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commonpawn
March 27th, 2015, 17:49
Hi NAXJA

First post here. Seems like a great forum!
Bought myself my first XJ a few weeks ago and super excited. It is also my first own car, so looking forward to use the XJ as a learning experience on working with cars in general.

So here is the first thing i think needs attention on my XJ. Noticed a small pool of green fluid under the engine the other morning.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/k9I04_TGJihWFUde2-u3qtzk961aRz8lZBSywyWrnhk=w793-c-h1057-no

From what i can read by googling is that it is most likely coolant.

It is not consistently happening, but managed to spot dripping from these hoses one night.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/mx5gwScn5TYOCE_BHtt_dGC6Xl2usFcj0ujdOQmqrs-0=w826-c-h1101-no

So my questions are:

Is this most likely coolant leaking? How can i confirm?
Should i be worried?
What are the most logical next steps to fix the issue? Is this something i should try fix myself?
Is this a common XJ issue, if so - is there a guide or similar out there on how to fix it?


My XJ is a
1995 Cherokee Country
4.0 6-cyl inline
Automatic transmission
NP-242

Thanks!

Anak
March 27th, 2015, 20:22
Welcome to the forum. And you have already figured out how to post useful pictures and include the relevant specs on your vehicle. Good job.

I think you have correctly diagnosed your problem. That fitting in the middle of all the hoses is your heater control valve. It may be leaking or it could be one of the hoses leaking. That lowest hose with the red arrow on it would be my first suspect. You can see that someone has repositioned the hose clamp at some point. You have to wonder why. It could even be that the fitting on the heater control valve is damaged inside that hose. Someone may have used a bit too much force trying to take off a hose and managed to break the ridge off the end of that fitting (for example).

Do you have any service records for the vehicle which will tell you how old the hoses are? If not it might be a good idea to just simply replace all the hoses. Get good ones from someplace like Napa. You don't have to do the dealership for the hoses, but the dealership may be your best choice for the thermostat if you decide to do a full cooling system service.

If you don't know the age of the coolant then put in fresh coolant (70% coolant, 30% water is the ratio for which I aim).

If you do change the hoses be very very careful about the two that go into the firewall. You do not want to use excessive force trying to get them to let go of the copper fittings. Those go to your heater core. If you damage your heater core you will kick yourself. If the hoses don't seem to want to let go with moderate force I would use a utility knife to slice them lengthwise in order to get them to release. Don't cut so deeply as to start cutting into the copper, but enough so the hoses can tear apart themselves and come off.

And while you are at it, count your blessings you had the good sense to buy a vehicle with an inline six and lots of room in which to work. Get someone to pop the hood on their new Lexus or some such thing and just try to find the ends of the heater hoses, let alone remove them.

Again, welcome to NAXJA.

commonpawn
May 3rd, 2015, 21:30
Thanks

Repositioned the hose with the bottom arrow and re-tightened the clamp.
I also tightened the screw where the upper arrow was pointing, discovered a lot of coolant coming from that area today. Seems to be working!
Thanks for the help

souske
May 3rd, 2015, 22:26
You will need to replace that valve at some point, if it hasn't been already.
They like to crack at the least convenient time

commonpawn
May 3rd, 2015, 22:37
Thanks for the tip, souske. Is it a simple operation a novice like me would be able to do, you think? Should the valve be replaced at some regular interval since you're suggesting i replace it - or is it just from the look of it?

souske
May 4th, 2015, 08:36
Its a pretty straightforward replacement. undo the hose clamps, remove hoses, install new valve, re tighten clamps.

You may want to replace the hoses going to it, since you are there.

As far as a regular interval goes, I would say every 15-20 years, or when it starts leaking, whichever comes first.