Question about 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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2002 Grand Cherokee

My engine coolant is leaking but can't tell where it is leaking. It does not leak all the time. Replaced the thermostat and cap but no luck. It doesn't seem to be coming from hoses or water pump. Any thoughts?

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  • hatejeep May 11, 2010

    How fast is it leaking? I had to top up my water every 2 - 3 weeks and now I'm up for a possible new engine. I suggest sell it fast! My 2002 Jeep Cherokee had problems with
    overheating when idling or in slow traffic. I took it to the service
    dept numerous times, and paid around $7000 AUD yet the problem was
    never resolved. I took to checking the water levels every 2-3 weeks and
    it was losing water. Yes, I did explain all this to my local Jeep
    dealer, it just added to the bill and time off the road. The Jeep has
    now done 60,000ks and now possibly needs a new engine (according to an
    independent dealer who is actually trustworthy). The suggest repair
    cost starts at $5000 AUD, yet if a new engine is needed the who knows
    what it will cost me. Oh, the car has been offroad (on sand) once, and
    was never reliable enough for me to take it off road again.

    Sell it my friend, I seriously do not want you to go through what I have.

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  • 21 Answers

Double check all hoses to be sure if it for sure isnt leaking there check to see if you have a blown head gasket or cracked head

Posted on Jul 31, 2008

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I'm dealing with a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 3.7 litre V6. I just replaced a leaking radiator and thermostat and the car still runs hot. The fan is working and I see no leaks. What's next? Tell...


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It takes a lot more than a small leak to consider your engine as "totaled"
Have the system pressure tested and carefully inspected. Every leak has a source. some are easy to find, some are a bit more difficult. A shop can use a fluorescent dye and a black light to locate the source if you can't.
I'd check the corners of the intake manifold and timing chain housing. Also, check the hoses again. A small pin-hole can squirt coolant far away from the hole itself and is often very difficult to see.

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If it's pushing coolant out from under the cap, you may have another problem (head gasket or cracked cylinder head) but if the leak is anywhere else on the radiator (except hose connections) then the radiator needs to be repaired or replaced. Always re-fill coolant with the engine running and heat on high to avoid any air pockets in the system.

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You need to get a pressure check on the cooling system. I suspect a bad head gasket. Engine compression leaking into a water passage would force coolant back out of the engine. Hope this helps.

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If you put the thermostat in correctly (spring towards the engine) that should be OK. Likely if the water pump wasn't leaking or had a bad bearing, you wasted your $ on that.
If you re-filled it and did not have the heater on high heat, you may have some trapped air in there. But, still overheating says another thing. If you have a blown head gasket, it can pump compression into the cooling system and drive the coolant from the core. It will also overheat. You can have that tested at most any decent shop that will do a hydrocarbon test to find that.I think someone makes a chemical test kit for that but not sure if it's very expensive or not. White smoke from tailpipe will also be an indicator as will be any coolant in the engine oil or coolant on one or more spark plugs. If it turns out that it has a head gasket problem don't stop looking for problems as often a faulty fan or obstructed radiator can cause the initial overheat that caused the gasket to fail.

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