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Old 01-28-2010, 04:41 PM   #1
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Coolant leak when engine off?

2000 TJ w 4.0L and manual trans. I've got a slight coolant leak, but only when the motor is cold. I get a few drips every night as the temp changes from day to night (just a few degrees, nowhere near freezing). Temp is fine when running, not overheating.

Pressure test shows nothing other than a weak radiator cap (13 lbs). It's been flushed and had new cap and coolant, but I still get drips.

It drips at the front and back of the block or front control arms when parked on a level surface.

Ideas?

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Old 01-28-2010, 04:52 PM   #2
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Location: Greater Seattle Area
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Just to be safe I'd put some newspaper under it for a day or two and identify exactly where those drips are coming from, including tracing the coolant drip marks back to the source if at all possible. If it's dripping off something and running down your control arms you might start looking in the wrong place.

As for the heat/cool thing, are you sure it's not just that it's after it sits for a while that the drip is noticable? And when things heat and cool, things expand and contract, so keep that in mind.

When you think about it, there are really only going to be a couple places it's leaking. Hoses, water pump, leaky radiator, gasket, anything to do with the heater (if the drips are obviously in the engine compartment then it's only hoses.) Is your radiator plastic or metal? I've read several places that metal radiators are a worthwhile upgrade when the plastic ones start to leak.

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Old 01-28-2010, 08:43 PM   #3
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Great suggestions. It does seem to only be when the motor is stone cold, as I'll go out into the (attached) garage the day after parking it, and nothing. Two days later, drips. It will continue to drip until I drive it again, and then the cycle continues. This time, I worked from home today - the drips only showed up in the late afternoon! The car was parked yesterday at 5pm.

It has sat for several hours with the pressure gauge on it, and no leaks. It's baffling to me.

The radiator is a three-row metal one that I installed a couple years ago. The plastic endcaps on the stock one had started to leak, as happens with those.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:49 PM   #4
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I'd check the water pump, but then, that's the only thing I know to check, when antifreeze starts dripping....
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