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Losing Antifreeze - No puddle?!?

Discussion in '2007 - 2010 Explorer Sport Trac' started by 94Mustang, August 30, 2010.

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    1. 94Mustang

      94Mustang New Member

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      Has anyone had any issues with their truck using antifreeze?

      My truck is consistently losing antifreeze but it doesn't leave a puddle, and after a thorough inspection, I can't seem to find any evidence of a leak under the hood (though admitedly it isn't easy to see in the crowded 4.6 engine bay).

      Couple of other points of interest:

      I can smell antifreeze outside of the truck and through the air vents after the truck warms up.

      No white smoke, or any indication of a head gasket being blown.

      Any ideas??
       
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    3. GreenMando

      GreenMando Active Member

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      Bad heater core or blown head gasket.
      Look under the floor mats and see if wet.
       
    4. BigV

      BigV Active Member

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      There are only 3 possibilities 1. it is in the engine oil (not good) 2. it's getting burned up in the cylinders 3. heater core went check to see if it's wet under the carpet. The only other thing is a very small leak but you should be able to see it at idle when the engine is hot.
       
    5. mr300s

      mr300s New Member

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      Thats what I was going to say check your dip stick and make sure its not over full or has any white to it. If so not good news. Check rug and see if it feels wet (heater core leaking)

      You could have a pressure test done and that should show where the leak is.
       
    6. 94Mustang

      94Mustang New Member

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      Good stuff guys, so here's some more data....

      1) I've changed the oil since the the issue has been occuring, normal.. no signs of antifreeze.

      2) Could still be burning up in the cylinder, but I smell it (which leads me to beleive its more of a hidden leak, and no smoke indicating it might be burning fluid.

      3) Good thought on the heater core... our 2010 sport trac limited doesn't have carpet... which may actually be hiding the interior leak where a wet carpet may have revealed itself.... so I'll poke around and see if I see anything and get back to you.
       
    7. mr300s

      mr300s New Member

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      although not a big fan of it there is a silver power stop leak that I used many years ago that worked great back in the good old days. LOL

      As a last resort maybe try a tube of this I can remember fixing a smaller pin hole leak on a heater core once and I had a 10 wheel dump truck that had a pin hole leak and watched it stop after I put the powder in the radiator and it lasted many years and was still holding when I sold the truck.....

      I am pretty sure it was this
      [​IMG]
       
    8. GreenMando

      GreenMando Active Member

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      They still have a thick padded rubber mat thou.
       
    9. JohnnyO

      JohnnyO Moderator Emeritus

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      My wife's Taurus is leaking at the timing cover right onto the exhaust pipe, so you can smell it but not see it. Just a thought.
       
    10. 10uhcST

      10uhcST New Member

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      I have an 07 V6, the radiator developed a small crack/leak on the side and was replaced under warranty. I have also had the water pump replaced earlier this year as it was leaking where the fan unit attaches. I noticed the overflow tank losing fluid, but no puddles on the garage floor. I found some white residue on the bottom hose at the water pump, and the mechanic indicated a new water pump was needed. I could also see the white residue at different points all over the water pump, so new water pump. No leaks, or losing antifreeze since.
       
    11. jdthrawn

      jdthrawn New Member

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      94Mustang Results

      Hey 94Mustang,

      I have same issues with 03 Expedition. Did you find anything conclusive?

      Puzzled:rolleyes:
       
    12. PJS

      PJS New Member

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      yeah... My 2007 sport trac does the same thing looks like right behind the thermostat its puddling up on top of the engine... not sure where its leaking yet
       
    13. swetrid

      swetrid Well-Known Member

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      If it is a V6, the common leaks are the overflow tank, radiator and thermostat housing.
       
    14. dsblk93gt

      dsblk93gt New Member

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      If everything else checks out, get a test kit to check for hydrocarbons in the coolant system. Alot of the time when a headgasket is bad it won't always have tell tail signs. You may also smell the exhaust fumes in the coolant, I had this happen on one of my Mustangs before. This is a last resort if everything checks out ok and you have no leaks.
       
    15. eppd00

      eppd00 Active Member

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      eppd 00

      Here is another possibility if it's a 4.6. The intakes on the early 4.6 was all aluminum. They changed them to plastic around 1996. Ford had a major issue with the plastic intake manifolds cracking behind the thermostat housing(found this fiasco with my fleet of Crown Vics(police cars). Their fix was an aluminum addition to the front of the intake, which is similar to the intake on my 08 ST. I know there is a difference between the 2v and the 3v intake but it could be your problem.
       
    16. 2TimingTom

      2TimingTom Well-Known Member

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      Does the 4.6L use a normal style radiator cap? If so, check that as well. On my 4.0L, I was losing coolant- but not into the oil or into a puddle. The seal on my radiator cap was bad. Replaced with a new one and no more leaking coolant.
       
    17. BillyK1

      BillyK1 New Member

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      Guys, I'm having the same problem with my 2002 Ranger 4.0L with 157,000 miles on it, but this vehicles is well maintained. About every two week, I'm adding the usual 6 oz. or so of coolant (disappearing for the pass two months now). I finally mixed in Bar's Gasket Stop Leak in the radiator, because I'm tired monitoring that coolant level. The truck doesn't exhaust that white smoke a 007 car (the tailpipe is like new with not residue), and there's no trace of leakage anywhere I park. But, I once had a head gasket leak on one of my vehicle in the past, that blew white smoke the first thing every morning, until I mixed the old type NAPA Stop leak additive in the radiator - I ran that car for years beyond that, and traded the car in. I had another car that had another head gasket leak and the tell-tell sign on it was gas bubbles coming from the radiator via radiator cap to the coolant reservoir. That combustion gas had cascade to the coolant system via the radiator cap set pressure to the reservoir after shutting the vehicle off. That's one tell-tell sign, but I wasn't even getting that indication with this 2002 Ranger's scenario. That PCV valve design at the end of the valve cover (Driver's side) is suspect to me now, it has that coolant line associated with it???? I'm looking at all the possibilities, like what about that transmission cooler in the radiator. My motor oil is okay, that level is consistent, and the color and smell is alright, but I haven't checked that transmission fluid (Transmission cooling lines tied into the radiator) ... Is that a possibility???? Thanks, for accepting my input. Bill
       
    18. swshawaii

      swshawaii Explorer Addict

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      ^
      How To Replace the Upper and Lower Thermostat Housing on a Ford 4.0L V6 SOHC
      http://bengrosser.com/howto/fordthermostat/

      If not, rent a cooling system pressure test kit from most auto parts stores with a fully refundable deposit. Call around.
       
    19. pawseyte

      pawseyte New Member

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      2 times I had the same symptoms. Could smell the anti freeze but no puddles. I was also losing anti freeze. Well the 1st time it was the radiator leaking. The 2nd time it was the lower thermostat housing. Hope this helps.
       
    20. BillyK1

      BillyK1 New Member

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      Okay, a couple things: My friend, a mechanic in the business for 50 years, told me NOT to put a pressure tester on this old 2002 Ranger because it may cause something else to blow out, like the heater core, gasket, or whatever at that higher pressure. He said with this baby coolant leak to continue to add that small amount of coolant to the reservoir. I checked the floor in the cab in case the heater core was leaking - Nothing. I checked the thermostat housing and that general vicinity - no leaks. Now, someone mentioned it will leak more in the colder weather, maybe making it more obvious so a repair can be made. I guess I'll wait until the colder weather ... I mean I don't see any changes to the oil level or color, and the truck runs cool as always. I did the Bars Leak additive thing weeks ago to the radiator, but the coolant level continues to disappear, so I'll thinking my leak isn't internal (head gasket). So, I'll wait for the obvious or if someone comes up with something more tangible. I mean I'm watching this truck like a hawk, but the wife is saying, "Sell! Sell! Sell!".
       
    21. eds01lightning

      eds01lightning New Member

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      On my 08 ST V8 there was a coolant leak that progressively got worse. Turned out to be the heater hose which runs under the intake back to the heater core. When the leak was minor the smell of coolant was obvious but no evidence of a leak as the hot engine would evaporate the coolant that leaked onto the block. As the leak got worse a puddle developed from the back of the engine. I had the dealer replace the line in which case the intake manifold had to be removed..cost about $1500. total. Here is another way to do it without replacing the manifold....

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPTPL6lVuFM
       
    22. BillyK1

      BillyK1 New Member

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      A possible Heater Hose Leak, a great tip. I'll have to check that out. I viewed the suggested youtube clip how the guy rerouted that heater hose, and I like how he saved his customer hundreds. My Ford Ranger is scheduled to go on my friend's garage lift on Tuesday for new fog lamps assemblies anyway, so we'll check it out. I wish there was a high-point bleed on the ford rangers's coolant system to eliminate air pockets, and a better place to put that PCV Valve instead of being located near the firewall at the back of that driver's side plastic valve cover. If you crack that PCV port (has coolant tubing line passing around that PCV) like a mechanic once did on my truck, it will cost hundreds to replace that plastic valve cover to stop that oil leak at the rear of the engine. It wasn't the rear engine oil seal like we first thought.
       
    23. BillyK1

      BillyK1 New Member

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      Hi there, Finally something tangible had showed up while we put my truck on my 73 year old friend's (Vince) garage lift to install new replacement fog lamps. He's selective on what jobs he does now. Anyway, we notice some green stuff/Coolant coming from the water pump dripping onto the cross member. Yep, something showed up alright but for my 02 Ford Ranger with a 4.0L Motor the repair bill will be $300 ... along with some peace of mind. The best new water pump will go into this truck (not rebuilt) according to the mechanic doing the job, Mark, who owns a Ford Ranger and he recommends it. I agree.
       
    24. pieCrust88

      pieCrust88 New Member

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      I was also having a issue with losing antifreeze. And still am. My head gasket is fine. Not the heater coil. But I've replaced the thermostat and bottom part of the housing. everything was put back correctly to my knowledge. And it's still leaking from between the top and bottom part of thermostat housing. Idk how to fix this problem. My 2000 explorer xlt has 4.0 sohc v6. The other day it was hot enough after driving in the rain that it was steaming the water off the hood like it was on fire. It wasn't lol. Any help would be awesome
       
    25. marcoslnobrega

      marcoslnobrega New Member

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      Mine went to the transmission, ranger 2006, $2500 problem
       
    26. CAtoFLin1994

      CAtoFLin1994 Member

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      I have a 2008 4.0 with 96k miles. I have replaced 2 thermostat housings and just put in a new factory radiator (our 2nd one). The thermostat housing leaks would boil off the engine and leave no evidence, you could smell it, but where the heck is it? The bottom O-ring was the usual culprit. I ordered both a factory and on off brand housing (Dorman?) and it came with a smaller diameter O-ring than the factory. Although they say not to, my mechanic would put a bit of gasket sealer on it to help seal. Once I went with a bigger O-ring I never put a drop of sealer on it. I have replaced all the hoses, the water pump, over flow tank (there is a TSB about these leaking) and just put in for the second time a new radiator. Every time I had issues, I would notice coolant loss but it was never right in front of my face, I always had to dig to find the culprit. Just be careful if you use products like Bars-Leak and you plan on keeping the car, you tube it and you will find out why.
       
      Last edited: December 31, 2017

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