When going to refill coolant you may notice that a considerable amount of coolant has been lost from your jeep. Do you need to be concerned about losing coolant from your jeep cooling system?
Is your jeep leaking coolant or burning coolant? How to fix coolant leaking or burning of your jeep before it causes a huge disaster?
In this guide we’ll look for answers to all of the above problems.
Why is my jeep losing coolant?
Losing coolant can be a simple leak from the engine cooling system to the outside. or else a more serious issue like internal coolant leak due to head gasket crack.
As the first step you have to find out whether your jeep has a coolant leak to the outside. That is a common reason for coolant to keep disappearing from your engine!
If you see pooling of coolant under your jeep in the morning after parking the jeep overnight or after parking in place for a few hours, simply that indicates a coolant leak.
As an equivalent sign, engine running temperature may also indicate a higher value than normal.
Sometimes small coolant leaks may not be visible to the naked eye.
We’ll see how to diagnose coolant leaks in a more efficient way and what are the solutions you have for them later in this guide.
Jeep losing coolant but no leaks?
This can be a more serious issue than coolants pooling under your jeep.
If there are no leaks but still coolant level reduces a considerable amount after the ride, that could be due to a coolant leaking into the engine.
These internal coolant leaking can ultimately lead to coolant burning inside the chambers with fuel and reduce the coolant level inside the engine cooling system.
Why is coolant leaking into the engine?
Mainly coolant enters into the engine through blown head gaskets. Apart from that damaged engine blocks/cracked heads can also lead to internal coolant leaking issues.
These things can happen due various reasons. Especially if the engine runs above normal temperature levels for long periods of time due to some defects in the cooling system, the head gasket can blow out.
Even if the engine temperatures were normal, with the usage head gaskets can get damaged and ultimately lead to leaking issues.
But don't get panicked. As I mentioned earlier, even if you don't see an outside coolant leaking from your jeep, you can't just decide your jeep is burning coolant.
Most of the time small external coolant leaks evaporates away without even noticing due to the engine heat.
So that can lead you to a misdiagnosing of a blown head gasket or cracked head!
How to know if a jeep is burning coolant? (or leaking coolant inside)
- Pull out the spark plugs and check whether they seem like burning coolant.
- Check your engine oil and look for oil contamination with coolant/water.
- You can check engine oil contamination more precisely by getting some oil from your engine to a small glass jar and keep it a day to see any separation of oil and coolant/water in it.
- Check for any suspicious steam/ dripping of liquids from your exhaust. (When cold starts a whitish smoke and water droplets coming out from the exhaust pipe is normal, but when heating up that will go away.)
- Get a pressure test to see if there is any pressure reduction due to an internal leak in your cooling system.
How to fix jeep coolant burning issues?
If you have confirmed your diagnosis of a coolant leaking into the engine you have to find out whether it is due to a blown out gasket or a cracked head.
If you are not familiar with the mechanical stuff of your engine, it’s better to inspect your engine with the help of a mechanic.
Sometimes a hairline crack in your engine head can cause this kind of coolant burning issues. So a proper inspection is needed with someone who has mechanical knowledge.
Most important advice I should give at this point is to replace the blown out head gasket or repair the leaking spot as soon as possible.
Because running with engine oil contaminated with coolant/water could cut the road to a money pit in future causing huge damage to the engine.
With those being said let’s look at jeep external coolant leaks that may or may not be visible to naked eye.
Why is my jeep leaking coolant?
Coolant can be leaked to the outside due to a loosening of a hose(hose clamp loosening), tear of a hose or due to a damage in radiator.
A hose clamp loosening or hose tear can happen with time and it’s normal. A radiator leak can also be possible with usage or specially when doing off roading activities with your jeep.
When doing off roadings different objects like rocks, logs or pieces of wood can hit on the radiator and cause small damages. They can cause coolant leaks overtime.
Apart from the above, defective water pumps (expired water pump bearings) can also cause leaking issues through a weeping hole that may sometimes be hard to diagnose at once.
To fix those issues you have to find out where the coolant leak occurs.
As common coolant leaking spots in jeeps we can see, water pump, rubber hoses and hose connections, thermostat, radiator coolant drain plugs or radiator.
Sometimes the inside vehicle heater system can also cause leaking issues. That can cause coolant smell and wet the jeep carpets also. To fix this better to get assistance from a mechanic.
How to find where coolant is leaking from my jeep?
To figure out the coolant leaking spot in your jeep, you should have to give it a very careful inspection. You can go through the steps below to do that easily.
- First of all, wipe out and clean the dust and debris on the engine of your jeep. It will make it easy to inspect any leaking spot later.
- Then start your jeep and drive it for a while to heat up the engine.
- After the engine gets heated up, park it on a level ground, (A concrete or tarmac surface is best) and look carefully to see any leaking spot while the engine is running. You can move down your hands on the horses to find any leaking horses.
When doing this make sure to wear suitable protective gear like gloves and eye wears, because the engine surface has a high heat that can cause burning injuries to you.
- You can check under the jeep for any leaking spots and look your way up to the leaking spot also.
- If your engine has small leaks that happen only when the engine heats up and evaporates quickly, they will be able to diagnose by this way.
- If there are no leaks when the engine is running, then turn off the engine and keep it to cool down for 10-15 minutes. Then look under the jeep for pooling or dripping of coolants.
- Due to the malfunctioning in the radiator cap, coolant leaks can happen in the engine cooling down phase after it turns off.
Be cautious about the engine temperature. Wear proper safety gears!!
- Most of the time coolant can spray in a larger area and drip down. So unlike oil leaks sometimes it may be harder to find a coolant leaking spot from looking under the jeep. But with a careful inspection you will be able to find a green liquid dripping spot under the hood if it’s an external leak.
- Another brilliant way to find out the leaking spot is using a UV dye kit. They come with sunglasses and a UV light also.
- You can put UV dye into the coolant system and run the engine for about 15 minutes. After that you can inspect the engine area with the help of sunglasses and uv light. You can easily spot the leaking point.
- If you need, you can go for a pressure test also as the final step. You can buy a pressure test kit or get the pressure test done with a nearby shop. But with the above mentioned I think you’ll be able to find out the leaking spot without a pressure test.
Pro tip: If you diagnose a leakage through a clamp in a horse joint, just remove the clamp and horse from the engine metal tube it connects and carefully inspect whether that metal tube has any holes due to rust.
This happens to me in my rig. I spent 2days finding the leaking spot and doing different fixings. But every time it leaks like an open tap when I put coolant on and start the engine.
Finally I figured out that there are holes in a metal tube due to rusting, that connects a horse!!
How to fix the jeep coolant leaking issue?
Fixing an external coolant leaking issue is much easier than finding the leaking spot. You just have to replace the leaking hose/clamps/water pump or whatever the malfunctioning part.
Jeep losing coolant but not overheating. Why is that?
This can happen due to various reasons.
Amount of coolant loss can be small compared to the overall coolant capacity inside the engine and cooling system.
Sometimes the temperature gauge itself can indicate faulty values due to defects in sensors.
“But sometimes disappearing small amounts of coolant from your cooling system can be normal due to the overflow mechanism.”
Because the cooling system should have a specific capacity of coolant to work in it’s optimal condition.
If we overfill it, the cooling system tends to remove the excessive volume of coolant to the reservoir tank when pressure builds up due to heat.
That phenomenon may seem like losing coolant from our cooling system when we check it.
But it’s best to check your engine properly as soon as possible, to find out the exact reason for losing coolant before it causes a huge damage to the engine.
Coolant leaks only after turning off the engine. Why?
As I mentioned previously in this guide, Coolant leaks can happen in the cooling phase of the engine after the engine turns off. The science behind that is simple.
When the engine turns off after it gets heated up, coolant inside the cooling system also stops moving.
But the heat of the engine absorbs the still coolant and causes expansion. That ultimately leads to build up pressure inside the cooling system.
But if the radiator cap is not functioning properly that extra pressure will not manage and it can lead to squeezing some coolant through a pinhole in a horse or loose clamp.
So far I have covered how internal and external coolant leakages can happen in a jeep, what are the symptoms and how to diagnose coolant leakages and how to fix those issues.
Sometimes you may encounter small oil leakages along with oil leakages. So you can check my guide on jeep oil leaks also to get a better picture. You can read that guide by clicking here.
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