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Fiesta Coolant Drip

Yowakawaka

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Fiesta
#1
Hey everyone,

I have a 2011 Fiesta SE that’s leaking coolant. I was wondering if the coolant runs through the AC?
Here’s why - I drive to Vegas and back and noticed it was leaking coolant. I kept checking the reservoir to make sure it was coolant that was actually leaking and it was. What I noticed is that it leaks pretty heavy with the AC on. After a drive with the AC running, there will be a nice wet spot on the ground. Without the AC running, it leaks very little. You probably wouldn’t even notice the leak if you didn’t look under the hood.

The only place I see coolant is along the top edge of the radiator. It gets wet and drips down the passenger side of it. I checked the upper hose and it’s fine. I’m not sure if it’s the radiator or if it has to do something with the AC.

Anyone have this problem before or know what I’m talking about?

Thanks for all the help in advance!!!
 

Handy Andy

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#2
The front of the car behind the grille are two cores - one cooling core is for the AC, often called condenser - the other core is for the engine, and they call that one a radiator.

They are oriented front flat - and paired, when looking from the front thru the Grille - those fins are the AC one, the Radiator is the one you see when you look under the hood and notice the fan and its shroud, look carefully and you'll see how they are sandwiched together.

You have a 2011 - has anyone done any service to the car?

If you are leaking coolant, check your coolant tank, check its level. Make sure you have enough to take it in for service - a low fluid level for your coolant will soon make you have to go get another engine for it.

Because of the "load" the AC pump (compressor) places on the car, and due to the heat exchange that the AC does, it will heat up that radiator - it's why the fan runs to pull cooler air thru it to keep both from overheating the engine or themselves - yes, the engine runs hotter and demands more from its cooling system to keep the system stable.
 
OP
Y

Yowakawaka

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Thread Starter #3
@Handy Andy thanks for the reply.

I’m pretty familiar with older cars. Particularly early 80s with V shaped motors. It’s this new stuff that gets me.

I understand that the radiator and condenser are separate. My first guess is to change the radiator but I wanna make sure it’s the problem. It only really leaks with the AC on and that’s what confuses me. The coolant tank is low but still good. I have extra coolant too. It’s definitely coolant that’s leaking tho.

It’s probably the radiator so I’ll just order the parts and replace it. New upper and lower hoses too.

Oh yeah! It is a 2011. I’m the only I’ve that had done anything to the car since I’ve owned it and I’ve had it for about 8 months. Nothing major. Just breaks, oil changes, and the bank 2 O2 sensor. The previous owner claims all the work was done at a Ford dealership.

Thanks again!!!
 

Handy Andy

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#4
Coolant is pink to yellow/dark amber color.

When the AC is on, the Passenger side condenser - gets cold, enough below dewpoint at times to make a lot of water precipitate out of the core cooler in the passenger compartment - they made a drain hole and hose for it.
  • drains behind the engine - not in front of it.
Be careful, don't get coolant and plain water confused - the coolant has a taggant color so anyone can identify it.

So, watch your drip locations - front of the motor would have the coolant.

Back behind the motor is the water drain for the AC condenser unit for the cold side of the AC in the passenger compartment.
 
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Anaheim
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Fiesta
Thread Starter #5
@Handy Andy ill say it again, thanks for all the help!!!

Let me show you these photos. Probably make things a lot easier. Haha

A14D71BB-C082-4BCD-AA4A-E1A6E23D05E7.png
295C584B-B952-4167-BDAF-26FB09B8AFED.jpeg

So the coolant builds up all along the radiator (red part in photo) and drips off towards the passenger side. It’s definitely coolant too. It’s super low. Like I said tho. It really only leaks with the AC on.

So it the radiator, right? Where would it be leaking to make coolant build up like a river on that spot of the radiator?

It’s gotta be the radiator, I’m my opinion at least
 
OP
Y
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Anaheim
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Fiesta
Thread Starter #6
Also, will this work? I’m pretty sure it’s orange and not pink. Why’s the pink stuff? I’d like to go with what’s in the car already. This is my first car that takes dexcool. Usually just run the classic green stuff.

3086F4EE-D151-431F-983C-CE5F325966E7.png
 

Handy Andy

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#7
The leak is from several events,

I think your best option is to stop and just add fluid - your radiator is pretty shot - that white residue is the leftover remains of the coolant.

So if your see the actual coolant leak, that seam between the plastic and the aluminum core is shot.

Don't need to play around - just get it replaced.

There are several YT vids about changing / swapping out the old and replace with a new - but those links are vehicle specific to show how that individual replaced or fixed the condition - but can provide a general knowledge of how FORD manages to put these cars together.
 
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City
Anaheim
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Fiesta
Thread Starter #8
@Handy Andy check out the parts list. Am I missing anything.

DA15CC27-B455-4881-8C17-738CF24B8EBC.png

Here’s the coolant I got. Pretty sure it’s not pink.
C6957B73-53BF-49EE-8B87-6DB19A2351C2.png

Anyway, I’ll place the order first thing Monday.
 

Handy Andy

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#9
Yes, one of these...
1659831460032.png

And make sure your "burp lines" are not compromised, else you'll need a pair of those too - your hose will be snaking into the mess around the thermostat housing, and it uses plastic, so if the old hose doesn't come off easily, carefully remove the shorter hose from the CAR side of the thermostat housing - give you more room so you can grab and twist without breaking or tearing any more hoses

Those plastic plugs that go into the old unit - you can reuse them if careful with removing them from the OEM - if not you can check the box and see if the plugs are in there instead.
 
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City
Philadelphia
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PA
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2016 Fiesta SE
#11
When I changed my coolant reservoir with the Dorman unit pictured above, I had to use the old plugs. The rubber O-rings were shot and one of the sources of the minor leak I was experiencing. I matched the rings with a set of viton rings I have and since then the 2016 SE has been great. If I hadn't replaced that coolant tank back in the spring, I would have overheated the engine sometime during one of our last three heatwaves.
 


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