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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Coolant Leak

99 Trep, 3.2L. Leaking top front of engine. It LOOKS like the rad. hose is leaking, but that's been replaced a few weeks ago. There's a round black thing on the front of the engine, something to do with the intake tuning, can't remember what it's called. Anyway, this thing is getting pretty wet with coolant. I was under the impression that there wasn't any coolant behind that piece. Anyone common failures on these engines that might fit my symptoms?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 09:12 AM
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99 Trep, 3.2L. Leaking top front of engine. It LOOKS like the rad. hose is leaking, but that's been replaced a few weeks ago. There's a round black thing on the front of the engine, something to do with the intake tuning, can't remember what it's called. Anyway, this thing is getting pretty wet with coolant. I was under the impression that there wasn't any coolant behind that piece. Anyone common failures on these engines that might fit my symptoms?
Double check the upper radiator hose. Sounds like you have a leak in that area. Check specifically for a pin hole close to the hose clamp. You may need to push the hose tighter and move the clamp closer to the radiator.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 09:45 AM
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Agree, check the upper hose. May not have seated properly, or the clamp wasnt installed correctly. Coolant could be spraying out of it, and getting on the front of the intake. Other possibiliy, a leak in the radiator that is blowing back onto the front of the engine.

If that checks out, there is a heater pipe under the front of the intake, with an O-ring seal that seats into the bottom of the lower intake manifold. They tend to leak on older higher mileage units. Next, the bleeder screw, which is in the top of the lower intake, next to the front of the plenum. Third, the lower intake gasket itself could be leaking. In these three cases, you'll have coolant running down the sides of the transmission, where it meets the engine, as there is a drain hole for the intake valley above the trans. Check the drive belts too, and see if there is any antifreeze on them, a water pump or radiator leak could be dripping or blowing onto the belts, causing them to sling coolant around.

Best bet is to have the cooling system pressure tested, that should make the leak known instantly.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. I went ahead and replaced the hose again, just to be sure. After I get it cleaned up I'll watch it. I know the bleeder is good. The car has 310,000 on it, so the heater o-ring will probably be my next area of attention if the new hose doesn't cure it.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 11:13 AM
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Thanks for the info. I went ahead and replaced the hose again, just to be sure. After I get it cleaned up I'll watch it. I know the bleeder is good. The car has 310,000 on it, so the heater o-ring will probably be my next area of attention if the new hose doesn't cure it.
310K? Nice. Original engine?
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Original 3.2.

Changed the timing belt / water pump / tensioner at 200,000 miles.

Both speed sensors in the transaxle and both cat. converters around 100,000.

Change the oil every 5,000 miles.

Home flush the tranny about every 75,000.

We have been VERY happy with our Trep.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-08-2010, 04:49 AM
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Original 3.2.

Changed the timing belt / water pump / tensioner at 200,000 miles.

Both speed sensors in the transaxle and both cat. converters around 100,000.

Change the oil every 5,000 miles.

Home flush the tranny about every 75,000.

We have been VERY happy with our Trep.
Nice, glad to see another one with high miles and going strong!

Ever figure out the leak?
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-10-2010, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Nice, glad to see another one with high miles and going strong!

Ever figure out the leak?
Not yet. Replaced the hose again, and cleaned up the wet area. The weather has been down in the 20s the last few days, so I didn't want to take a chance of getting stranded if it acted up on me. When it warms up a little later this week I'll check it out further. I'll post any resolutions.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 10:58 PM
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Can't wait to hear how this turns out - I am having the exact same issue on my 3.5 engine - mysterious wetness on top/front of engine that kinda sorta looks related to radiator hose.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 05:49 AM
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This thread is from 2010, but here is what appears to be a followup thread over two years later - but no final conclusion: http://www.dodgeintrepid.net/showthr...35#post1991935 - and here's another thread that's linked in that one that might help.: Losing coolant 3.2 1999

If it's not a hose, that o-ring connection of the heater core supply pipe at the bottom of the lower intake is a common source of coolant leaks in that area - sometimes the coolant pools there, and then runs to the back of the engine and down to the ground, appearing to be a leak from the rear of the engine when it's not. In the second link above, it did turn out to be that o-ring.


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Can't wait to hear how this turns out - I am having the exact same issue on my 3.5 engine - mysterious wetness on top/front of engine that kinda sorta looks related to radiator hose.
The valley below the lower intake had coolant in it. The o-ring on the heater pipe was rotted, and one of the coolant passages through the intake was leaking a little. Seems to be all fixed now.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 08:42 PM
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The valley below the lower intake had coolant in it. The o-ring on the heater pipe was rotted, and one of the coolant passages through the intake was leaking a little. Seems to be all fixed now.
WOW!

Your car had 310000 miles on it two years ago!!
How many miles are on it now?
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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WOW!

Your car had 310000 miles on it two years ago!!
How many miles are on it now?
Closing in on 350000
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