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Marty
Marty, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 53697
Experience:  ASE & Bosch Certified Master Tech. Over 30 years experience.
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My husbands 2002 manual 4 cylinder Rodeo is leaking radiator

Customer Question

My husband's 2002 manual 4 cylinder Rodeo is leaking radiator fluid to 1 gallon or 2 each day. He thinks it is coming out of the tail pipe. What could be wrong and what can he do about it?
Submitted: 3 years ago via CarComplaints.com.
Category: Car
Expert:  Marty replied 3 years ago.

Marty :

Hi, and welcome. My name is Marty. If there are no external coolant leaks and the coolant seems to be burning through the motor and out the tailpipe it indicates that the motor has a blown cylinder head gasket. This would be evident by a fair amount of white smoke coming out of the tailpipe when the motor is running. There is a pressure test that can be performed on the cylinders to determine exactly where the gasket is blown. In order to repair this problem the cylinder head will need to be removed to replace the gaskets and to check the head to see if it is warped or cracked. A machine shop can straighten a warped head and can usually repair most cracks in the head. There are sealants on the market that can be tried to see if you can stop the coolant loss without removing the cylinder head but this sounds like an awful lot of coolant loss. The sealants are not usually going to be successful with a leak this large. Click here for the sealant that I recommend.

Marty :

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Can this kind of search/repair be done by a non-expert? It sounds very expensive to repair.


 

Expert:  Marty replied 3 years ago.
Hi Betty, sorry for the wait I did not see your reply until just now. This is not a simple repair and should be done by a qualified auto mechanic. You do not necessarily need an Isuzu specialist. A good general mechanic can do the repair. It's about an 8 hour labor operation to replace the cylinder head gasket.

Please let me know if you need anything else.

Marty
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the succinct answer. The reason I would have liked to have had an Isuzu mechanic reply is because s/he could have told me a bit more not only about the frequency of this kind of problem but also about other/related problems that we would have/may anticipate.
Expert:  Marty replied 3 years ago.
Hi Betty, you're quite welcome. I am familiar with the Rodeo and the 2.2 liter motor. If you have any further questions I will be glad to help you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


My husband said that the radiator fluid reservoir level does not go down. It remains constant even if he radiator needs fluid. If he adds too much fluid to the radiator, it then increases the reservoir fluid level. He changed the thermostat with a new one but it does not seem to be working. He replaced the upper radiator hose with a new one. He said that the oil filter had oil and water so he replaced that. He thinks there is an air pocket somewhere.


 


I purchased a bottle of Blue Devil head gasket sealer but the one the sales person recommended was the simpler one. We have not tried that yet.


 


Is it us just hoping that the problem is not an expensive head gasket repair or could it really be something else?

Expert:  Marty replied 3 years ago.
Hi Betty, I'm afraid that this has all of the symptoms of a blown head gasket or a cracked cylinder head. It wouldn't hurt to try the Blue Devil sealant at this point. If you continue to have problems the cylinder head will need to be removed for repair.
Expert:  Marty replied 3 years ago.
Hi Betty, I'm just following up with you on the Isuzu. Do you need any more help with this?