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Chris (aka- Moose)
Chris (aka- Moose), Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 47963
Experience:  16 years experience
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I have a coolant leak when the car is not running..starter

Customer Question

I have a coolant leak when the car is not running. The leak stops when the engine is running. Best I can tell it is leaking just above the starter. It is not the Heater Core or heater hoses. Any Ideas?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 9 years ago.

Hello, I'm Chris, a current Ford Lincoln Mercury employee.

Thanks for coming to our website Just Answer. I will do my best to help you resolve your concerns. I try my hardest to respond in a timely matter and I will respond to any reply anytime I am online. If you choose to reply after an answer is posted to say Thanks. Please include "I accept the answer" in your text

Pinpointing a leak requires diag equipment and visual inspection. I can tell you a common cause since there are none for this vehicle I also cant say replace this and your done since I dont guess. You need to perform your own diag. You will need a cooling system pressure tester to pressureize the system to locate the origin of the leak. The concern sounds like a leaking water pump seal but its no where near the starter. A visual inspection would mean thinking gravity and following the trail up as high as you can find it. Coolant usually leaves a white chalky appearance. DO NOT USE STOP LEAK.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I replaced the heater core due to a crack at the hose fitting. I filled the radiator and about 20 mins later I notice coolant leaking on the floor. I crawled under the car and saw that the coolant was running down the tranny housing on the passenger side. I removed the fender well from the passenger side and saw coolant pooling on top of the starter housing. I started the engine expecting that the system would pressurize and coolant would start to flow more violently. Instead, the leak stopped. It is not the primary heater core or hoses. Could it be the hoses for the tranny cooler?
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 9 years ago.
The tranny cooler pipes are stell and go directly to the bottom of the radiator. I suggest you follow the heater core hoses to the engine to check them. The supply and return at the engine may be your source.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Did that. What about a freeze plug or intake manifold gasket?
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 9 years ago.
Both should leak while running. You need a pressure tester and a flashlight
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Will work on it tomorrow and get back to you.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 9 years ago.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
The answers provided were totally useless to me. I already knew that I could pay someone to pressure test the coolant system. I was looking for potential clues on where to look.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 9 years ago.

I am sorry you feel this way. Ford taught me not to guess. Lets say your engine makes a noise. I am not going to disassemble the engine and find the cause. I am going to diagnose the cause and then go from there. In your case you have a coolant leak which is not a common characteristic to this vehicle so. Any and every tech will diagnose with tools. I dont know whom you get to repair your vehicle but at ford most every tech is factory trained in all categories and guessing is not a approach taught. We diagnose then repair. I fix cars to the best of my abitly the first time in. I DO NOT put parts on and say lets see if that gets it.



Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I try to troubleshoot and repair most things myself, which is why I use this site. If I can't determine the cause myself, I take the car to my local Ford dealer for repair. I could have called them and gotten the same answer you gave, but again, I was looking for possible causes to determine my next step in troubleshooting.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 9 years ago.

Without looking at the vehilce and testing it then it will be just a guess.

  1. heater hoses
  2. head gaskets
  3. heater supply and return metal lines
  4. freeze plugs
  5. intake gaskets
  6. water pump
  7. radiator
  8. coolant hoses
  9. degas bottle
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 9 years ago.
Did you get a chance to pressure test it.

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