Reader Question: Hello,
I have completed my survey for insurance quotes and Travelers seems to be the front-runner. Thanks!
I have a 1992 Mitsubishi Montero 3.O Liter V6. I have developed a slight leak of antifreeze coolant coming from the around the driver side exhaust manifold.
I cannot see if it is coming from the intake, from the manifold, or from the head. When parked I see a few droplets dripping from the back of the engine on the driver side. It uses about a quart of antifreeze every week or so.
It steams a little from the driver side exhaust manifold after a trip. Heating gauges are running normal 180 to 200 degrees unless I start to run low on antifreeze.
I had the water pump replaced (was leaking) 2 years ago. Engine has never overheated. No antifreeze in oil or transmission fluid.
Do you think it is a head gasket problem, a cracked head, or an intake manifold gasket? Is this a common problem with this 3.0-liter engine? Do you think I should try a stop leak (Bart) product?
I am hoping that it is a frost plug or an intake manifold gasket because the engine has 178,000 miles.
My Dad was a master mechanic and known as “The Doctor of Motors”. Since he passed away, I need someone to help me diagnose this problem. I have enough mechanical background on engine repair to make me dangerous without your help and guidance.
Please let me know what you think.
Thanks in advance!
Thanks for your e-mail.
I would HIGHLY recommend you take the vehicle to your regular mechanic or even one of the fast lube places and get a cooling system pressure test to locate the leak. This is a simple and cheap test they can do while you wait.
This leak could be from something as simple as a thermostat housing gasket, or a heater hose that is leaking coolant and running down the side of the intake manifold.
Since you did not mention any of the common head gasket symptoms, I would assume this is an external coolant leak and not something drastic like a manifold or head gasket leak.
I would NOT use a stop leak additive until you get a proper diagnosis of the problem. If you get bad news, e-mail me back and we can talk about options then.