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Auto Go
Auto Go, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Jeep
Satisfied Customers: 849
Experience:  ASE Master certified, ASE certified Undercar Specialist, ASE Advanced Engine Performance certified
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2000 Jeep Cherokee: is using coolant..leaks..Uses a gallon..600 miles

Customer Question

2000 Jeep Cherokee is using coolant. No external leaks and no evidence of water in the oil. Uses a gallon about every 500 to 600 miles.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Jeep
Expert:  Auto Go replied 7 years ago.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer!

The coolant has to be going somewhere. There is a kit you can buy from your parts store that will check for evidence of exhaust gasses in the coolant. It's basically a rubber cone attached to a clear cylinder that goes into the radiator neck. You put a bit of special solution into the clear cylinder and attach the cap to the cyinder. There is a vacuum line atop the cap that it either attached to engine vacuum or a hand held vacuum pump. As vacuum is applied, air is drawn from the radiator, through the cone and through the clear cylinder and ultimately through the special solution. If there is any exhaust gas in the radiator, the solution will change color indicating a cylinder head problem.


You could also use a gas analyzer and check for hydrocarbons in the radiator, but most of us don't have a gas analyzer so this isn't a viable option.


If you have no external leaks, then it alomst has to be burning it. It's not very common for the 4.0 liters to blow head gaskets, but it can happen and it's also possible for there to be no smoke out the tail pipe as well. I have seen many vehicles with head problems not smoke at all.


good luck and I'd like to know how the test comes out.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
If there is exhaust gas in the coolant does this absolutely mean a cracked head? Or could it still just be a head gasket?
Expert:  Auto Go replied 7 years ago.
No, it dosen't have to be a cracked head. It could be just the gasket. My research indicates that it's about a 50 50 shot gasket or head on this engine. When you get the head off, send it to a machine shop and have it checked for warpage and cracks. You don't wanna do this job again because you didn't "see" any cracks in the head and you put it back on and now you got the same problem. Get it off, and get it to a machine shop so they can check it out. It shouldnt' cost much more than 100 bucks for a single head. Now if something is wrong with it then the cost will go up.
Auto Go and 5 other Jeep Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for your help.
Expert:  Auto Go replied 7 years ago.
Your very welcome!

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