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Repair leaking engine freeze plug - 2005 Dodge Caravan

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Is the side freeze plugs or the ones between the engine and trans ? either way knock the leaking one out hit one side of it and turn it side ways in the hole and pull it out with pliers if its hard to get to you may have to make room but you can replace it with an expansion plug or oem style plug

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How to change freeze plugs on 2001 mercury mountnier with a 302 engine


This is a tuff freeze plug to get to. If the plug is fully exposed you can punch a hole it and pry it out with a screw driver. Once out you can replace it with an expandable rubber freeze plug to get the job done in the car. If not this may require pulling the drive train down to get at it or pull the engine to make the repair. Feel the freeze plug with your fingers to determine the best route.

Nov 22, 2014 | 2001 Mercury Mountaineer

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Diagram for 2001f150 5.4 engine cooling hose


check soft plugs in the back of the engine block (also called freeze plugs) which are there for the purpose of expansion in cases of freezing solid in order to prevent the engine block from cracking under the pressure of freezing. its not a costly repair if you can get to the plug to replace it yourself ? if not get it to a shop pronto because soon the temps outdoors will increase causing overheating of the engine to occur without proper coolant capacity. Good Luck and i hope this helps you.

Feb 16, 2014 | 1991 Ford F150

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I have a 1998 Ford Expedition. I have been told that I have a bad coolant leak coming from rear freeze plug and that I should replace the engine. My question is, do the engine need too be replaced or do I...


If you look on the side of an engine block you will see a line of circular depressions about an inch and a half in diameter and about a quarter of an inch deep. These are actually holes in the side of the engine block which are plugged with a dish shaped metal plug called a "freeze plug" or "expansion plug". WHAT FREEZE PLUGS DO As with many things on a car, there is an "official reason" and a "REAL" reason for freeze plugs. The official reason (and the source of the name) is this: If you run just water with no antifreeze in your car's cooling system the water can freeze. When water freezes, it expands. If water freezes inside your engine block, it can expand and crack the block, destroying the motor. Freeze plugs (or expansion plugs) will "pop out" and supposedly prevent this. In reality this doesn't work all the time: I've seen MANY blocks destroyed by cracking without the freeze plugs popping out, or if they do pop out the block cracks anyway. THE REAL PURPOSE OF FREEZE PLUGS OR EXPANSION PLUGS Engines are "sand cast". A special type of sand is poured into a pair of boxes. A "die" is pressed into the sand, making an impression of the engine block to be cast. The sections of the mold are then put together and molten iron is poured in, forming the engine. This is why engines have a rough texture on most areas: this is the texture of the sand used to cast them.There have to be "cylinders" made of sand in the middle of this mold to create the cylinders of the engine block. These chunks of sand can't just "float" inside the mold: SOMETHING has to hold them in place. There are little columns of sand that connect the cylinder mold to the outer mold half. The mold for the cylinder "sits" on top of these. After the block is cast, these holes are machined smooth and a "freeze plug" or "expansion plug" is put in to plug the hole.
THE PROBLEM WITH FREEZE PLUGS OR EXPANSION PLUGS The problem with freeze plugs or expansion plugs is that they are made of very thin metal, AND THEY RUST!!! From the factory they are made of galvanized steel, and if you always run a 50/50 mix of antifreeze in your cooling system you should never have a problem. Unfortunately many people don't do this, and the freeze plugs rust through, creating a cooling system leak.When I replace freeze plugs or rebuild an engine I always use brass plugs: they only cost a tiny bit more and will not rust through. The manufacturers don't use brass plugs of course: they cost a few cents more, and they will save a penny anywhere they can: pennies add up to millions of dollars!
SIGNS OF BAD FREEZE PLUGS If you have a bad freeze plug your vehicle will leak coolant. If you have a slow cooling system leak that comes and goes, you may have a pinhole freeze plug leak. l Freeze plugs are in different places on different cars, but normally they will be down the side of the block (at least 3 of them) and in the back of the block, between the engine and the transmission. Some are fairly easy to get to, others require removing various parts off the engine, some even require removing the transmission or engine to replace! Some cylinder heads also have smaller plugs in them, often under the intake or exhaust manifold.So if you have water leaking down the side of your engine, or water leaking from the hole in the bell housing between the engine and transmission, you probably have a bad freeze plug. Sometimes the hole in the freeze plug is very small, and can periodically stop when a piece of crud from the cooling system jams in the hole.
FREEZE PLUG REPAIR If the leak is slow and small, a stop leak or block seal compound might work. I have had good luck with K&W Liquid Block Seal: it's good stuff! Of course, as with any "rig" of this sort, it might not work, might not last for long, and could clog up something else in your cooling system. The right way to fix it is to replace the freeze plug. FREEZE PLUG REPLACEMENT To remove a freeze plug, first hammer it into the block with a big screwdriver or a large punch. It won't go far into a modern engine: there isn't much room behind the plug. When it "pops through" you can easily pry it back out of the hole sideways with a pair of pliers or a screwdriver. Be careful not to scratch the surface of the hole where the plug sits, or it could leak around the circumference of the new plug.
After the plug is removed, clean the hole in the block with sandpaper to remove the corrosion and old sealant. Once again, if you don't do this the new one might leak.Normal freeze plugs are hammered in with some sealant around them. I use aviation grade Permatex sealer.
A special tool is made to install freeze plugs: the tool is available at a good auto parts store. In a pinch you can use a large socket that just barely fits inside the rim of the plug, however this can damage the new plug if you aren't careful.
If you can't get to the freeze plug to hammer it in, you have to take off whatever parts are in the way to access the plug. Sometimes it's easier to remove the engine from the car. Another option when access is limited is an expanding replacement freeze plug. These replacement plugs are made of either copper or rubber. A nut on them expands the plug against the block when tightened. These plugs can be installed in areas too tight to hammer in a regular freeze plug. I have had bad luck with the rubber type: they blow back out quite often. I have had good results with the copper type (made by Dorman).
I have not had good results with either type on Ford products: Ford for some reason makes their freeze plugs in "odd" dimensions, like 1 and 51/64 of an inch. You can get the copper type plug in 1/8 th increments, but it won't expand enough to fit the Ford size. The rubber type will SEEM to expand enough, but it will stay in for a week or so then blow out, dumping all your coolant out in a matter of seconds!!!
So on all Fords I just do whatever it takes to pound a regular style brass plug into the block.

Here are some pictures of a Ford F-150 truck freeze plug job I did.

The hard part is taking the exhaust and intake manifolds off: after that the job is easy. CAUTION! I have one issue with this freeze plug video: He uses no sealant on the new freeze plugs, and he's not using brass freeze plugs.
I always use aviation grade permatex sealant on freeze plugs. It's available at any good auto parts store.Don't use RTV silicone: I've seen freeze plugs "pop out" with silicon seal.
Freeze plugs will work when put in "dry", but they might "weep" a small amount of coolant.
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Apr 03, 2013 | Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

Show me all the freez plugs on the 4.6 dohc engine


check for bad head gasket,not for bad freez plug

Jan 13, 2013 | 1994 Mercury Grand Marquis

1 Answer

96 buickskylark leaking anitfreeze could it a hose or freeze plug or heatercord leaking in the back of the engine.



  • When your heater core leaks it will not leak in the engine bay. The heater core is behind the dash and will make the passenger side floorboard wet. Also the windows will fog when on defrost and a sweet smell will take over the cabin. I don't suspect the heater core. BUT the heater core hoses are against the firewall and one could have cracked a leak. You will notice this though. You will see two smaller hoses going into the firewall on the passenger side of the vehicle. If they are leaking they are an easy spot.

  • Your water pump is more in the mid section on top of the belt drive system. Water could be splattering back there but if you see it steadily leaking from back there with the vehicle off then I would not suspect the water pump.

  • Freeze plugs are where the engine sits as it is cast, when being made. The holes that are left when the engine is lifted after casting are where the freeze plugs go. This is where the antifreeze circulates around the block to keep the engine cool. This is what I suspect is the problem. If that freeze plug is accessible the you can replace it no problem. If it is not then you may have to take it to a repair shop so they can lift the engine up a bit and replace it.

  • Hope this helps and thank you for using FixYa.


Regards, Tony

Jul 26, 2011 | 1996 Buick Skylark

1 Answer

I have a 1987 2wd ford f150 and there seems to be rusty water from my rad leaking out of my transmission area???


Hi, there are freeze plugs on the back of the engine block. If one of them has rusted thru, it will leak coolant into the transmission bell housing and out the bottom. You will have to separate the transmission from the engine at least a few inches or more to repair the freeze plug. If you need instructions for doing this, please reply with your engine size and type of transmission.

Mar 15, 2011 | 1987 Ford F 150

1 Answer

Water leaking from between the engine and transmission "union"


There are two freeze plugs on the back of the block.

Jun 27, 2010 | 1983 Chevrolet Blazer

3 Answers

Anti-freeze leaking from the back of the engine


its the lower intake gaskets that go out on them

Jun 05, 2010 | 2002 Chevrolet Blazer

1 Answer

I got a 1996 buick century with a 3:1 and its leaking anti freeze some were on the driver side of the motor and i dont no what it is to i can fix it. It didnt leak till it got warm out so i was thinking it...


If the antifreeze is leaking out behind the exhaust manifold then i would say you have a freeze plug leaking . The plug is located on the sides of the engine block. They can be a real job to get out and replace. If you see the leak in the location i described then i would take it to a repair shop for repairs. Have them to inspect all the freeze plugs for damage. Hope this will help you.

May 20, 2010 | Cars & Trucks

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