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Antifreeze leak under the car - common culprit?

05-16-2006, 01:46 AM
I've got a 1996 Mercury Sable, roughly 175,000 miles on it.

The car has its fair share of problems, such as a flakey heater, a leak in the torque converter pump, etc. However, there is a new problem that just came about, and I'm not sure what the cause of it is.

The car is leaking antifreeze relatively steadily. It leaks it right inside of the front, passenger-side tire (there's where the puddle is on the ground, roughly). If I drive it for a short while, I can park it, shut it off, get out and look under it, and see it dripping down. It will smell like major antifreeze, and you'll even get mild smoke where the antifreeze is dripping from somewhere and completely evaporating instantly.

Anyone know where the most common area is for the antifreeze to start leaking? It's wet on a piece that's right next to the reserve tank on the passenger-side of the car, between the tank and the front of the car. It's also wet below the engine, on part of the framing. It's just basically kind of wet all over around that area. I filled it up with about 3/4 gallon of antifreeze two days ago, and my guess is that I'll have to throw another 1/2 gallon in tonight or so.

Thanks for the input!

05-16-2006, 02:41 AM
water pump
cracked resevoir tank
freeze plug
heater core
thermostat housing

Wipe everything down, pressurize system, locate leak.

05-22-2006, 02:53 PM
Probably the coolant reservoir cap needs replacement, it should hold a certain psi and overtime it would won't be able to hold the pressure would open and allow the pressure to come out and causes leak.

05-22-2006, 04:21 PM
I also have a 96 mercury sable and i hate to say that i just had to replace all the freeze plugs. Can't say that that's the problem, but it's worth a check. I also had an antifreeze smell and the car ran a little hotter than normal, but not enough to every raise a red flag, I just knew that wasn't normal for this particular car

07-11-2006, 07:15 PM
Hey there. I just had to replace the block heater that was leaking in my 97 Sable 3.0 GS. That was the source of my leak, and the possible reason that when I plugged it in during the winter it would trip the circuit breaker in the house that belonged to that plug.

A couple of years ago I replaced the (cheap) leaky plastic drain plug in the front corner of the radiator. Take the air dam cover off to get at it the easiest. Just a few screws along the underside of the front bumper and each wheelwell to undo in order to remove it that black plastic cowling.

1997 Sable GS Wagon 3.0

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