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2006 Explorer Coolant Leak & Lower Radiator Hose Question

MotoDan

Member
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December 7, 2008
Messages
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City, State
Chesterfield, Missouri
Year, Model & Trim Level
'02 XLT
Hello all,

We have three Explorers in the family - 2002, 2003, and a 2006. I've done all of the maintenance to them since they were either new (2002) or since buying them used. I have noticed that the 2006 (200k miles) has been losing coolant. I'm familiar with the usual causes (thermo housing, radiator, etc) from the '02 that we've had since new. I can see a tell tale sign of a slight leak around the thermostat housing, but don't see the typical pooling of coolant in the valley between the heads. There are no obvious leaks around the hoses or underneath or inside the vehicle. While looking underneath, I noticed that the lower radiator hose has what feels like something inside it in several places. It's below freezing here today, but the truck was just in from being driven for an hour or so. I also have made sure to use 50/50 mix so I'm pretty sure the coolant is not freezing. Before I pull the hose off I thought I'd see anyone knew if the lower hose (OEM I think) has any non-kink devices inside or not. My '02 and /03 do not and the upper hose on the same vehicle does not have anything inside as noticed from squeezing it.

Thanks as always for any suggestions!
 



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07EddyB

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Bowling Green, KY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2007 Ford Explorer 4.6 V8
My 2007 had a wire in the lower radiator hose. The replacement I put in did not. Mine has been notorious for leaks that never hit the ground. Check your radiator thoroughly - you might have to take the top of the fan shroud off to get a good look. If it's leaking at the top then it might not make it to the ground.
 






Scott860

New Member
Joined
August 4, 2010
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City, State
Hartford, CT
Year, Model & Trim Level
'97 XLT
Hello all,

We have three Explorers in the family - 2002, 2003, and a 2006. I've done all of the maintenance to them since they were either new (2002) or since buying them used. I have noticed that the 2006 (200k miles) has been losing coolant. I'm familiar with the usual causes (thermo housing, radiator, etc) from the '02 that we've had since new. I can see a tell tale sign of a slight leak around the thermostat housing, but don't see the typical pooling of coolant in the valley between the heads. There are no obvious leaks around the hoses or underneath or inside the vehicle. While looking underneath, I noticed that the lower radiator hose has what feels like something inside it in several places. It's below freezing here today, but the truck was just in from being driven for an hour or so. I also have made sure to use 50/50 mix so I'm pretty sure the coolant is not freezing. Before I pull the hose off I thought I'd see anyone knew if the lower hose (OEM I think) has any non-kink devices inside or not. My '02 and /03 do not and the upper hose on the same vehicle does not have anything inside as noticed from squeezing it.

Thanks as always for any suggestions!
Just replaced the lower hose on my daughter’s 2007. It had a spiral wire in it. The radiator was leaking in two places, one high where the coolant dried before hitting the ground.

The spring-type hose clamp at the engine end was a bear to remove. Took a special clamp removal tool that could be snaked in there. Ugh. Took longer to replace that hose than the whole radiator.
 






Joined
January 24, 2012
Messages
291
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City, State
Levittown, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
All
Hello all,

We have three Explorers in the family - 2002, 2003, and a 2006. I've done all of the maintenance to them since they were either new (2002) or since buying them used. I have noticed that the 2006 (200k miles) has been losing coolant. I'm familiar with the usual causes (thermo housing, radiator, etc) from the '02 that we've had since new. I can see a tell tale sign of a slight leak around the thermostat housing, but don't see the typical pooling of coolant in the valley between the heads. There are no obvious leaks around the hoses or underneath or inside the vehicle. While looking underneath, I noticed that the lower radiator hose has what feels like something inside it in several places. It's below freezing here today, but the truck was just in from being driven for an hour or so. I also have made sure to use 50/50 mix so I'm pretty sure the coolant is not freezing. Before I pull the hose off I thought I'd see anyone knew if the lower hose (OEM I think) has any non-kink devices inside or not. My '02 and /03 do not and the upper hose on the same vehicle does not have anything inside as noticed from squeezing it.

Thanks as always for any suggestions!


If you need OE parts please let us know if we can help, We have discount codes available for forum members as well.

Thanks,
Benny
 






MotorCityFats13

Explorer Addict
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City, State
Flatrock MI
Year, Model & Trim Level
2007 Explorer XLT 4.0L
also if you have rear heat dont forget about the Y back there its the headache that alot of 4th gen owners have and overlook when dealing with a leak
 






07EddyB

Explorer Addict
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City, State
Bowling Green, KY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2007 Ford Explorer 4.6 V8
also if you have rear heat dont forget about the Y back there its the headache that alot of 4th gen owners have and overlook when dealing with a leak
Definitely look at the wye - it's on the right (passenger) side running along the valve cover and the exhaust manifold. Understand that whenever you plug a leak - another one pops up. It's the nature of the beast. When you plug a leak, the pressure increases on the cooling system thereby exposing the next weakest link in the chain. Fix that one, the next one goes. And so on until you've pretty much replaced everything.
 






Mitchs07explorer

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August 14, 2015
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Location
Idaho
City, State
Meridian, Idaho
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 XLT V8 AWD
07 XLT V6
I agree with @07EddyB to look behind your fan shroud at the top. My radiator started leaking last September on my 07 xlt 4.0 and no coolant was hitting the ground, I just happened to notice my expansion tank was empty after I took a road trip. I looked around my tstat housing as I’m on my 3rd one of those, I opted for the metal one this last time and it was all dry in the valley and around the housing. I was really scratching my head and concerned it might be the head gasket. After topping it off a second time a month later i noticed coolant dried on my fan and that’s when I looked behind my shroud and could see where it was leaking.

It finally started to just pour out and I changed the radiator out this last weekend. Really slow leak that never hit the ground for a long time though.
 






Havfun

Active Member
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May 27, 2012
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2010 Explorer EB
Yep, that's where mine was leaking also. It too was slow. I put in the cooling system dye and it lit up real nicely all along the top seam of the radiator making its way about 6 inches down before stopping; probably evaporating at that point from the radiator heat. Never hit the ground. The water pump also had a slow leak which i didn't see until i put the dye in. Replaced the pump and the radiator and all has been good till my 2nd thermostat housing started its version of a slow leak. It's a nice truck but it needs too much attention!
 






MotoDan

Member
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December 7, 2008
Messages
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City, State
Chesterfield, Missouri
Year, Model & Trim Level
'02 XLT
Thanks for the replies. The leak I was having finally revealed itself in a big way. Turns out that the smaller diameter "tee" heater hose that connects to the heater bypass valve finally broke at the plastic tee connection. It had been leaking for quite a while, but wasn't obvious because of it's location. The bypass valve (also plastic) broke apart when removing the hose. It was next to fail. Replaced the hose and bypass valve and no more leaks!
 






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