98 Nissan Maxima Losing Cooland and Overheating

Dave’s question:

My 98 Maxima is losing coolant and overheating, but I can’t see it leaking anywhere. What could it be?


Since you can’t see it dripping anywhere, it’s one of two things. Either the head gasket is starting to blow and it’s burning the coolant (in which case white smoke will eventually come pouring out the exhaust pipe just like steam from a boiling kettle); OR your water pump is going out. On those Nissans the water pump is chain driven and is inside the engine where you can’t see it. If the pump is leaking, the coolant will get into the engine oil. So check your engine oil for water in the oil. If this is the case, stop driving it immediately and have the water pump replaced and flush the engine oil out and put new oil and a new filter in it. Let’s hope it’s the water pump, because a blown head gasket on those Maximas is a REALLY expensive job.

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