Engine Cooling problem
2000 Ford Ranger 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 75000 miles
After driving a short distance, there is an antifreeze smell coming from under the hood. I have not noticed any fluid on the ground nor any obvious leaks under the hood. The coolant in the overflow tank is dirty looking but does not appear oily. Oil on the dipstick appears normal. When I remove the radiator cap, there is pressure. Over the past few days, I have noticed that the temp gauge will rise following a few minutes of driving and then it drops to normal and stays there. I plan to do a pressure test this weekend. Web seaches have suggested water pump or head gasket. What else? What should I be looking for? Many thanks !
With the temp going up then down to normal I would think that the thermastat is sticking. You did not say if you are loosing coolant. Best thing to do is pressure test it. If the test comes out all right look at the radiator cap. If you smell the coolant insdie the ranger check inside on the passengers side floor to make sure it is dry. What you are checking for is to see if the heater core is ok.
January, 21, 2010 AT 2:45 PM
Thanks. I am losing antifreeze. I have not checked to see if I am exhausting white smoke but I did look at the oil dipstick and it did not appear to have a color other than oil. There is no smell inside the cab and the floor is dry so I have ruled out the heater core for the moment. I will pressure test this weekend and let you know what I found.
January, 21, 2010 AT 3:31 PM
Check the hoses going to the heater core on the underside to see it there is any anti freeze on them. If you can not see a leak best thing is the pressure test.
January, 25, 2010 AT 6:05 AM
I have read in several Ranger forums where owners have gone to Autozone to borrow a pressure tester. I did the same. From 2 stored. And while each had the same two adapters none fit my radiator. I could test the radiator cap (it passed) but not the radiator. I asked the store for the correct adapter and they said this was all they had. It was a MT300 Motorad unit with a blue and chrome adapters. Am I missing something or is their equipment faulty?
January, 28, 2010 AT 12:22 PM
I looked up the motorad mt 300 and it looks like there is 3 adapters a red one a blue one and a chrome one. See picture. They might not have the tester adapter you need with the kit. www.motoradusa.com/products/testers/index.html -The web site is
January, 28, 2010 AT 12:31 PM
Thanks. I discovered the same thing. You would think that for a Ranger there would be a mating adapter. Is MotoRad related to Stant? I found a Stant adapter (12027) at RockAuto that looks like it will get the job done.
February, 4, 2010 AT 12:48 PM
Autozone simply did not have the necessary adapter so I took the Ranger to a local garage where they pressurized the system. The gauge did not appear to decrease after a half hour but in that time a lot of looking was done and we found a leak on the Timing Cover. As the water pump (original) needed to be removed, I had that and the gasket replaced. No more smell from under the hood. A quick web search suggests this may be a problem with Ford.
February, 10, 2010 AT 5:47 PM
Sometimes leaks can come from the oddest areas. Sometime they are easy to find and sometimes hard. I am glad you found what was causing the smell. It would bother me too.