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Mysterious coolant leak

MikeC99017

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Denver, CO
Year, Model & Trim Level
02 Explorer Eddie Bauer
I have an 02 Eddie Bauer with 85 K miles. About a week ago, I noticed a stain on my driveway that looked and smelled like coolant, and the coolant level was low. I topped off the coolant, and today I noticed that the level was down again. I don't have any obvious leaks, and the last time I had a vehicle that was doing this it was the water pump, but that was a VW Jetta. Has anyone had a similar experience? Does anyone know when Ford recommends waterpump replacement? It's been my experience that parts usually fail around the time the manufacturer recommends they be replaced. My old Jetta recommended a new timing belt when the water pump is replaced. Is that a good idea with the Explorer as well? I'm not even sure how to diagnose a faulty water pump. Any suggestions, ideas or wisdom will be much appreciated. Thanks.
 


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Exproblems

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'05 Explorer XLT 4.0L
I have an 02 Eddie Bauer with 85 K miles. About a week ago, I noticed a stain on my driveway that looked and smelled like coolant, and the coolant level was low. I topped off the coolant, and today I noticed that the level was down again. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>? Does anyone know when Ford recommends waterpump replacement? It's been my experience that parts usually fail around the time the manufacturer recommends they be replaced. >>>>>>>>>>My old Jetta recommended a new timing belt when the water pump is replaced. Is that a good idea with the Explorer as well? I'm not even sure how to diagnose a faulty water pump. Any suggestions, ideas or wisdom will be much appreciated. Thanks.

Don't know if you have the V-8 or V-6 engine, but on the V-6's, there is a plastic t-stat housing that tends to split at the seam lines and slowly starts to leak coolant. I just replaced mine in May and it took months before it leaked enough to hit the ground and leave a stain in my driveway. If you have the V-6, check behind the t-stat housing and look for a greenish crud or a coolant puddle buildup on top of the intake manifold. You said you saw coolant on the ground so it's leaking from some where.
On the water pump, don't always believe what the manufacturer says when it comes to certain parts. I've had water pumps last forever, life of the car. Good/proper coolant and water mix and regular coolant changes can help extend the life of a water pump. The coolant/anti-freeze is what lubricates a water pump. When water pumps go bad, it's usually the "bearings" inside that go and they start to leak coolant out of the "weep hole". Not exactly sure where the weep hole is on these Explorer water pumps, but on other vehicles I've owned, they are usually on the bottom side of the pump. You can check the fan shaft coming out of the pump for a "wobble". If it wobbles, usually means the bearings are going bad inside the pump. The mounting gasket to the engine block can also get a leak in it and loose coolant from there.
Explorers have "timing chains" not belts inside their engines and the thing to worry most about them is the "timing chain cassettes or guides" which are made of plastic and they can get brittle and break apart causing havoc inside the engine. Don't replace the timing chain unless you absolutely need to or you just feel like throwing money away.
 




MikeC99017

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Great information. Thanks, Guys.
 




MikeC99017

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Quick note...I got underneath it today, and the coolant is coming from somewhere at the back of the engine compartment. The crank shaft to the front wheels had coolant all over it, as did the parts above it. After reading the post above about the intake manifold, I'm thinking that is probably the problem. I'm not losing coolant that fast, so it has to be a small hole. Hopefully it's just a gasket. At least I have a better idea of where to start, because I no longer think it's the water pump. Thanks for the help.
 




MikeC99017

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Sorry, it's the V8.
 




HiImBrian

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2003 Explorer Eddie Bauer
The return for the water pump is underneath the intake manifold and just presses on. I had a small leak there that drove me nuts for quite a while. Had me confused because it drains down the center of the block and out a hole in the back above the transmission. I was looking in the wrong spot for months.
 




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