98 rodeo 3.2 coolant leak where to start?


badger6
04-22-2013, 03:05 PM
Got a '98 rodeo 3.2 with 160k. A couple weeks ago when stopping at red lights I noticed the temp gauge creeping up to the hot when stopped. This happened about 4 years ago and I was just low on coolant. I kind of figured that was the problem this time and added coolant. Then I started noticing coolant on the ground dripping from the skid plate a little toward the passenger side. The vehicle is parked on the street in front of my house so the vehicle may lean slightly to the passenger side. This rodeo is only driven during the week and then sits for 2-3 days on the weekend. Over the last couple weeks I have noticed that it doesn't really leak during the week when it's being driven daily and if it does, it's just a drop or two. Now when it sits for 2-3 days there is a pizza sized leak under the vehicle probably about 18 inches wide. Since the overflow wouldn't hold coolant, I figured that it was cracked or had a leak. I removed the reservoir and didn't find a leak. I seen no evidence of a leak anywhere else, however since it's dripping from the skid plate, I assume that it's leaking on the front side of the engine. Any opinions on the likely culprit or what to check. Seems strange that it doesn't really leak when running or hot, only when sitting for a few day. Any ideas ?

amigo-2k
04-22-2013, 11:43 PM
Start with replacing the radiator cap and use a flashlight to see if the radiator has wet spots.

the other common leak is on the top of the engine under the intake manifold (there is about couple of hoses that have orings that like to go bad on older Rodeos.


So try the cap and fill up the reserve tank and see what happens ...

pharm_rodeo
07-18-2013, 11:22 PM
I pressured tested my system today because I started to smell coolant recently. Once under pressure I could clearly see (and hear) a leak under the intake. There's a nice valley there for the coolant to rest but it will drip down and spread. I could not find my leak initially because it was not visible. You can "rent" a pressure tester at any automotive store.

badger6
07-19-2013, 02:00 PM
I pressured tested my system today because I started to smell coolant recently. Once under pressure I could clearly see (and hear) a leak under the intake. There's a nice valley there for the coolant to rest but it will drip down and spread. I could not find my leak initially because it was not visible. You can "rent" a pressure tester at any automotive store.

Not sure what's up. The leak has all but stopped. I was originally low on coolant and filled up the radiator and reservoir. Apparently, the coolant that leaked out was anything over and above what the radiator would hold. The radiator is full every time I check it. The overflow reservoir just stays empty. I did remove the reservoir to see if it was cracked or leaking, I couldn't find anything. I just tend to glance at the temp gauge a lot more and check to make sure the radiator is full a couple times a week. I bet if I go and add coolant to the reservoir it will start leaking again, but it ain't cracked. Go figure, ha.....

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