Intermittent Freeze Plug Leak? 94 Geo Prizm/Toyota Corolla


Old 06-03-05, 09:04 PM
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Intermittent Freeze Plug Leak? 94 Geo Prizm/Toyota Corolla

A couple of weeks ago while driving around town (freeway/street 15 miles, 85 degrees outside temperature), steam started pouring out of the front hood while at a stoplight. I immediately pulled over and couldn't determine where the water was leaking. I of course turned off the engine and let it cool down, filled the radiator back with water and drove home without incident. I checked all around the radiator and couldn't find evidence of where the leak was, but noticed that one of the freeze plugs had water rust in it and directly across from it under the exhaust manifold were noticable water stains - which seemed to match the location of the steam I observed earlier.

I'm quite certain that it was the freeze plug. But for the last 3 weeks, it's as if it never happened and it runs like a charm. Should I sell it before it explodes? Just kidding. But, has anyone ever heard of a freeze plug leaking intermittently like this? Most people will probably advise that I replace all of the freeze plugs, but I'm curious whether anyone else has knowledge of similar circumstances and insight of what might have happened. Could something in the radiator water "plugged" the gap in the freeze plug? Has anyone replaced these freeze plugs before without removing the engine? Or is there a product on the market to plug such leaks like plugging a tire leak? Would putting in 100% anti-freeze solve this problem?

Thank you for any advice.
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Old 06-04-05, 05:07 AM
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In reverse order, 100% antifreeze will do nothing, there ARE stop-leak products, but they are not generally a good idea because you can get unwanted side effects like blocked radiator passages and heater cores. A little unusual to get the type of leak you describe, but probably not impossible. As to a repair, a lot will depend on how long you intend to keep the car. Choices would range from pouring in a bottle of stop leak (for not keeping it very long, or just keeping it going until it dies) to replacing just the leaker (keep it for a little while longer, but don't wnat to pour a lot of money into it) to replacing all the plugs (going to drive it another 100,000 miles and don't care what it costs).

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