I drove my 2017 F-150, which has a 5.0L V8 engine with 110,000 miles, without any issues last night. However, when I returned to the vehicle, I noticed a significant coolant leak on the ground. Upon checking the coolant reservoir, I found it to be completely empty. Upon further inspection under the truck, it appears that the coolant was being expelled, but the temperature gauge did not show any overheating. I added more coolant, but it started dripping noticeably even when the truck wasn’t running. I then drove it a short distance to the dealership and left it there overnight. Unfortunately, the dealer cannot look at it for another 7-10 days.
Based on my initial observation, it seems like the source of the coolant leak may be the lower radiator hose. Has anyone else experienced a similar issue, and was it ultimately due to the hose or possibly a problem with the water pump? Additionally, are there any effective methods to test the water pump to confirm its condition?
Ford F-150 Coolant Leak Solutions
It’s unfortunate that you’re experiencing coolant loss issues with your 2017 F-150. While I can’t diagnose the issue definitively without physically inspecting the vehicle, I can provide some guidance on what might be happening and how to approach the situation.
Lower Radiator Hose: A leaking lower radiator hose could indeed be the culprit, especially if it’s visibly damaged or if you can see coolant dripping from the hose itself. Hoses can degrade over time and develop cracks or leaks.
Water Pump: The water pump is another component that could be causing coolant leaks. A failing water pump may not always result in a high-temperature reading on the gauge, as the coolant may still circulate to some extent. However, if the water pump is not functioning properly, it can lead to coolant leaks. You can check for signs of a failing water pump, such as coolant residue or stains around the water pump area.
To troubleshoot further:
Coolant Pressure Test: A coolant pressure test can help pinpoint the source of the leak. It involves pressurizing the cooling system to identify where the coolant is escaping. If it’s a hose or a connection, you should be able to see coolant seeping out under pressure.
Visual Inspection: Carefully inspect the lower radiator hose for visible damage or leaks. Look for wet spots or stains around the hose connections, clamps, and the water pump.
Thermostat Housing: Another potential source of coolant leaks in this area could be the thermostat housing. Check it for any signs of leaks or damage.
Drive Belt and Pulleys: Inspect the drive belt and pulleys for any coolant residue. Sometimes, a leaking water pump can cause the belt to slip, leading to overheating issues.
Remember driving the vehicle with a coolant leak can lead to engine overheating and serious damage. Since the dealership can’t get to it for a while, it might be a good idea to have it towed to a trusted mechanic or repair shop for a more immediate inspection and repair.
Once the issue is identified, you can make an informed decision about the necessary repairs. If it’s a relatively simple fix like a hose replacement, it should be more affordable and quicker to resolve. If it’s the water pump or a more complex issue, it may take longer and be more costly to repair.