Minor Coolant Leak - help ID this part? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Minor Coolant Leak - help ID this part?


New Member
September 10, 2018
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 Explorer XLT 4.0
Howdy ya'll,

My 1996 Explorer 4.0 XLT has a minor coolant leak coming from the passenger side of the engine compartment. I have looked on numerous parts sites and diagrams and I can't find the part number/name where it's leaking from. I've searched through other coolant leak threads here on the forum as well as parts lists on multiple websites and random part diagrams that come up in an images search. The part in question appears to be a sensor or valve junction point with multiple coolant hoses coming into it. I believe the plastic body of the part is cracked and it's letting coolant out. It only leaks when the engine is running.

It would be awesome if you guys could help me ID the part and let me know of anything to be cautious of when replacing it (the only thing I can think of right now is introducing air into the coolant system, which I assume will work itself out eventually).

Here you can see the coolant leaking:

From the front:

From the side:


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Looks like heater control valve (that’s what I call it)

It flows hot coolant to the heater core for interior heat.

Yep. Heater control valve. They leak when they go bad. Not an expensive part. It allows or prevents hot water from entering the heater core.

I went throught three of these in four years before I got the one with the lifetime warrnty. When you repplace it, be sure to keep the box and the recipt in case is faults (leaks) again.

Mine was doing the same. I replaced it with a Motorcraft part since it's not much more at all to do so. Only six months in, but holding well thus far, hopefully I'll get another two decades out of it like the stock one.