Coolant leak

dodge
coolant
weather
pump
ram
leaks
#1

Culprit 98 dodge ram van 318

hoveskeland

I am from seattle, presently in alberta. when the van is cold it leaks coolant. no leaks warm. common?



It is well below freezing. When parked warm over virgin snow there are no leaks. when left over night, and once very cold (-20 C) it leaks pretty steady. I am having no running issues just keep toppoing off antifreeze. I am two weeks into the trip from warmer climate. Leaks most from water pump but I can’t tell if it is a hose clamp and the water is traveling. The clamps are all the tension kind as opposed to tightening with a screw. I don’t know how to tighten these. Is this a common problem and…I assume if it were the water pump it would leak at the same pace or more when running warm or cold and while stopped warm or cold. I think the seal is contracting or something. Ideas?



#2

You may be lucky and it’s just a clamp. Replace those non-adjustable clamps with high quality ones.

#3

I Had A Dodge With A 2.2L That Would Leak (drip) At Very Cold Temperatures

It leaked at radiator hose ends where there were screw-type clamps. The leaks were actually very minor, but troublesome. I tightened the clamps as much as possible without breaking them and the leaking continued (cold, but not warm). The temperature was similar to what you are describing.

I opened-up and installed a second screw-type clamp adjacent to the existing clamp at each location without removing anything. The leaking stopped. You may want to try this. Be careful not to crush or break a radiator neck by over-tightening. You might want to try a second clamp and only snug-up the screws as necessary. I maybe had to loosen the original clamps and move them a bit if I recall. Try and get the clamps straight, not angled.

This might not fix your leaks. It could very well be the pump or something else, but it’s fairly easy and inexpensive and doesn’t require taking anything apart and might just isolate the culprit. I prefer the all stainless clamps (some have only stainless bands), however any clamps should work.

#4

“Leaks most from water pump”. Is it leaking from the two small ‘weep’ holes that signals a worn seal inside and needs replacing?

Easy enough to check for hose leaks. Simply get your fingers dirty and wipe the bottom side of the hose ends.

If wet from coolant leaking, either replace the clamps like the others have mentioned OR replace the old hose(s) and use new clamps.

If these hoses are the original ones, they MAY have hardened at the ends and if too hard, no clamp will tighten enough.

Hoses that are in the process of hardening (and cracking as a result) will leak when cold (due to shrinkage) and NOT when hot (because they swell under the clamp).

#5

I have seen the plastic end tanks on radiators leak when cold, and not when warm. Not uncommon.

#6

Than kyou for the advice. I am at a hotel in the middle of Alberta and lying in the wind and snow in the dark in the parking lot. The lower hose going into the passenger side of the pump is wet and I stuck a clamp on it. There isn’t moisture where I’d expect it where the pump meets the block (I’d suspect if the weep), instead it is dripping off a secondary pulley…I suspect it is traveling. It looks like many of the hoses, particularly the unadjustable kind, are leaking. I will keep an eye on the level, and see if I can do another thousand miles and get it home in my warm garage and replace it all. Thanks again.