I have a 1998 Jeep Wrangler. A few days ago, I noticed the engine temp getting higher than usual. I'd checked fluids about a week prior. When I got home and checked fluids, the coolant reservoir was empty and the radiator needed coolant added. I added coolant to both and drove it the next day. I took it into the shop the next day and they said I had a bad water pump and then replaced it and the thermostat. Now, two days later, I drove it to a store and the parking space now has coolant all in it. My reservoir is empty. I haven't been able to check the radiator yet because it's not cooled down enough. This happened last year and I had to replace the radiator. It seems strange to happen after having just replaced the water pump, though. Any ideas?

3 Answers 3


It all depends on where the fluid is coming from. If you can determine where it is leaking from, you'll be far ahead of where you are now. If it is coming from the water pump or one of the connections at the water pump, it would appear the problem lies with the shop which did the work for you. You need to take it back to where it was fixed and have them diagnose it. If you replaced the radiator just last year, it should not be worn out or having issues already nor should it be the cause of your issue unless they somehow screwed it up. Usually, when you have something fixed, if there is a problem in the same area of concern, either it was not fixed correctly (misdiagnosed) or there is a problem with the part(s) which were used or the procedure used to fix it. Either way, take it back and have them get it fixed. I wouldn't let them give you a song-n-dance about it being something else, especially if you can localize it to the water pump in the first place ... in other words, don't pay for something again which you've already paid for.

  • What is the best way to determine where the leaks are? It seems that there are two separate locations given what's in the parking space. Also, since it was raining all day yesterday, it's tough to say if it was leaking then too and I just didn't know. Advice for getting it back home and to the garage if it's leaking this much?
    – JulieJeep
    Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 16:16
  • @JulieJeep ... If you have spare fluid, let the Jeep cool down, then refill the reservoir and radiator as best as you can. Then have the hood up and engine running. Looking at the pump and hoses, it should be apparent as to where the leak is located. Depending on how much it is leaking (while it's running), you should be able to get the Jeep home if you ensure the radiator is full. This also depends on how far you are from home as well, though. Keep a close eye on your temp gauge. If it starts going up anywhere close to the red zone, get it pulled over quickly and let it cool. Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 16:33
  • I've just had someone under it. They've shown me that it's the clamps that hold the radiator and gasket together are bowed out.
    – JulieJeep
    Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 16:39
  • @JulieJeep ... You should be able to fix this yourself. Glad it's something simple, but you'll need to wait until it's cooled down to get this fixed (as well as a screwdriver). Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 16:59
  • They're actually plastic crimped clasps. I'm not sure I can do it without breaking them. I called a radiator shop and they said they can try to crimp them back, but it does require taking the radiator out and checking it out to to make sure nothing else is going on. Estimate for that is around 150 and for a new one 260.
    – JulieJeep
    Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 17:40

Another thought: Quite a few years ago I had a full-sized van, and the water pump failed. I replaced the pump (used new gaskets, of course), and re-used the old antifreeze. It wasn't enough to fill the radiator, so I added more. My stepson drove the van the next day... and when he got back from work, the radiator was half-empty again. I pulled the water pump and found NO gaskets, so I replaced them AGAIN, and topped off the antifreeze again.

This happened regularly three times in a row - replace the gaskets, torque the bolts down correctly, top off the radiator, and the next day the gaskets had disappeared. I tried several different types of gasket material, even.

This led me to some quick research, which taught me about antifreeze chemistry. There exist on the market today no less than five different mutually-incompatible antifreeze chemistries, and if the wrong two are ever mixed together, the resulting mix is very highly corrosive - especially to gaskets. EVEN HEAD GASKETS. One of the big offenders is GM's famous "Dex-Cool" extended-lifetime antifreeze, but there are other similar antifreezes on the market.

We've moved a long way since the way when we just went and got some Prestone to top off our radiators. Now we have to be CAREFUL about what we put into our cooling system - now we have to select ONE antifreeze and stick with THAT ONE, never mixing any other type with it.

I suspect that whomever replaced your water pump reused your old antifreeze, which wasn't enough to refill your cooling system, then topped off with "whatever" antifreeze, and the mix has eaten the new water-pump gaskets just like my mix ate mine several times in a row.

The cure? Replace the water pump and thermostat gaskets again (with luck, it won't have damaged any other gaskets YET), discarding all the existing coolant, then have the entire cooling system fully flushed, select ONE preferred antifreeze, and refill your cooling system with THAT antifreeze. KEEP at least ONE of the antifreeze jugs so you can verify for sure that you buy exactly the same stuff next time you have to top off your cooling system.


The hoses have a silicon content and over time their clamps cause a deterioration to the hose, internally, where the clamp fits. New hoses may be the order of the day. A temporary fix would be to use Jubilee clips to replace the saw-tooth clamps you have already. These can be undone and parted to allow the clip to pass around the hose without disconnecting the hose and then re-assembled and tightened. You should though allow the shop that fitted the pump have an opportunity to rectify any fitting faults.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .