1994 FExplorer, 4.0L, Edmonton, AB:
- The Explorer was experiencing a small coolant leak. By 'small', I
mean it would mainly leak less than 1/4 cup full after shutting off
the engine. Inspecting under the car, I noticed the leak was
originating some where behind the fan, where the lower intake manifold
would be.... Damn, like many Ford's of this variety, I suspected it
was the lower intake manifold gasket that was going on me.
- I took it to Koch Ford, a local Ford dealer in town, for a coolant
pressure test since I didn't have the time to rip apart my engine bay
in order to source the problem. After the pressure test, they
confirmed my initial hypothesis that the gasket was going.
Curious. I ask Koch Ford, for a price quote for the fix. Price: Over
$1000, roughly six hours of labour time, and almost $250 in price for
parts!!!! To take this decision, is not a rational division of one's
Being somewhat educated-trained in the 'art' (not a science) of car
repair, especially when dealing with an SUV of this age and build
quality), I knew the fix. The one fix that comes in a bottle that
actualy works. The fix that even the US military used in their own
nuclear submarine to fully repair the sub's condenser system (sourced
in academic history, click here:
Remember the context. In my instance, the leak was minimal. I had
sourced the problem early. For larger coolant leaks, this solution may
not apply. I keep my SUV very well maintained. So I qualify my
suggestion here with that point. If your Explorer should be more an
Exploder, I got no inherently rational solution for your coolant
So I went to Canadian Tire, and picked up the Bar's Leak.
The Steps I Took:
(1) Took off my radiator cap.
(2) Using a turkey baster, pumped out a near equivalent amount (a bit
more than the Bar's Leak bottle can hold) of coolant;
(3) Shook the bottle of Bar's
(4) Put a prayer in from all religious view points;
(5) Threw the contents of Bar's Leak into the radiator;
(6) Put the radiator cap back on.
(7) Turned the car on, and went for an approximately 25 minute drive
(involving highway and city driving). This allows the chance for the
thermostat to open and circulate the coolant.
(8) Bought a Tim Hortin's Double Double, and went home.
(9) Solved- Has not leaked since.
(10) IMPORTANT- After I was convinced the leak was sealed, I did a
coolant change (not flushing with chemical flush. I just used water
and new coolant). I waited three days, drove the car in the meantime,
checked for leaks. Satisfied the leak was corrected, I then initiated
a coolant change. (Coolant changes are a joke, and the Lube shops
charge way to much for such a simple procedure. This message board
provides awesome advice on that front).
Bar's Leak does a wonderful job sealing 'minor' leaks. Major car
manufacturers use Bar's Leak in many of their production cars, and the
product has been out since the 1940s. (Ford, GM, Saab, etc...)
Beware: Some have had horendous experiences with Bar's (eg. clogging
the little hole for air release in the thermostat, or clogging their
heater cores, and other variety of stories). It may have been due to
leaving the Bar's Leak in the system far too long. Remember, seal the
leak, and flush it out immediately. The company that produces this
stuff states that you can leave it in the system, for maintence. IMO,
don't, although the US military did after pouring kilos of this stuff
in the nuclear sub!!!!