2002 Jeep Liberty Please help :)

Tiny
ASHMWEST
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 JEEP LIBERTY
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 109,000 MILES
I've had my car to the garage for the third time now. Initialing, it was leaking a lot of coolant, and there was a fixture that needed replaced. Then I was watching my car and I noticed the coolant kept disappearing but no leak. The system was pressure tested and my mechanic gave me a new radiator cap because he believed the coolant was overflowing from the old cap. Now, I drove my car today and white smoke started to come from the under the hood. The car did not overheat via the temp gauge, there is no water in the oil. There is coolant on the outside of the engine passenger's side. No lights went off, nothing. Any help you could give me is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Monday, May 10th, 2010 AT 5:34 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hi ashmwest. Welcome to the forum. It sounds like you have a leak that is still developing. From your description, I would look closely at the water pump. A leaking hose will be more obvious and will show up during a pressure test. The front seal on the water pump can be a little trickier to spot. Often the added pressure from a pressure tester, (or from normal engine operation), will make the seal tighten up and seal better. They will commonly leak after the engine cools down and when it is running but still cold. As the seal deteriorates even more, it will leak all the time.

The good news is you see the coolant on the engine. If you had seen white smoke coming from the tail pipe, that would indicate a leaking head gasket and big bucks to repair.

If the source of the leak still can't be pinpointed, your mechanic can add a small bottle of dye to the coolant. After running the engine for a few minutes, the dye will show up as bright yellow under a black light. Follow the trail of dye to the leak.

Caradiodoc
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Monday, May 10th, 2010 AT 6:30 PM
Tiny
ASHMWEST
  • MEMBER
Thanks for your input. I'm not 100% sure there wasn't any white smoke from the tail pipe because when I drove this morning to work it was cold and I don't know if it was my car warming up or it was white smoke. Being that I'm a little paranoid, I looked that up on the internet. So I decided to leave school and go for a little mini test run to see if it would do it again and it didn't. However, the smoke did come from under the hood and that's when I decided to stop driving it and have it towed. At that point I checked the oil, and then again later after it cooled off. Neither time was there water in it. (I have blown a head gasket in another car when I was in college, so I've tried to become a little bit more educated about all this. I remember the sludge!)

I also called my buddy is Jeep guy and I told him about what appeared to me to be the external leak. Right now it's sitting at my family mechanic's, whom I trust, and will be getting checked out tomorrow. I just get paranoid and am always looking for some insight. I'm hoping that it's not a super expensive fix, but we will see.

Thanks again!
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Monday, May 10th, 2010 AT 7:56 PM
Tiny
2CARPROS LINSEY
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Monday, May 17th, 2010 AT 12:43 PM

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