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New to Ford / Explorer world -- need help

Kolt Royce

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2013 Ford Explorer XLT
Just recently purchased a 2013 XLT 4WD. 3.5, coming from a 10 year old Pilot.
When I picked it up 4 months ago it wouldn't put out heat unless I was driving on the interstate.
(I didn't know until recently how to find the coolant temp gauge in the screen)
I checked the coolant reservoir and it was low, about 2/3 empty.
Took it back to the dealer, they added a pint of coolant.
FW to last week. Just doing regular checks and noticed the coolant was below the low mark again.

Anything I should be aware of on this vehicle before I take it to the dealer?
I don't smell anything, Carpet isn't wet inside, I have no leaks on the garage floor, I don't smell it coming out of the exhaust. Doesn't look like it's in the oil.

Thanks!!
 



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blwnsmoke

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My concern would be why was it so low to begin with... if all they did was top it off, it might have had air in the hoses that need time to burp itself out. Once it burped, the level would drop a little more. How far below are you now?

The thermostat won t open till it is warmed up so again, if all they did was top off, you likely had air.
 






Kolt Royce

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My concern would be why was it so low to begin with... if all they did was top it off, it might have had air in the hoses that need time to burp itself out. Once it burped, the level would drop a little more. How far below are you now?

The thermostat won t open till it is warmed up so again, if all they did was top off, you likely had air.


Originally, it was 2/3 empty. The other day when I checked it, it was about an inch below the low mark so I'd imagine that's about 1/2 way on the reservoir.
I don't know for sure how much they added and they probably added when it was hot because it only took them a few minutes so it was slightly expanded when hot which means it would drop a little when it's cold. The Ford dealer just gave me half a bottle of coolant and told me to put it between the two marks, when it's cold and then let them know if it drops from there.

I'm wondering if I could take the cap off when it's hot and turn on the heat to circulate to make sure there is no more air, just in case that's what it was?
 






peterk9

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Originally, it was 2/3 empty. The other day when I checked it, it was about an inch below the low mark so I'd imagine that's about 1/2 way on the reservoir.
I don't know for sure how much they added and they probably added when it was hot because it only took them a few minutes so it was slightly expanded when hot which means it would drop a little when it's cold. The Ford dealer just gave me half a bottle of coolant and told me to put it between the two marks, when it's cold and then let them know if it drops from there.

I'm wondering if I could take the cap off when it's hot and turn on the heat to circulate to make sure there is no more air, just in case that's what it was?
Welcome to the Forum Kolt.:wave:
Is the engine temperature in the 'Normal' range? I'm guessing that you're talking about the cap on the overflow reservoir and not the rad. The reservoir isn't a totally sealed unit since it has an overflow hose on it so I don't know if there is any benefit to removing the cap. It let everything cool down and then add fluid to the recommended level and see what happens. I just hope it isn't leaking into the engine. It may not be a bad idea to check the oil dipstick. There have been cases where the water pump leaked and the coolant worked its way into the engine. FYI, the water pump is located inside the engine.

Peter
 






Kolt Royce

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Welcome to the Forum Kolt.:wave:
Is the engine temperature in the 'Normal' range? I'm guessing that you're talking about the cap on the overflow reservoir and not the rad. The reservoir isn't a totally sealed unit since it has an overflow hose on it so I don't know if there is any benefit to removing the cap. It let everything cool down and then add fluid to the recommended level and see what happens. I just hope it isn't leaking into the engine. It may not be a bad idea to check the oil dipstick. There have been cases where the water pump leaked and the coolant worked its way into the engine. FYI, the water pump is located inside the engine.

Peter


Well darn, located inside the engine??!! wow! That's not good I wouldn't think. Yes the temp is in normal range "after" I figured out how to find it in the menu. The oil looks and smells fine. The bottom of the oil cap looks fine so maybe it just had air. I'll put the fluid between the low and high mark in the morning after it has set overnight then just keep an eye on it.

One thing that just happened which may or may not be of concern....I popped the hood, the engine was hot and turned off and I unscrewed the cap on the reservoir and it hissed, almost like removing a rad cap but not as bad and the fluid level rose. Like it was under pressure. I don't see a rad cap on this one actually.
 






peterk9

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......One thing that just happened which may or may not be of concern....I popped the hood, the engine was hot and turned off and I unscrewed the cap on the reservoir and it hissed, almost like removing a rad cap but not as bad and the fluid level rose. Like it was under pressure. I don't see a rad cap on this one actually.
I'll have to take a closer look at mine. Perhaps there is no overflow tube after all.
EDIT: Just checked mine and it looks like the cap on the reservoir may indeed be the 'rad' cap as I couldn't find another cap. Also didn't notice an overflow hose/tube.

Peter
 






Sixonemale

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Just recently purchased a 2013 XLT 4WD. 3.5, coming from a 10 year old Pilot.
When I picked it up 4 months ago it wouldn't put out heat unless I was driving on the interstate.
(I didn't know until recently how to find the coolant temp gauge in the screen)
I checked the coolant reservoir and it was low, about 2/3 empty.
Took it back to the dealer, they added a pint of coolant.
FW to last week. Just doing regular checks and noticed the coolant was below the low mark again.

Anything I should be aware of on this vehicle before I take it to the dealer?
I don't smell anything, Carpet isn't wet inside, I have no leaks on the garage floor, I don't smell it coming out of the exhaust. Doesn't look like it's in the oil.

Thanks!!

Shame on your dealer for just adding coolant to the reservoir without checking for external coolant leaks or like Peter stated, they should have looked at the oil dipstick to see if the oil was cloudy. Your very perceptive, the water pump buried inside the engine block is an extremely poor design and perhaps the very worst feature on this vehicle. To learn more about water pump and it's location and what it's capable of, the following thread has wealth of information in it:

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums...ds-to-dead-engine.424482/page-14#post-3640933

Bottom line, as your aware the cooling system is a closed system and if the coolant is escaping, it's either leaving externally or going into the oil within the engine block which could seize the engine. I hope you have an external coolant leak.
 






Kolt Royce

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Shame on your dealer for just adding coolant to the reservoir without checking for an external coolant leaks or like Peter stated, they should have looked at the oil dipstick to see if the oil was cloudy. Your very perceptive, the water pump buried inside the engine block is an extremely poor design and perhaps the very worst feature on this vehicle. To learn more about water pump and it's location and what it's capable of, the following thread has wealth of information in it:

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums...ds-to-dead-engine.424482/page-14#post-3640933

Bottom line, as your aware the cooling system is a closed system and if the coolant is escaping, it's either leaving externally or going into the oil within the engine block which could seize the engine. I hope you have an external coolant leak.


This is very concerning. I can't believe their engineers would design the engine with the water pump inside. How could they not know something bad could happen. I hope I don't regret trading my 10 year old, trouble free, non Ford SUV. Not bashing at all, hope no one thinks that but dang, that's a terrible design IMO.
 






blwnsmoke

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This is very concerning. I can't believe their engineers would design the engine with the water pump inside. How could they not know something bad could happen. I hope I don't regret trading my 10 year old, trouble free, non Ford SUV. Not bashing at all, hope no one thinks that but dang, that's a terrible design IMO.

The water pump has a weep hole to drain if it starts to leak. The problem if I recall is more of a bearing issue with the pump.. if that goes, the pump starts to leak through into the engine. There is also an internal and external gasket and if the internal gasket goes, that is where it is suppose to leak (weep hole).

There have been some failures of these. Yes, poor design.. the reason it was designed this way is because of it being a FWD vehicle primarily. Because of that, the motor had to be turned 90 degrees and the motor would not fit with an external water pump. All FWD 3.5s have the internal pump.. all RWD 3.5s (like the F150) have an external water pump.

I don't believe Ford maliciously designed the motor like this knowing it would fail. I think they took the precautions that thought they needed too.. heck this engine is almost 10 years old now and there are not a ton of failures of them that caused motor failures BUT it is still a possibility.

Water pump #9 with internal and external gaskets #10 and #11

6e9530b4d149ade7875fc282a5f4c9b7.png


You could also ask the dealership to pressure test your coolant system. When I thought I had smelled coolant on mine, my dealership pressure tested it and it held pressure both times I requested it. If it starts to lose pressure, well you have an issue.
 






Kolt Royce

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The water pump has a weep hole to drain if it starts to leak. The problem if I recall is more of a bearing issue with the pump.. if that goes, the pump starts to leak through into the engine. There is also an internal and external gasket and if the internal gasket goes, that is where it is suppose to leak (weep hole).

There have been some failures of these. Yes, poor design.. the reason it was designed this way is because of it being a FWD vehicle primarily. Because of that, the motor had to be turned 90 degrees and the motor would not fit with an external water pump. All FWD 3.5s have the internal pump.. all RWD 3.5s (like the F150) have an external water pump.

I don't believe Ford maliciously designed the motor like this knowing it would fail. I think they took the precautions that thought they needed too.. heck this engine is almost 10 years old now and there are not a ton of failures of them that caused motor failures BUT it is still a possibility.

Water pump #9 with internal and external gaskets #10 and #11

6e9530b4d149ade7875fc282a5f4c9b7.png


You could also ask the dealership to pressure test your coolant system. When I thought I had smelled coolant on mine, my dealership pressure tested it and it held pressure both times I requested it. If it starts to lose pressure, well you have an issue.



Great information. Thank you for all the detailed info!
 






tripplec

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Ouch... might be a deal breaker if I am looking at the newer generation of explorer.
 






Kolt Royce

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Ouch... might be a deal breaker if I am looking at the newer generation of explorer.

Probably would have been for me if I had known. Oh well, I'll just enjoy it for as long as possible and hope for the best.
 






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