Coolant leak problem | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Coolant leak problem


New Member
August 18, 2014
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 Ford Explorer
Hi im new here, and pretty much a newbie at learning about cars. But I just had a coolant leak pop out of no where. So let me being.

I drove my 97' Ford explorer 5.0L V8 2 hours up to my dads house. The next day we were changing my oil where we noticed coolant dripping very slowly from the bottom of the car. We figured i was just a slow leak and just put more coolant in (this was on a Saturday). Sunday i leave and 5-10 minutes into the ride my coolant temperature gage rises to the max. I pull over, the coolant reservoir was still filled with coolant, i check the oil that was fine. So the car cooled and i started driving again then the same thing happened again about 30 minutes after the first time. i let it cool and went on my way again and made it home with no problem which was a 1 hour and 30 minute drive. I figured the problem was a sticky thermostat and I'm going to replace that. But now there's a new problem. Today, the day after i got home, i opened my hood and noticed the coolant in the reservoir dropped a lot, only a little puddle left and the radiator wasn't filled. Now my question is where did most of my coolant go from the point i left my Dad's to when i got home, note that there was no puddle or evidence of coolant under my car today in front of my house so it didnt leak overnight, and i drove 2 hours home yesterday. I got my neighbor who was an ex-mechanic for Sears, came over. We refilled the reservoir and radiator, had a funnel in the neck of the radiator, ran the car for 10 minutes. within those 10 minutes there were no leaks from the bottom of the car, the funnel was filling up with coolant, which it was supposed to. everything was working the way they should be. now at this point the car is making me look crazy. I even drove it today around the block and it was driving fine! Can anyone help me out?

A common leak point is on the side of the radiator on the passenger side where the plastic and aluminum are connected. The next time you see a puddle trace it back carefully to see where it is coming from.