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Coolant Problems


July 5, 2005
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 Eddie
My 93 explr. is losing coolant somewhere. It looks like the block is a little wet right in front of the starter, but no major signs of leaking. I lose about a gallon every couple of months. I also noticed the other day that my heater does not blow warm air. It is just blowing air the same as the outside. When the heat is on the temp gauge drops, but when running the air it pulls up to about a quarter until i sit in traffic in the AR Heat. I have taken it to two dealers here and they cant find a problem. The thermastat and radiator cap where both replaced just in case. Still have the same problem.
All help is appreciated.


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A leaking freeze plug maybe?

Its not a freeze plug, at least i cant see that one is leaking. I just wonder why I dont have any hot air blowing from the heater on cool mornings? Is their a valve or something that could be losing antifreeze, or is my water pump going out and not circulating water?

if the water pump were shot, the truck would overheat in minutes.....

On some fords there is a valve just before the firewall where the heater hoses go in that get stuck or rusted. I have seen those stop the heater from working. My friend just bought a 99 f-150 that had this problem.

I don't know what the leak might be.

Sounds like it is time to get some dye and a radiator pressure tester.

put some dye in the coolant, clean off the the engine (so you can see the dye).. Get a pressure tester (Autozone and other parts store should rent them). Keep the pressure up around 16psi for a while then use a black light and find where it is coming out.

If it is really coming from the engine somewhere (drivers side) you should find it.. If you can't find it, it is possible you have a bad (plugged) heater core that is also leaking (slightly).. If so, you will find the dye in the heater core box.


had the same problem and it was a frost plug, the frost plug had a pin hole in it and would not leak till the engine cooled a bit, check the frost plug farthest from the starter on the drivers side of the block , be presistant with this it is a bugger to find , lots of light and possible a mirror.

Feel the two hoses going into and out of the heater core. They both should be hot with the inlet one being a little hotter. If not then the water is not circulating thru the heater core. If not circulating thru the heater core then it could be a control valve or a pluged heater core. If none of these hoses are hot then you have a problem before the heater core.
If your antifreeze is low you will not get much heat.

I will have to wait until monday to try all these ideas. I appreciate all the help. I just graduated with a mechanical engineering degree and i cant find a simple water leak. Thanks again

matts93Eddie said:
I will have to wait until monday to try all these ideas. I appreciate all the help. I just graduated with a mechanical engineering degree and i cant find a simple water leak. Thanks again
Sometimes with a small coolant leak it will evaporate as it is leaking and that makes it hard to find without presure testing.
LOL! It could have been worse! You could have been one of the engineers that worked on the Boston tunnel that has a million leaks!
Good luck! You now have a great future ahead of you with your new degree.

I felt of the heater hoses, they never got hot. Actually the temp gauge never moved off of cold. I usually doesnt warm up, unless i am late for work and driving pretty hard. could this be some of the problem. The themastat was replaced last summer to stop it from over heating, not it will not get warm.

It sounds to me that you have a faulty themostat, thermostats have a fail safe in them if it fails it stays fully open, this would cause you engine to run cool as the thermostat never closes letting the coolant temp to raise, is you truck burning more gas than normal because if the engine will not reach a certain temp it will run rich with fuel . I have bought thermostats in the past and they have failed within days of putting them in.

One thought about the missing coolant. It is possible for the leak to be internal. It's quite common for the lower intake manifold gasket on these 4.0's to leak causing a variety of symptoms (slow coolant and/or oil leak into the cylinders - most prevalent around cylinder #5, pinging). I torque the lower intake bolts periodically as a matter of preventive maintenance. If you fail to find an external leak, you might consider this possibility.

So i thought that if the lower intake manifold gasket was leaking i would have some foam on the dip stick or under the cap. I dont know? I can see coolant on top of the front motor mount. I just dont know where it is coming from. One guy mentioned a freeze plug, is there one in that area?
I just want to thank everybody for their help. I really like my explorer and would like to keep it as a toy. Just need a job now.

I would like to know if anybody has had a problem with their temp gauge fluctuating. I am starting to think it is not working properly. When driving down the road it will move up to about a quarter on the gauge, it then drops when i come to a stop. As I drive it climbs slowly and then will drop. It does this constantly.
Thanks for any info