filled into the radiator and the coolant because it leaked or something. It over heated once and the water was all over the inside of the hood. I remember the distinct smell of it. Now i have a 97 Pantiac Gran Prix, and recently i could smell the smell again. The other day i found a puddle under the car but couldent tell what it was leaking. It seems to run the same way but it worries me. Thats all the information that i have for now. If anyone has any idea at all what it might be, and how to fix it at home, that would be great. Thanks

The good news is that most water leaks are a lot simpler and cheaper to fix than a blown head gasket. On a 13-year-old car, there are several items that may have gotten old and started leaking, such as:

  • Radiator hose
  • Heater hose
  • water pump
  • water temperature sensor
  • thermostat housing

You really need to pop that hood and look around. It will be easiest to spot the leak if you do this while it is hot, right after you shut off the car.

It is not going to get better on its own, and a water leak can suddenly get really bad, leaving you stranded on the side of the road.

If it starts blowing steam as you drive, shut if off immediately, or you will have another blown head gasket (among other things).

Water pump at the top of my list.

Do you have a trusted mechanic to maintain this car?

These GM cars that require Dex-Cool have problems with head gaskets and intake gaskets after 60,000 to 100,000 miles, usually. The Dex-Cool reacts with the gaskets, causing them to fail eventually. Most people that have repaired these problems don’t use Dex-Cool anymore. If & when the failure occurs, water will leak out from between the intake and the head, which you’ll see on the ground or in the oil, or the symptoms of a blown head gasket will crop up. Not cheap to repair; hopefully you’ve just got a leaky water pump or hose.