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2001 Jeep Cherokee Question: What should I check when my coolant is leaking?

 

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m_zimmerman, Kannapolis, NC, January 02, 2012, 16:38
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There is no evidence of a leak that I can see, but everytime I put coolant in not even a day later it's low or gone. When stopped at a stop light for a while my temp. gauge goes into the red. Checked my oil and nothing looks abnormal there. There is something that looks like a leak around the front driver side but I'm not sure what it is. I've taken it to a mechanic and he can't find anything. I don't know what to do and I'm kind of afraid to drive it.

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    January 02, 2012, 16:56
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     Master

    You need to stop driving this vehicle immediately. You need to find a shop that can find the coolant leak. Although it might be to late. You didn't state what engine you had. Running a vehicle to redline more than once is not good.
    An experienced shop will have the proper equipment to test for a coolant leak. I would ask the prospective shop if they have the ability and equipment to test for hydrocarbons in the cooling system. Basically testing for a blown headgasket.

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  • Answer #2

    patrick mannion from Greg Solow's Engine Room, January 02, 2012, 17:07
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    Agree with Parts Guy stop driving it or more serious damage will occur. The way an automotive shop would locate the leak is by removing the radiator cap and attaching an adapter that screws on in place of the radiator cap. Something that looks like a bicycle pump with a pressure gauge attached to it is used to "pump up" pressure to simulate pressure generated when the cooling system is at operating temperature, the leak is then found sometimes it is obviously leaking from a coolant hose or cracked housing, failed gasket or water pump, sometimes the engines cooling system needs to be inspected from below or inspected using a mirror and flash light. If the coolant loss is still evasive dye can be added to the cooling system that may indicate the source of the leak. A mysterious coolant loss may even be a sign of a head gasket that is not sealing well. Get a second opinion from another shop perhaps if it has overheated get them to do a simple chemical test called a Block Test to check if the head gasket is blown.

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