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Chrysler Repair/Pt cruiser leaking antifreeze

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Question
I have 2002 Pt Cruiser Standard 4 door. I have had a leak of antifreeze I noticed shortly after I purchased the car in March. I put a gallon in every week and a half or so but I haven't noticed a large puddle lately. When I do notice it leaking, it is typically near the passenger side. I have a friend who checked the pressure on the radiator. He put a device where the radiator cap would go and pumped the pressure to 16. There was no leak. He turned the car on and the gauge went to 10, and went back up to 16. Hopefully I gave enough information so that you can point me in the right direction. Do you have any idea based what info I gave what the problem could be? Can you give me more things I could possibly do to diagnose the problem or where the leak is coming from so I know where to fix it. Thanks so much.

Answer
Hi Amanda,
When you say you notice leaking that it is near the passenger side, where specifically? If the leak seen is on the ground, then you have to open the hood or look up from under the vehicle to see what hose or other part of the cooling system is located directly above the spot on the ground where you see the fluid. Then look carefully over the engine in that area.
The other possibilities are that you have a leak in the heater system that is inside the car, under the dash, and that leakage is dripping out on the ground where there is a drain hole opening in the firewall between the cabin and the engine compartment. Another place to look for fluid would be on the floor under the dash where leakage in the heater is dripping on the rug on either side of the center "tunnel".
All the hoses associated with the cooling system need to be checked to be sure the clamps are tight and the hoses are not cracked which allows the leakage.
Finally, when you start the car from cold in the morning, immediately put on the parking brake, leave the engine running, and walk to the rear and observe for excessive white smoke coming out the tail pipe. That smoke is not normal, and if you let a bit of it condense on your hand then smell it to see it has the odor of anti-freeze. If so then there is an internal engine leak of the Head Gasket and that is the pathway for your loss of coolant.
Those are the ways to hunt for the cause of the loss of coolant.
Roland

Chrysler Repair

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Roland Finston

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Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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I was voted "Top Expert" 2010-2015, here at AllExperts, and have answered 20,000+ questions.

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Five decades as a 'do-it-yourselfer' on domestic and imported cars.

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Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

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Advanced degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles

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"Top expert" of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 here at Allexperts. Quickest "average response time" at Allexperts (currently no. 1).

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