'96 Cherokee Coolant Leak

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Bob Buchanan

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
3,038
Location
Philadelphia, PA
My Jeep began to overheat a few days ago. The coolant level was low, so I filled it. Temps came down and it drove normally all the next day. So I figured that was the only problem and that coolant was evaporating from the overflow fill cap. Did not notice any coolant on the ground during the whole time.

Next day after breakfast out, I did notice coolant on the ground from around the area of the water pump, but well behind the radiator, passenger side - and under the area just in front of the firewall, passenger side. Could not tell exactly where it was leaking.

When I got back to my rig that night - and after several errands during the AM did not find any leaks. This AM I drove even farther, the engine heated to normal temp that it always shows, and still no leaks. However, in the afternoon, it did begin leaking again.

I sometimes turn on the AC even on a pleasant day to quickly cool things after sitting in the sun but couldn't remember if I had that day. So I tried that to see if it made a difference - and it did. If I do not turn on AC, it does not leak. If I do turn on the air it leaks in both places mentioned above. The one in the front I can actually see when the air is on but cannot tell exactly where it is coming from. The one in the rear may be blow by from the front leak.

Both leaks "are" coolant. The color is green, the smell is coolant smell. Also, the radiator fan behind the radiator "does" come on when the air is turned on. Also, the temps do not rise as they did when the coolant level was low. It runs at exactly the temp it is supposed to be when it starts leaking as a result of turning on the AC.

Any thoughts before I take it in to a shop? Could it be the water pump because of increased pressure when the AC is on? I like to have a pretty good idea of what is going on before I chat with a mechanic.
 

Jim Godward

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Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Posts
5,906
Location
Hillsboro, Oregon
Bob,

If it were my problem, I would stop at a do it yourself car wash and wash out the engine compartment and then go for a drive.  If you can get your hands on a UV light the coolant should light up quite well. 
 

dan2

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 6, 2012
Posts
193
check the heater control valve, some jeeps leak there.

dan
 

mnmnutswer

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 14, 2010
Posts
593
Location
Dixon, MO
Check with you parts store to see if they have a loaner pressure test kit to attach to your radiator. You add air pressure and it will make the system leak while it is cold. Makes it so easy to find the leaks they will spray like you turned on a valve. Make sure the system is cold and full.
 
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