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Unread 07-17-2013, 06:34 PM   #1
Colton800
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2001 WJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: , Canada
Posts: 67
Wj Coolant Leak?

I have a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee limited with the 4.0L I6. I have a coolant leak that isn't very big, but its still leaking. I never find coolant on the garage floor or on anything in the engine bay. My Coolant and Oil are both clean, I don't think it's a head gasket. I don't overheat, I stay at a constant temperature, my gauge doesn't have degree's, but it says just under the half mark. I don't know if it has anything to do with it, but I'm getting a horrible 13MPG in the city. I was told my 2 main cats are probably clogged, causing my horrible MPG and the coolant was burning off from the engine thinking it was hot, because the cats are clogged, and then burning the coolant off. But the coolant doesn't leak very much, I don't know how much this would be, but from the FULL mark to about 1/2 inch below the FULL mark leaked in a week. I did notice that the coolant overflow drain tube on the back of the overflow had a very small amount of coolant that leaked through that tube. I don't have any signs of coolant through the exhaust, I don't have a coolant smell or taste (on the tail pipe) or any white residue or powder on the tail pipe, but the tip of my tailpipe is black. I don't think it's an external leak due to never finding coolant on the ground or any in the engine bay. I don't think it's a head gasket due to the oil and coolant both being clean and having no sings of a head gasket. I don't know if it's normal or not, but when I open the rad cap after letting the Jeep sit overnight the coolant isn't all the way full, there's coolant there, but it isn't all the way to where the cap would sit. I'm probably going to get the coolant pressure tested to see, but I thought I would ask here first. I have no idea where it would be leaking to, or how it would be burned up. My Water Pump, thermostat and Rad Cap are both fairly new (water pump 8 months ago, thermostat/rad cap 3 months ago) My cats are factory so by now they are probably clogged, but I don't know if that would be the cause for coolant burning. Let me know what you think. Thanks

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Unread 07-17-2013, 09:44 PM   #2
Jaspah
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2002 WJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Hamilton, NY
Posts: 249
You've almost described the same issue I've been having with mine, minus the poor fuel mileage. I've only ever noticed leaking when parking on an incline... and it's a tiny amount, but enough to show. It runs down the exhaust but I can't seem to find where the hell it is leaking from. It's a very slow leak so I haven't really put much time or money into fixing it right away, but it's definitely on my list of things to fix.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 11:29 PM   #3
new2site
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2002 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Orange county, CA
Posts: 850
Leaking Freeze Plug ....? ...slow enough to burn off on engine before it would reach the ground....OR the freeze plug(s) at the back between the tranni...not sure if our 4.0's have one/some there....
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Unread 07-18-2013, 01:44 AM   #4
cykaaro
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Have never seen/heard of an issue with freeze plugs on the 4.0's. one place that seems to be common for leaks and hard to spot as it doesn't give immediate signs of leaking is the draincock. Mine was seeping but until I got right underneath and looked right at it, no signs it was at all. Took me three times tightening it to get it to close properly. (probably as I was afraid to overtighten and pooch it being plastic) Could be even it's seeping through a hose not fully tightened, but not constant and not enough to really notice. Check your clamps etc since the waterpump was done, just in case. Not sure how hight the coolant sits in the rad at the cap, as I honestly don't remove mine hardly at all unless I need to. Just make sure there's no air in the system at all.

Other thing mine seems to do is some mornings after it is just warmed to operating temp, I get steam coming up across the front of the rad. Still no clue there, but coolant level never changes. Strangest thing as I have no idea where it's from, but comes up basically the whole front of the rad. As well, mine runs at a lower temp than any other 4.0 I've ever had. it's almost a full notch below half way (this is since the new engine was put in).

You could always put a leak detection die in as well, and see what you see.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 05:27 PM   #5
Colton800
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cykaaro View Post
Have never seen/heard of an issue with freeze plugs on the 4.0's. one place that seems to be common for leaks and hard to spot as it doesn't give immediate signs of leaking is the draincock. Mine was seeping but until I got right underneath and looked right at it, no signs it was at all. Took me three times tightening it to get it to close properly. (probably as I was afraid to overtighten and pooch it being plastic) Could be even it's seeping through a hose not fully tightened, but not constant and not enough to really notice. Check your clamps etc since the waterpump was done, just in case. Not sure how hight the coolant sits in the rad at the cap, as I honestly don't remove mine hardly at all unless I need to. Just make sure there's no air in the system at all.

Other thing mine seems to do is some mornings after it is just warmed to operating temp, I get steam coming up across the front of the rad. Still no clue there, but coolant level never changes. Strangest thing as I have no idea where it's from, but comes up basically the whole front of the rad. As well, mine runs at a lower temp than any other 4.0 I've ever had. it's almost a full notch below half way (this is since the new engine was put in).

You could always put a leak detection die in as well, and see what you see.
Thanks, I've looked at the driancock before and it seems that there is no signs of a coolant leak there, but I've never tried to see how tight it is, so I'll go check that. I have quickly checked the hoses, but since there was no coolant on the ground, ever, I didn't think about it, another thing I'll check. For the temperature, mine is almost the same as yours, it runs at operating temperature almost a full notch below half way. For the leak detection die, I'll look into it and maybe try it, I'm very curious to where the coolant is leaking...
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Unread 07-18-2013, 06:06 PM   #6
cykaaro
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I'm a bit OCD so something like that would make me nuts. LOL My mechanic has all the different leak detection dies so it's what I'd probably try, or as some do pressurize the system. Mayhap, just idle it up to temp, and see if you see anything. I get strange steam coming up from the front of the rad when I first get to temp sometimes. But not always, although I'm not leaking or losing coolant. Still haven't figured that one out yet though.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 11:30 PM   #7
Colton800
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cykaaro View Post
I'm a bit OCD so something like that would make me nuts. LOL My mechanic has all the different leak detection dies so it's what I'd probably try, or as some do pressurize the system. Mayhap, just idle it up to temp, and see if you see anything. I get strange steam coming up from the front of the rad when I first get to temp sometimes. But not always, although I'm not leaking or losing coolant. Still haven't figured that one out yet though.
I agree about the OCD part, stuff like that drives me nuts too. I'll look into the dye, hopefully that would maybe tell me something, I would use the dye before I would pressure test the system. I haven't noticed strange steam, but I haven't checked for it. Next couple times when I get to temp I'll check and see if I have some strange steam. Thanks, I didn't think about the leak detection dye. Hope that steam issue gets figured out, I wouldn't really have an idea about that one.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 11:51 PM   #8
cykaaro
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It only happens on mornings that I've noticed, and only for a few minutes when it first reaches temp. Didn't notice any coolant smell to it that I could tell either but it's only once I've seen it from the front opening the hood. Usually it's when I'm stopped at a light under very specific conditions. Once I start moving of course, you see nothing.
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