98 Plymouth Breeze

Tiny
JOYCEBELL
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 PLYMOUTH BREEZE
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 245,000 MILES
Leaking coolant, right side underneath close to passenger front tire.
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Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 AT 9:45 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
That's the area of the water pump. Don't ignore it as the timing belt runs around the water pump pulley. If the pulley starts wobbling and lets the timing belt break, the pistons will hit any open valves as the engine coasts to a stop. That will be a very expensive repair.
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Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 AT 10:18 PM
Tiny
JOYCEBELL
  • MEMBER
Thanks for your response, how can I tell if it is the water pump?
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Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 AT 12:02 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
There isn't much else in the area and the water pump is hidden behind the timing belt cover so some disassembly will be required to see it. One place to start is with a pressure test. A lot of auto parts stores borrow or rent tools and they will likely have a cooling system pressure tester. You attach it to the radiator or reservoir then pump the system up to 15 psi and look for leaks.

Sometimes the pressure will push against the water pump seal and cause it to seal better and stop leaking. In that case the leak might show up by running the engine.

The head gasket can leak too. That might only show up when the engine is warm or only when it is cold. A different test that might help is to add a bottle of dye to the coolant. After driving for a sufficient length of time, you search the area with a black light. The dye will show up as a bright yellow stain that you can follow to the source of the leak.
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Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 AT 12:38 AM

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