Edmunds Answers



  • tony78 05/29/08 6:46 pm PST

    i know this might sound like a stupid question,,but what are you " topping it off " with ?

  • pauline1969 05/29/08 6:54 pm PST

    I am topping off with just water now, since it is loosing so much!! When problem started, was topping off with the 50% coolant & 50% water, but was going through it so fast just do water now!

  • tony78 05/29/08 7:17 pm PST

    Ok, went it went to the dealer one of the first things they should of or could of checked,,other than an obvious sign of leakage is the ratio of antifreeze to water,,and if you were losing anti freeze solution the more water you add,,the lower the boiling point of your solution becomes,,to where you are boiling off of the water,,and the volume of solution decreases,,incidentally the only type of water you should put in a cooling system is " distilled water ",,when you add tap water to a cooling system,,as the solution heats up,,the minerals will " drop out " ,, these will coat the passages of your colling system and effectively become an insulator.
    Now the coolant HAS to be going somewhere,,either it is leaking to the outside or it is leaking past a gasket, and or a defective hose or hose coupling,,,it could be an intake gasket or a cylinder head gasket,
    Now an intake gasket could leak if the engine was hot or cold,,and a cylinder head gasket will most certainly leak when the engine is hot.

  • fordfan_17 05/29/08 7:18 pm PST

    my best to tell you....take it and have your cooling system pressure tested it will reveal the leak where you are loosing coolant at. most repair garages have a pressure tester. best advice i can give you is dont guess at it if you feel like go buy a pressure tester at autozone and do it yourself but dont just drop money changing parts till you find the problem. find the problem first then fix it..


  • pauline1969 05/29/08 7:29 pm PST

    I have had it pressure tested if that means removing the radiator cap, hooking the pump thing onto it, and pumping it up the the 13lbs. Ford did this overnight & it held pressure-they found no leaks & floor was dry overnight. Is what you recommend different?

  • tony78 05/29/08 7:56 pm PST

    Ok, you said the dealer tested the pressure over night and the cooling system held pressure,,was the engine cold ?,,of course it was cold,,because it was not running,,that means that it only loses pressure when it is hot,
    ,,or when it is running,,you said that no white smoke is coming out of the exhaust system ?

    every morning when i start my car a little steam comes out of my exhaust pipe and on a cold morning more steam comes out of my exhaust pipie and my car is not losing coolant.

    ,,you said a mechanic told you that Explorers like yours are notorious for having bad intake gaskets,,well if the intake gasket was bad,,then coolant would have to be drawn into the combustion chamber,,and heated,,and turned into steam,,and expelled out of the exhaust pipe,,and you say there is no white smoke ?

  • pauline1969 05/30/08 11:05 am PST

    No white smoke at all-does not look like anything is coming out of exhaust pipe! Also no 'coating' or 'buildup' on back window, bumper, or area in which exhaust would flow if burning coolant. I have looked at the underside of the hood (black heat-resistant shield) & it does look like some weird splashing has occured, but have never been able to detect any moisture or if any of that is recent (bought vehicle used). It covers a large area, so I can't determine an area in which the splashing occured. I am frustrated because all the tell-tale signs do not specifically point to one problem-at first it was thought to be the head or headgasket, but there is no exhaust/no cylinder bore damage/no milky oil, etc-I'm a woman that has become highly suspicous of mechanics since this is obviously NOT my area of expertise & I seem to be stuck with a problem that has no clear-cut answer!! I was told the hard start (not correct term since it starts fine, but when I 'rev' the engine the first couple of times when cold it wants to die but never does) problem could be the engine burning off the accumliated liquid overnight....WHY CAN'T DEALERSHIP FIND OUT WHATS WRONG----AREN'T THEY THE 'EXPERTS'?

  • stevew56 03/21/11 5:33 pm PST

    look underneath to see the leak most likey it is the intake gasket about a 500-600 job depending who does it

  • medic52 04/06/11 3:32 pm PST

    I have a 2000 ford explorer v6 and it does the same thing. I replaced every sensor I could think of including plugs, wires, coils, egr valve, 02 sensors. i was losing water every day but couldnt tell where it was goin. finally I took it to an ASE mechanic and was told it was the upper manifold intake gaskets because he had the same prob on his ford explorer and said it happens alot to these trucks. the gaskets cost around $25 $30 bucks and its not that a big a job to replace them if thats your plan. also have you had your truck hooked up to an OBD scan tool? I wouldnt be surprised if the codes p0171 and p0174 come up. hope this helps

  • michelfloride 10/01/15 2:10 pm PST


    2003 Explorer 4.0 sport track

    Will a bad intake gasket make bubbles in expansion tank?

    I was in trouble with a cracked thermostat housing, low coolant, engine overheated ......

    Housing is replaced and by the way new thermostat

    No noticeable leak
    No water in oil
    no oil in water
    no smoke at tail pipe
    No smoke at all
    oil is clean and doesn't smell burn
    no "sweet" smell
    engine runs fine at idlle and high RPM
    No over heating
    to early to say if there is loss of coolant

    No interior heating, but I know there is a broken vaccum hose somewhere( AC and heating vaccum ) so I assume it's normal

    But I have bubbles in expansion tank !!! when engine is hot

    also coolant in expansion tank stay cold even with hot engine....I don't know if this is normal or not

    I suspect a possible blown head gasket.
    If yes , what the risk to continue to drive the car, if I keep the coolant level OK?
    I have to drive 200 miles this week end



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