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Cooling system crisis: radiator & manifold

2 weeks ago i bought a new radiator (there was leakage). today the hose outlet of the intake manifold started spewing coolant. the mechanic (same one who put in new radiator) told me i needed a new intake manifold BUT that this might be a symptom of an engine problem, e.g. gasket head. a new manifold, used, plus labor, will cost about $500. should i gamble and get the manifold and risk spending even more money on the engine OR chuck the saturn? get a vespa??? money is an issue.

I’m not familiar with Saturns but normally there is a thermostat housing that bolts to the manifold and the hose clamps to the housing. It is pretty easy to not get the O ring to properly seal and get a leak. I would want to make sure where exactly the leak is and if it is a crack in the manifold, the connection between the housing and manifold or where. Also, they should be able to use a sniffer to see if there are combustion gases in the radiator and that would tell you if you have a potential head gasket leak. I think you may need a second opinion on this or at least a very clear explanation of where the leak is. If there was a head gasket problem pressurising the radiator, that could have caused the leak in the first place and the guy should have at least said something before the work was done. I’d have to defer to someone else here but I never like doing major engine work like that. Just never seems to work out and last.

I know this is a late reply but hopefully someone will find this useful. This is a very common problem on 2000-2002 Saturn S-Series (SL2, SC2 &SW2). The intake manifold is made of plastic and the coolant stem(s) fail all the time. The problem with replacing it with a new or used one is that it can break in the exact same spot eventually.
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