I'm not sure exactly what is going on with my vehicle ('98 Wrangler, 4.0L), but it's pretty obvious something is wrong. I think I might have had some minor coolant leaking after the past few times I've driven the vehicle. I think I ignored it because I figured it was just water (e.g. like the fluid that comes out when you run the A/C).

Regardless, like I said, it's pretty obvious something is very wrong. List last time I drove the jeep, I heard the dripping as soon as I got out of the vehicle. It proceeded to dump its coolant entirely within five minutes or so of stopping the engine. I don't believe it was leaking while I was driving. Now, the entire coolant reservoir is empty, and presumably, the actual radiator as well.

Any thoughts as to what is wrong? I mainly want to know what to start researching with regard to fixing the problem myself or getting quotes from nearby shops.

Video: http://youtu.be/ZEWQUDh45rs

Photo: enter image description here

2 Answers 2


I appears to be coming from the front and the center of the engine. I could be a hose near the water pump. The water pump itself may have failed. Most water pumps have a weep hole that drips when the seals fail. It is on the bottom of the pimp and difficult to see. You may be able to feel it by reaching under the pump, it is a small hole about half the diameter of a pencil. Finding the exact source is determined with a pressurized tester. It is a small hand pump that pressurizes the system and forces the coolant out at the leak point. You may be able to get a loaner from a big box auto parts store. It is used with a cold system and the engine off so you can reach in with your hand to find the drip. Filling the system with water for the test makes it cheaper and cleaner (no toxic,expensive antifreeze leaking on the ground). How ever if it is below freezing in your location water presents its own challenges. After the leak is found and the repair made the water must be drained and the system filled with a 50/50 mix of antifreeze.

  • I'll check that. It seems weird that even if the water pump failed, it would be tossing out so much fluid, so quickly. Doesn't it seem weird? If it helps, it looked like the fluid was coming out of the main "crank" (?) that drives the belts. Just seeping out. Thanks for your help! :)
    – rinogo
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 22:55
  • The weep hole is right above the crank. It is likely dripping onto and around the crank. Then being flung around by the fan and spinning pulley.
    – mikes
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 23:02
  • I agree with the weep hole assessment, mainly due to location. This is a lot of fluid, though, to be coming from the weep hole. The bearing/seal would have to be totally shot ... not unheard of, though. It would be very self evident looking at the bottom of the pump that this is where the coolant is coming from. Commented Feb 14, 2015 at 0:10
  • After looking at the video, I'd put money on it that's what the problem is. Commented Feb 14, 2015 at 0:11
  • Thanks for your responses! All of the fluid has leaked out of the system. How do you recommend verifying that the weep hole is the problem? I suppose I could use water, but does that make it difficult to flush the water out once the problem has been corrected? (I'd rather use antifreeze than water given my climate)
    – rinogo
    Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 18:44

Water pump is the problem, replace and you'll be fine.

  • 3
    Welcome to the site. We appreciate you being here and your input. I'm not sure how this really adds anything to what @mikes said. You may want to add the "why this is the cause" and "why replacement will fix the issue". Answers with more meat to them are more likely to be accepted and appreciated. Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 16:29

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