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1997 5.0 Mountaineer. Water reserve tank is always low.

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by heavymetal2, July 17, 2011.

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    1. heavymetal2

      heavymetal2 New Member

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      MOUNTAINEER 97 5.0 V8
      Hey guys i need help on my 1997 5.0 mercury mountaineer i need info on my water reserve going empty? 2 month ago i filled the water reserve with clear Antifreeze 50/50 already made when you buy it from the store.my temp gauge start to go up once at a stop sign and when i drive the temp gauge goes down.it does this almost everyday.i thought just a bad sencer! i checked the water reserve it was on the bottom that was 2 month when i filled it.i live in area where it was 98 to 100 degree everyday does the 50/50 clear Antifreeze evaporate during the hot weather? there no leak or white smoke and no smell of antifreeze. any information would help. thanks:usa:
       
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    3. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Your thread was moved into the stock 95-01 section. You might have a leaking radiator cap or a leak in the system. Check the radiator cap, and connect a cooling system pressure tester onto the system to locate the source of the leak.
       
    4. redefine420

      redefine420 New Member

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      I have the same problem with my astro van. The reserve will stay at a constant low level. A couple years ago I filled the reserve to the very top, sealed it up and let it run. After a few minutes I found a tiny leak at the top of the radiator. I tried a couple of putty fixes but they didn't hold. Its been that way for 50,000 miles now, never overheated. I've decided to leave it alone and keep an eye on it. I wouldn't recommend this method, especially if you like your ride. I can't seem to kill the astro though.

      I never understood the pre diluted anti freeze mixes. Aren't you paying the same amount for half the antifreeze?
       
    5. budwich

      budwich Well-Known Member

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      you likely have some form of issue... hopefully not too bad. As suggested, a pressure test will confirm the "sanity" of your cooling system. You can also try some dye in the system and then wait a bit, then check for the "obvious stain" left behind. My guess, it is unlikely to be evaporation... :-(
       
    6. mtnlovrs

      mtnlovrs Member

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      I know you said no white smoke or smell, but I've seen this before - exactly as you described. You probably have a leaking head gasket, or even worse, a cracked head where the coolant is leaking into the combustion chamber and being burned. When it is a very small leak, you may not be able to smell or see it in the exhaust. This will cause the problem you have with the temperature going up when stopped (less air flow) because hot combustion gases are injecting air into the cooling system making it less effective to cool the engine. When the the vehicle is moving, there is more air flow, therefore, better cooling.
      To eliminate possibilities though, look at the bottom of your water pump and see if there are any white or green deposits near the weep hole. This would indicate a failed seal in the water pump. Also, check your radiator and all hoses for leaks and deposits. Look all the way around both heads for external leaks and deposits, as well. Remove your spark plugs and look for white deposits on the plugs. Lastly, look underneath the dash on the passenger side and check for wet carpet or a sweet smell.
       
    7. heavymetal2

      heavymetal2 New Member

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      I hope not it's not the head gasket! last time i check Radiator it had antifreeze it was to the top and it was this year on middle of feb,2011. 2 month ago i add some antifreeze into the reserve tank on the the max line.it was low.i Like i said on my first post the temp gauge acting up.i finely check under the hood the reserve was almost empty. i filled and my wife drives the suv she say the temp gauge has not went up its normal. She tells me on the phone when she parked the mountaineer on the drive side front engine right under the left side of the radiator there is a small leak dripping no where near the engine block. there is a radiator hose on the bottom on the radiator.i checked does not look it.s coming from there not sure its dripping on the corner of the radiator i can't see because the plastic shield under the radiator. The radiator is Brand new install 2 years ago. does any one know where the drain plug is on the right side or left.maybe it is open. the drip[ping stops after couple minutes when suv is parked. i never notice any big puddle of antifreeze on the floor. I let my wife take it to get the oil change every 2 month i assumed the tech guys will notice it let us know about.it might of happen after. i can see the small drip coming from the left side bottom of the radiator.i can't point out where is it coming from either the bottom left hose or the radiator or maybe the drain plug? any advise thanks all you guys reading my post and answering back. iT'S HARD FOR MY FAMILY SINCE I LOST HOURS AT MY JOB AND MY WIFE WORKING FULL TIME AND THE FUNDS ARE LIMITED FOR US TO SPEND TAKING IT IN THE SHOP FOR REPAIR AND MAYBE I COULD FIX IT MYSELF SAVES ME MONEY.
       
      Last edited: July 19, 2011
    8. budwich

      budwich Well-Known Member

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      ???? but that's how the system works... it "sucks" fluid out of your overflow tank when the rad "needs" to be "topped up".... so until your overflow tank is empty, your rad will always "show full". Leave your over flow tank empty and check back on your rad in a "month or two".... my bet is that you will have a "slightly less than full rad"... :-(
       
    9. mtnlovrs

      mtnlovrs Member

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      Yes, I have to agree with budwich. I'm sorry, but if I'm right about the head gasket, then you will most likely see anti-freeze underneath the vehicle below the overflow tank or right front corner of the engine compartment. When the combustion gases inject air into your cooling system, it also pressurizes it and forces coolant out the overflow of the coolant tank. When you shut off the engine, the coolant will be sucked back into the radiator and empty the coolant tank.
      By the way, the drain plug is on the lower right corner of the radiator near the lower radiator hose. I do hope you're right and it's just a leaking drain plug... good luck to you.;)
       

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