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Coolant leak, radiator

This is my wife’s 2013 Sonata with the 2.4 engine.

Today I noticed a few drops under the car, front passenger side. Looking inside the hood, it seems it is coolant leak from the radiator drain plug.

There is the AC line there too, but the liquid is green.

I can get the plug from the dealer in 48 hours, but worried that the thing might break and get me stuck.

So, is it fair to assume I need a new radiator?

With the COVID-19 epidemic, pressure testing the system is less feasible as I am swamped at work and might only have a few hours to work on this, so borrowing, returning of the tester becomes an issue.

Try tightening the drain plug and see if the leak stops.


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Tried, it won’t tighten, it won’t get loose easy too. Kinda flimsy piece of plastic. That’s why I am not sure if I should mess around with it.

It might be a bayonet mount, not screw-in. You’d have to push on it and twist counterclockwise. Be ready for a gusher. The problem might be a rubber o-ring, twisted or damaged.

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The drain plug is quite generic

take it off and check out the o-ring

if it’s bad, replace the o-ring

If you need the entire drain plug, auto parts stores typically have those things in the “help” section

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You should use sealing tape. Unscrew drain plug and wrap and screw it back. You need enough coolant.

use sealing tape.
?? I think he means plumbing teflon tape, wrapped around the threads

it also fits

What fits ? Could you be a little more clear as what you are trying to say .

plumbing teflon tape

Thanks for the posts. This leak started when the car was sitting as my wife is off work/hunkered down.

I drove it around and looked again, it is from the top of the radiator, almost seems from where the support bar is sitting on the radiator. It is not the cap, as this radiator has a neck that goes back to the firewall and the cap is there. Leak is small, so if you keep driving the car, it evaporates and you won’t notice. Coolant loss is about what it has been for a few years, a cup every few months which I was patching up to evaporation.

I have ordered the radiator and the cap online. Have to find some generic coolant, probably Wal-mart.

It’s safe to reuse the coolant that’s in there, and replace it when convenient. One less visit to a store means less chance to catch or spread the virus.

Some parts stores will take your order and payment by phone, then set the product outside for you.

Good luck!

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Since you guys like closure; here it is.

I watched the car for a few days and the leak was there. Not enough for the coolant to go down, but I wasn’t going to wait until my wife is stranded on the roadside.

So, ordered the radiator from rockauto, along with a new cap. Bought coolant from WM.Got around to working on the car this past weekend as we still haven’t got the massive patient surge we are worried about.

It took longer than I thought because taking the upper support for the radiator required the hood latch system to come off. Took a few swivel sockets because I didn’t want to remove the bumper.

So far, no more leaks. I recycled the coolant, but still have half a gallon of concentrate left. Will have to find a use for it or if this repair holds, recycle it later.


All right :clap:

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