Leaking Coolant

Alien Jun 26, 2020

  1. Alien

    Alien Bought an X

    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Gilbert AZ
    Hi Guys,
    A couple weeks back I had a major heat issue where I was driving on the freeway and notice my temp gauge was pegged. I got off the freeway and limped to my destination, gave it time to cool down, then limped it back home. The oil level was good, so I started checking things with the radiator. I changed the cap but that didn't solve it, nor did changing the coolant. I finally got the tiny crack in the top tank to show itself, so I replaced the radiator.

    Everything seemed good until this morning when I noticed a drip spot after driving a few miles, drove a few more and I had another. Got back home and it's definitely dripping coolant. I can't see anything wet around the radiator or hoses, and I can't see anything from the hoses behind the intake plenum. It appears to be dripping from the cross member between the oil and transmission pans.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. General_Tarfun

    General_Tarfun Need Bigger Tires

    Messages:
    626
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA

    I don't have any experience with the first gens but after a radiator replacement the first thing I would check are the main hoses/clamps. On the second gen there are a ton of secondary coolant hoses running all over the place, I'd think you would have something similar so they can be tricky to track down. If you just can't find it there's alway UV dye you can put in to help pinpoint the leak.
     
  3. westslope

    westslope First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    289
    Location:
    Wildfire country, BC
    No experience with 1st gen Xterras here either.

    I would remove the front grill to facilitate inspection. Easy to do on the 2nd gen X.

    A cloudy day or a dark garage might help. Use a flashlight. Look for glistening fluid. If you can park on lawn or gravel, then perhaps try to do the inspection at night with the engine running. Most of us are not set up to work on our vehicles inside the garage with the engine running.

    Afterwards, dilute heavily with a hose where the anti-freeze has been dripping. Anti-freeze fluid can be deadly for small children and domestic pets.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Alien

    Alien Bought an X

    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Gilbert AZ
    Thanks guys. I've already done a quick scan in the front and can't find anything wet. Looks like it might be one of the hoses on the back of the intake. They are old and original, so it wouldn't surprise me that with a new radiator and cap the pressure might be a bit much. Hopefully it's just a loose clamp.
     
  5. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

    Messages:
    16,939
    Location:
    Dallas
    Check the heater hoses going through the firewall
     
  6. Alien

    Alien Bought an X

    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Gilbert AZ
    Will do. I can't smell anything inside but I'll check them out.
     
  7. Alien

    Alien Bought an X

    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Gilbert AZ
    Just to close this out, it turned out to be that little 90 degree booger of a hose in the back of the upper plenum. I was able to see it spray while looking up from underneath the truck. I replaced that, and the one behind it while I was there. Not a difficult job, just a PITA due to the lack of room.
     
    westslope likes this.
  8. General_Tarfun

    General_Tarfun Need Bigger Tires

    Messages:
    626
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    The one down in the engine V behind the timing case?
     
  9. Alien

    Alien Bought an X

    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Gilbert AZ
    On the backside. Mine is a 2003, so different engine. It was these two I replaced. The L shaped one split. I figure I'm going to look at replacing all of them sooner than later. From what I've read the heater core lines and inlets are the ones to watch for next.

    upload_2020-7-14_7-57-20.png
     
  10. General_Tarfun

    General_Tarfun Need Bigger Tires

    Messages:
    626
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA

    Ah ok, didn't catch that the first time for some reason. Funny though the hose is about the same shape as the terrible one I thought you were talking about, IDK why they don't just use hard lines for stuff that far down in.
     
  11. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

    Messages:
    16,939
    Location:
    Dallas
    Because the lower coolant pipes which run to the heater core are attached to the block, while the upper pipes are attached to the intake. Those two are the ones I just say cut and replace if you have to pull the intake.
     
  12. Alien

    Alien Bought an X

    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Gilbert AZ
    Sure you do - planned obsolescence and repairs. They want you to hit the dealerships for parts and service.

    upload_2020-7-14_11-21-8.png
     
    General_Tarfun likes this.
  13. General_Tarfun

    General_Tarfun Need Bigger Tires

    Messages:
    626
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Haha that's true. They'd love to bill out 3 hours to change a $3 hose.
     

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