heater core freeze plug Leak
What is the best way to fix a coolant leak
Proper repair depends where the leak is. Coolant leaks often
occur at the water pump shaft seal. Other leak points
include radiator, heater cores, hoses, freeze plugs, and the
Small radiator leaks, as well as minor internal seepage
inside the engine or past a freeze plug, can often be
temporarily plugged with a can of sealer. No sealer will
plug a leaky water pump, hose or badly damaged or corroded
radiator. The only cure is to replace the faulty component.
Small radiator leaks can often be patched by soldering or
using a special high-temperature epoxy. Other options
include sending the radiator to a specialty shop for repair
or recoring, or replacing the entire radiator itself with a
new one. With a leaky heater core, replacement is the best
Internal coolant leaks are more of a challenge to fix
because they require more expertise to diagnose and repair.
Coolant can seep past a head gasket or hairline cracks in
the engine block or cylinder head and enter the combustion
chamber or crankcase.
If not stopped, such a leak can cause major damage to piston
rings, cylinders and bearings, as well as overheating due to
An internal leak may be indicated if the cooling system is
losing coolant without obvious leaks. The first item to
check is the radiator cap. A weak cap that can't hold
pressure will allow the system to boil over. Both the cap
and radiator should be pressure checked with a pressure
If the cooling system fails to hold pressure, coolant is
leaking internally. The question is where? A compression
check on the engine will tell if a head gasket is leaking or
if there's a hairline crack in the cylinder or head.
A higher than normal dipstick level and/or excessive
moisture in the crankcase would indicate a coolant leak into
the crankcase. In either case, major engine work will be
necessary to repair the leak.
Another type of internal leak is one that can occur between
the coolant and automatic transmission fluid (ATF). On most
vehicles with automatic transmissions, ATF is routed through
an oil cooler inside the radiator.
If the tubing leaks, coolant can enter the transmission
lines, contaminate the fluid and ruin the transmission. Red
or brown drops of oil in the coolant would be a symptom of
such a leak.
Because the oil cooler is inside the radiator, the radiator
must be replaced to eliminate the problem. Transmission
fluid should also be changed.
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