antifreeze leak | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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antifreeze leak


Well-Known Member
October 13, 2004
Reaction score
City, State
hillsborough, nj
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 sport
ive been noticing for a few weeks now that my antifreeze levels have always been low and i end up dumping more of it in there every weekend. i have never noticed any puddles or trails which makes me confused. i just had a 4 inch lift kit installed today and when he took it out for a ride and came back there was a trail and a little puddle. would anyone know anything where the leak might be since we r unable to find it or any info at all?

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I had a similar problem (mysterious loss of coolant) with my 98 SOHC. Found a small leak in one of the heater hoses that attach to the firewall. The antifreeze appeared to be vaporizing when it hit the hot exhaust manifold. If the same thing is happening to you check the top of the manifold for residue. If you wind up replacing the heater hoses, don't reuse the stock Ford pinch type hose clamps. I made this mistake and the leak continued until I replaced the clamp with a screw type.



I've been chasing anti-freeze leaks off and on for several years ('95).

My usual suspects: heater control valve (twice), lower intake manifold gaskets (once), split in heater core inlet (once - JB weld), and hose connections (3-4).

I put all new heater hoses with clamps and a heater control valve last week for a visible leak before a trip from Denver to Ft. Worth and it is still losing fluid! (Did the heater core inlet a month ago. Every time I track one down another appears.)

The first step is to get a good flashlight and inspection mirror to look for leaks around the lower manifold, all hoses, the heater core inlet tubes and the heater control valve. Get under the vehicle and look up if possible.Anti-freeze smell inside indicates a heater core.

Right now I have no visible leaks but am still losing anti-freeze. I'm begining to think head gasket but don't want to admit it. Looking for secondaries.

Good luck. If I find any new ones, I'll pass them along.

MadMike6786 said:
how much does something like this cost to get fixed

:confused: depends on where the leak my case only a few $'s for a few feet of generic heater hose and clamps at pepboys.

Check to see if one of your local auto store have a chemical that glows for the anti-freeze system to find leaks. You add it to your anti-freeze and let your X run for alittle and just look around. Some types do need a UV light to see it glow but some don't.

it was dropped off at sts and they did a pressure test on it and it was holding pressure like it should be they checked the hoses by the firewall and in other places to... hopefully they find whats up

Whatever you do, don't put stop leak in it!! It does more harm than good...

Have you check your oil? Leaky head gasket will raise the temp and leave milky stuff on the bottom of the oil pan. I would first check the heater core and the water pump before I tear the head gasket off, it could be something simple as a $20 heater core.

Just want to add to the comment on the'd be surprise how many automobiles from the factory with stop leak in them.Heck GM even has a part number for stopleak with is actually bars stopleak pellets!!

My 95 Sport was leaking antifreeze in a slow rate . It would be low in a week or so without visable evidence . I finally was checking around and found crusted anitfreeze on the heater control valve . The valve itself was leaking and dripping down onto the exhaust manifold and burning up .
Replaced the valve with a auto parts store version for like 20 bucks and the problem went away .
That was 85,000 miles ago :)

Yup... my 96 that I just bought had the same problem and solution, the heater control valve. Tough to fine as the exhaust manifold was "hiding" the evidence before it would show up on the ground.

mine 98 SOHC does this visible leak my antifreeze is gone once a week n i fill it to the cold fill line.

I have been chasing the same problem for the past 2 motors. Looking at my radiator, I noticed a tiny steam leak where the plastic side meets the aluminum core on the passenger side. I never would have seen it if I hadnt been look at some wire close to it. Judging by the leak, it would most likely take a while to notice a difference in preasure. I probably wouldnt have noticed it but my glasses are so strong I can see into the future :confused:

I found where mine is coming form when I got under the car to change the foglights....driver side right where the clamp holds the radiator hose there is a lil pool of antifreeze...i'll have to replace that soon.