Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: External leak and car losing coolant

asked by on

There is an external leak that I can see and my car has been losing a lot of of coolant. My gasket needs replacing and I’m going to soon do that. Just need to find out if it is the upper or lower intake or both. Here is what has happened: Yesterday after starting my car, there was a very loud ticking noise. I drove it up the street a little to test it and there was a loss of power, it drove roughly and was hesitating. After opening the hood, I saw orange coolant (that had an oily feel) covering the top of the intake manifold (near the injectors). Red flag! I’m wondering if that is a sign of pre-hydrolocking. (I’m not driving until the problems are solved.) I’m wondering if that leak damaged anything internally and the elbows probably should be replaced. I’ve never done this before, but have an idea of how to… Will the problem be solved by my replacing the upper intake gasket and then doing an oil change, or is it the lower intake and should I replace the lifters?

Hello! If there was a loud ticking noise you may have some internal engine damage. But I wouldn’t go replacing the lifters just yet. I would recommend checking what is leaking first. If you’re doing the upper gasket it is always good to do the lower one as well, vice versa.

I suggest to have a technician inspect the location of the intake gasket leak to compare it to a diagram if necessary to determine if it is the upper or lower. After replacing the gaskets, remove the spark plugs and use some type of siphon to extract any oil or coolant that is pooling up on top of the pistons. I would also suggest testing the head gasket as well to ensure that that there is not a potential cause of your oil and coolant mixture.

If you need some assistance with these checks, enlist a certified mechanic who can pinpoint the coolant leak and make the necessary repairs for your vehicle.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: car overheating 225

Normal engine operating temperature is up to 225 degrees. As long as you are not over that value, the engine is not overheating. Intermittent cabin heat means there is an obstruction in the coolant flow and that obstruction can be...

Q: how much does it cost to change the oil monthly?

The monthly (or "per change") cost depends on whether you are using synthetic oil or conventional oil. If you click "Get a Quote" at YourMechanic's oil and filter service request page you can specify your engine size and oil type...

Q: Valve cover gasket 2012 Ford F-150

Hi - Here at YourMechanic, click here for guidance on how to make this repair. There are many other aftermarket sources for information on how to replace valve cover gaskets: the factory Ford Service Manuals, vendors of aftermarket service manuals...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...