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Using coolant


"I'm counting to 3, then I'm getting your dad."
Elite Explorer
March 16, 2013
Reaction score
City, State
Woodstock, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
04 Ford Explorer 4.6l
Tuesday of this week, Sep. 25th, my ‘04 4.6l with 213k in stock engine, intake and trans (<—holy crap right? )started to run hot at a light. Was at 203° went to 208°.

After starting to drive again, it came back down. Was thinking bad fan clutch. Got on the freeway and when I’m traffic, got back up to 208°.

Decided to get off at hit a parts store to take a look. On side roads it went to 215° and finally 219° by the time I stopped.

It took a full gallon of premixed coolant. Started it up and it immediately came back down in temp, running between 192° and 194°.

Today, Sep. 28th, I noticed a low tone sound over the radio coming from the engine. Almost sounds like the cross over pipe on the intake area. The sound is that of not enough fluid moving through a pipe that should otherwise be full.

And she took another full gallon of fluid.

I’ve noticed for some time that the exhaust has felt wet. But nothing visible, not like my ‘03 Mounty 4.6 which was creating a layer of fog.

Other than being low on coolant, the ‘04 has never ran hot, nor acted up. Drives fine with no misfires.

How many of you think it’s simply a bad intake?

I planned to drive her until she gave up the ghost, don’t plan to rebuild or put in a “new” engine.

Video with engine running, you can hear the “sucking?” noise. Ignore the wind and dieseling engine noise these make.

In the second video, engine off, you can hear what sounds like water drippng. Mind you, there’s no external leak.

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Well crap, I stand corrected. Coolant on the ground.

Coolant at the bottom of the timing cover, dripping of the front lip of the oil pan.

Not coming out of the weep hole on the water pump.
Not coming out of the filter adapter.
Everything above crank pulley is dry.




This is certainly looking worse.
No evidence of coolant in the oil, but 5k between oil changes and there’s not really any evidence of oil either.


It's got to be water pump, intake or pipe under intake. Only place for coolant to leak in front of engine is water pump.

It's got to be water pump, intake or pipe under intake. Only place for coolant to leak in front of engine is water pump.
Right? No where else I can think of. Actually, don’t these water pumps have two weep holes? If there’s a bottom weep hole, that would make since. Nothing else does.

Yep, I can just make out that the bottom of the water pump as wet.

Water pump bottom weep hole/plug or seal or both.




Put everything back together, then connect a cooling system pressure tester to locate the leak. Always use this type of tool to check for coolant leaks before taking everything apart. Some people like to add a fluorescent dye to the system, and check the oil with an ultraviolet light.

It was just time to do it at over 200k. It was probably just the weep hole making the mess. Lightly lube up the new oring before installin to help it slide in.

Unfortunately it was a Gates water pump. Put it on when I did the timing back at 150k. So, 60k on the pump, isn't horrible...….

What does bother me is being down two quarts of oil after 6k miles. Using synthetic...

Good info.
I had the water pump replaced (Motorcraft) when I had my tensioners/guides replaced last year.

Considering the age of the car, I wouldn't be too concerned about the oil.
I remember years ago, a neighbor complaining that his Taurus burned a quart every 1000 miles.
Brought it in to the dealer, who told him "it was normal". The old "test ok" LOL.

Well, discovered where my oil is going.




Appears to be dripping from between the block and the trans. Rear main seal? I’ll take the trans inspection plate off to see if there’s oil in there.

Oil pan gasket bolts were tight.

Funny thing is, no oil spots on ground. It’s as if the leak is occurring during travel.

Check the oil filter housing on the driver's side of the block. They like to leak only under pressure (engine running) and the leak will travel down the edge of the block towards the back.

I can count on 1 hand how many modular rear main seals I've replaced, they are pretty uncommon to leak even at 200k. The oil pan could also be the culprit but I'd definitely check filter housing first.

At 200k its going to burn some oil, especially going long oil change intervals with synthetic.