Have a question about my 94 Bird.
All summer long, the car did fine with the coolant level. I had to add
some every 3-4 weeks. Now that the weather has turned chilly (read:
Cold!), it is losing coolant somewhere.
Last Saturday I added some to the overflow tank I checked it again
this morning, Tuesday, and the
tank was almost empty.
I did notice a wet spot under the car Sunday afternoon, but when we
looked under the hood, we couldn't see any place where it was leaking.
What should I check/replace? Antifreeze get expensive!
PS: 94 Bird LX, 3.8L V6, auto, ac.
Do you live in an area that gets below freezing in the winter ? Is the car
parked outside ?
Typically the rubber O rings that seal the side tanks to the radiator core
leak in cold weather as stuff ages.
Are these the original hoses from 1994 ?
Any signs of weeping around the water pump or water pump bearing / seal wear
A normal cooling system does not need to be toppped up "every 3-4 weeks".
It was losing it before. Now it's just losing it faster.
Where was the wet spot? Front and center? Rear to one side? Elsewhere?
Water pump. Front and center, just behind the fan pulley.
The "snout" will usually have a hole on top, and a matching one underneath.
Coolant will drip from there if the internal pump seals are going.
"Freeze" plugs. Both sides of the engine, can't see unless you crawl under.
Metal disks used to block assorted holes when the engine was manufactured.
They can corrode, or a "block heater" in one of the holes can also start leaking.
Water hoses. To/from radiator, water pump, throttle body, heater core.
Timing cover (depending on engine). Between the water pump and engine block.
Gaskets between pump/cover, and cover/engineblock.
Radiator. Right up front. Look for any signs of dripping or corrosion. Both
Heater core. Like a mini-radiator way up inside the dashboard.
Usual clues are windows fogging up when the heater is turned on, a sweet smell
inside the car, or a wet carpet on front passenger side.
Other responses detail all possibilities I can think of offhand.
My '94 (same as yours but with V8) has been doing much the same
for last 1.5 years.
Most likely is bad seal(s) between rad. plastic tanks (on each
end) and aluminum core (with fins).
To test, fill overflow tank, drive just enough to warm motor
to normal op. temp, park, and look for leaks under juncture
between plastic tanks and alum. core. If this is the
problem, you should be able to see dripping under car.
Mine is evident from the top of rad. on shotgun side.
New rad. might be $150+. Rebuild of old might be $90+.
New rad. installed might run something like $450+.
Hope it hep's ...
Pease pudding hot,
Pease pudding cold,
Pease pudding in the pot
Nine days old ...
My Escort had the leaky radiator end tank problem for more than a year.
It only happened during the warm up time after starting a cold engine.
The leak was worse in cold weather. It always stopped leaking when the
engine reached normal operating temp'. I had some success with
re-crimping the aluminum tabs on the core with Visegrip pliers but
sometimes you can't get to the problem area without removing the
radiator. In that case it would make better sense to replace it.
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