Mitsubishi Montero & Montero Sport This sport utility vehicle offers more size than the other Mitsubishi SUVs, but manages to keep a sporty look and comfortable feel, unlike many larger SUVs.

coolant leak after changing valve cover gaskets, plugs, camshaft o-rings ...

  #1  
Old 03-25-2018, 07:59 PM
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Default coolant leak after changing valve cover gaskets, plugs, camshaft o-rings ...

Ok, after putting everything back together, I added a little coolant to the radiator cap ... and it immediately started leaking coolant out the bottom somewhere.

I understand I probably should have filled to overflow reservoir only?

Ok, so I caught that and thought maybe it was already full, as the overflow tank was full.

So I fired it up today after getting everything back together ... the good part is its running much better, but it was leaking coolant still. A fairly active drip - argh!

I ran it for a while and I think it leaked a bit off, then eventually stopped leaking. However, it gets hot at an idle and the reserve tank now shows low.

I could not locate any leaks on the top portions of the engine, nor on the radiator. It seemed to come from below the engine ... and leaked even when the engine
wasn't running yet

While driving coolant temps stayed around 203-208 ... and then at idle they creep to 218-225 range, per OBD2 readings ... and the fan cycles on some. I don't recall
the fan ever coming on previously. The dealer we bought it from had just done the radiator, thermostat (?), timing belt and water pump.

What could have happened to have started this coolant leak?

Any ideas where to start?
 
  #2  
Old 03-26-2018, 02:33 AM
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Hey can you share some specifics about the model, year, options, etc.? Very curious to hear what others here have to say about your issue.
 
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Old 03-26-2018, 06:03 AM
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Taybrynn I suspect because of the leak you have, there is now an air pocket in there somewhere that is causing the engine to heat up because your coolant isn't circulating. Is it leaking off the back part of the engine and dripping off the transmission area onto the ground? Try to see if there is coolant under the intake in the "V" part of the motor. It's a pain to get a good visual and pinpoint a coolant leak.
 
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Old 03-26-2018, 08:00 AM
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It’s a 2003 3.5L Montero Sport Limited.

when I had it all apart, I could see the coolant pooling a bit behind the engine (down low) and it appeared to be on top of the transmission, then would trickle off from there.

I’m wondering if my next drive should be to a shop that can lift it for better troubleshooting. Not sure what place would be best.

i don’t believe it was from the plenum connections as I had those off ... had them hose clamped and they appeared to have only nominal amounts of coolant in them.

There was no leak before doing any of the work. After changing the valve covers, a topped off with a little coolant ... noticed the drip then. It seems to still be dripping off the same location once I actually ran it. Drove it around and monitored temps ... car itself running great. No more misfiring or stuttering on hills. When I returned home from the short neighborhood drive, it wasn't leaking anymore, but temp gauge going a bit above midpoint at idle and cooling fan cycling on some, which concerns me.

I have a little probe camera, but its been difficult to see any leak up top ... so I figure its down at the bottom somewhere, could be in the V below the intake, as it appears to be flowing from the engine to on top of tranny pooling, then dribbling over and off from there.
 

Last edited by taybrynn2; 03-26-2018 at 09:00 AM.
  #5  
Old 03-26-2018, 09:38 AM
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I'm in the middle of doing the same thing. Had the same symptoms you described. I thought mine was a heater hose because of the location at the back of motor but after tearing into it I found one of my lower intake gaskets failed and coolant was leaking and pooling up inside that "V" part, traveling down and dripping off the back part of the motor. I couldn't tell it was leaking from there as its very difficult to see, plus I didn't know exactly what I was looking for until I started removing stuff. I guess it's pretty common. One of my O-rings on the coolant pipe had a slow leak as well which is the part I'm still trying to find as we speak. None of the parts stores here have any that will fit and I haven't been able to find any helpful information. Good luck with yours
 
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Old 03-26-2018, 10:17 AM
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Thank you handyman79 and good luck on your similar situation! I wish I had more time (and courage) to do what your doing.

I've been having to figure out the part numbers online and then find a Mitsubitshi parts supplier ... seems to be plenty of them thankfully, including amazon and ebay.

I just dropped my vehicle at a local import auto repair guy to take a look. Hopefully he can diagnose it, pressurize the system and find the true source of the leak.
I am hoping to get it all fixed in time to drive from Colorado to Utah where my daughter will have this as her college commuter, short distances back and forth to college parking and weekly to the store, etc. I was hoping to not spend moeny at a shop, but this is a difficult problem for me to fix, with limited skills and experience.

I'm also smelling gas after running a bit, so not sure if that's from all the cleaning spray (degreaser) I did on the engine components, or something more serious. The only thing I can see as possible, is that all the effort spent getting the valve covers off (even with rubber mallet and wood blocks) ... might have caused some other leak possibly? Those were a pain to get off, since I'm certain it was the original gaskets, based on condition I found them in..

Outside of the leak and the gas fumes ... its running real sweet and the original problems seem gone (mainly sputtering on hills at 30-40 mph, after warm).

When I check the oil level, its hard to get a good reading. I put in synthetic and its practically clear still.
 

Last edited by taybrynn2; 03-26-2018 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 03-26-2018, 04:00 PM
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Repair place just called and confirmed its the water pump gasket and pipe seals. Sounds like the same thing.
 
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