Odd coolant leak? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 11 Old 02-16-2020, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
jeverett
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Odd coolant leak?

So last weekend I changed my thermostat, prior to that other than heat because the thermostat was stuck open everything was fine. Tuesday in a nasty snow storm I had to run out, so I took the jeep, first time driving it since the thermostat. Noticed that when the thermostat opened I started to smell coolant, then stopped and saw that the whole drivers side around the over flow tank was soaked in coolant and my radiatior was about a gallon and a half low and there was a little ice in the overflow tank which makes me think I was off on my mixture, which looked to be all over under the hood. I filled the radiator with the help of a kind guy who lived near there and got home. Now, 5 days later, I can't find a leak other than a minor weep around the thermostat housing and my coolant is the same level as when I filled it. I have had it parked the whole time and hadn't had a chance around work to check it out. Any ideas on this one?

TLDR Jeep leaked out coolant in about 3 miles, can't find leak and jeep has been sitting leak free for 5 days.


04 TJ sport 4.0 automatic. Stock, for now.
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-16-2020, 07:04 PM
mukluk
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Loose radiator cap comes to mind.

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2005 LJ Rubicon
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-16-2020, 09:16 PM
SHoppe715
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Sounds like it was blowing antifreeze when it got hot and pressure built - explains why no leak when sitting and cold.

Clean all the old spilled antifreeze really well, run the engine up to temperature and see if it’s spraying anywhere. When you replaced the t-stat, if you added straight antifreeze and straight water separately in measured amounts but then didn’t run the engine long enough, your ratio may have been good but it might not have been mixed all the way so the watered down parts froze. If it was frozen in some spots and not in others - like your overflow tank - you could’ve built too much pressure and then found a leak. Ambient engine compartment heat melts the ice, antifreeze finishes mixing while engine runs, and now no more obvious leak.

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post #4 of 11 Old 02-16-2020, 09:21 PM
SHoppe715
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Lots of places could’ve sprayed if pressure built too high. Question is why did it build too much pressure. Could’ve been partially frozen but there’s the possibility the new thermostat is defective and sticks closed. Not common, but not unheard of.

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post #5 of 11 Old 02-16-2020, 09:31 PM
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Or there could have been ice around the thermostat which kept it from opening.

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post #6 of 11 Old 02-16-2020, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeverett View Post
first time driving it since the thermostat. Noticed that when the thermostat opened I started to smell coolant, then stopped and saw that the whole drivers side around the over flow tank was soaked in coolant and my radiatior was about a gallon and a half low
TLDR Jeep leaked out coolant in about 3 miles, can't find leak and jeep has been sitting leak free for 5 days.

What brand thermostat did you use? A stuck thermostat will dump antifreeze from the overflow tank also. The cheap brands tend to open and close whenever they want.

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Originally Posted by jeepinmichguy_ View Post
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-17-2020, 08:18 AM
JFM626
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If you had ice in your recovery tank after it spewed hot coolant, it would indicate that your coolant did not get to the recovery tank at all or the hot fluid would have melted it. The line to the recovery tank would have to be blocked with ice for that to happen. The small coolant hose going to the recovery tank may have then ruptured or blown off or the coolant may have blown by the radiator cap.
In any event you will need to drain the old coolant and replace it with fresh (you have diluted it with water when you topped it up after it blew out all over your Jeep) antifreeze and distilled water. As you have used tap water, you should flush the coolant system a few times as well, or any minerals in the water will precipitate out and could potentially affect the coolant flow and/or cause hot spots in your engine by attaching to the cast iron and interfere with the transfer of heat from the block/head.

do it soon as the weather may turn cold again

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post #8 of 11 Old 02-17-2020, 09:14 AM
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At this point, just be concerned with the ice in your over flow tank. This means you did not have the correct mixture, and there's no telling where else it was frozen. You may have other issues, but if the cooling system is frozen to the point of preventing flow, you will definitely over heat. The coolant probably sprayed out of the radiator cap or the over flow tank.

11 years ago I had my cooling system freeze for the same reason (improper mixture), and the results were the same. Overheating and coolant spraying out. I can't recall if it came out the cap or the overflow. I did not have to replace any parts. I just put in coolant and was okay.

You should flush the system and replace with the correct mixture of coolant and distilled water.

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post #9 of 11 Old 02-17-2020, 09:32 AM
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I can't comprehend people that don't understand 50/50 when mixing it. You can buy it already mixed anywhere. To the OP, only you know what you did or didn't do. Everyone else here is just guessing as internet doctor's interns. You should have flushed the system when doing the thermostat anyway. I ALWAYS use Blue Devil chemical flush. It removes all bad $h!t.

p.s. Contrary to popular belief and internet BS. ANY antifreeze works for any YEAR JEEP if you flush the old crap out. Prestone ALL MAKES AND MODELS works like it says. You don't need HOAT or Mopar crap for newer (05-06) TJ's IF you change it occasionally. I have mixed everything and never had a problem. I know I'm special, but antifreeze has no friends (like Democrats).

Quote:
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-17-2020, 10:14 AM
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IMO using a premixed 50/50 antifreeze is not the way to go unless you are able to remove all of the coolant in the system. Flushing the system will always leave some of the flushing mixture in the cooling system. By then using a 50/50 premix you will dilute it even further. Many times the flush is done with tap water, unfortunately this leaves a considerable amount of it and its associated minerals in the system. You should make the aim of the flush to remove as much of this mineral laden water as possible. Using distilled water in the last few flushes is a prudent method to ensure will that the remaining water will be almost contaminate free. Include in your procedure a cleaning of the recovery tank. Filling up the system with full strength antifreeze of the correct specification will ensure a mixture approaching 50/50 if not stronger. If you should find that the mixture is not up to the desired strength after running the engine for a while to allow the concentrated antifreeze solution to mix with the water, it is a simple task to drain off a couple of litres and then replace it with more straight antifreeze to bring the solution up to snuff. Using only a 50/50 premix will never achieve the desired freeze/boil protection required by your Jeeps engine, unless of course you are somehow able to empty the entire system

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post #11 of 11 Old 02-17-2020, 10:21 AM
SHoppe715
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBoogieman View Post
I can't comprehend people that don't understand 50/50 when mixing it. You can buy it already mixed anywhere. To the OP, only you know what you did or didn't do. Everyone else here is just guessing as internet doctor's interns. You should have flushed the system when doing the thermostat anyway. I ALWAYS use Blue Devil chemical flush. It removes all bad $h!t.

p.s. Contrary to popular belief and internet BS. ANY antifreeze works for any YEAR JEEP if you flush the old crap out. Prestone ALL MAKES AND MODELS works like it says. You don't need HOAT or Mopar crap for newer (05-06) TJ's IF you change it occasionally. I have mixed everything and never had a problem. I know I'm special, but antifreeze has no friends (like Democrats).
I use Zerex G05 mixed 70:30 in Alaska and 50:50 down here always with distilled water. I read somewhere a long time ago that the later models are more prone to internal corrosion. I can neither confirm or deny that, but seeing as I’ve run the recommended coolant for 180,000+ miles and only gone through 1 water pump at around 90,000 I feel the negligible extra $ for the recommended fluid has been well worth it. The old school route of adding measures amounts of full strength AF and water is probably no problem...unless it’s freezing out...in which case it’s too easy to mix it before filling.
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