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Hey guys,

Well, I feel like an idiot, but I'm assuming I didn't have a strong enough coolant mix for this cold snap we got a few weeks ago. I went in the garage today to start her up and there's a puddle of coolant below the front jug. I didn't want to start it because I didn't want to cause any further damage.

The problem is, I've got no idea what to check before I do anything further! From what I can tell, it appears it may have come from the gasket about half way up the jug... but I don't know whats behind that gasket... I've never done anything mechanical on her before...

Any advice on where I should start now that it's thawed?

Checked the radiator, and I don't see any coolant from it

Checked the upper part of the jug, don't see anything that came from the hose

That's as far as I went before searching the forum here and coming up empty.

Thanks!
 

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Hey guys,

Well, I feel like an idiot, but I'm assuming I didn't have a strong enough coolant mix for this cold snap we got a few weeks ago. I went in the garage today to start her up and there's a puddle of coolant below the front jug. I didn't want to start it because I didn't want to cause any further damage.

The problem is, I've got no idea what to check before I do anything further! From what I can tell, it appears it may have come from the gasket about half way up the jug... but I don't know whats behind that gasket... I've never done anything mechanical on her before...

Any advice on where I should start now that it's thawed?

Checked the radiator, and I don't see any coolant from it

Checked the upper part of the jug, don't see anything that came from the hose

That's as far as I went before searching the forum here and coming up empty.

Thanks!
The first thing to do is beg, borrow or purchase an antifreeze tester. They are about $10 if you buy one.

Test the antifreeze.

How cold did it get?

Even a protection rated to -20F will not freeze solid at -30F.
 

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I'll get a tester tomorrow to see. That's a good idea. The puddle wasn't there prior to the freeze, so that's why I'm assuming it was freeze related.

I'll test the coolant and see where it stands!
 

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Pressure test the coolant system to locate your leak, one may be available to borrow from your local auto parts store.
Check the oil for traces of coolant before you start it, then check for milky oil if you do start it.
 

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There's a lot of hoses and connections and clamps up front and on top of the front cylinder, not to mention the radiator itself. Entirely possible a coolant hose clamp needs tightening or a hose has let go. Not unusual at all for "worm" type clams to loose tension over time, and seem to really manifest themselves in cold conditions. Hoses are a lot more simple to deal with and a more likely suspect. Coolant piddeling down from above can make you think some component or gasket below is bad, when in fact the "flanged" surface of the two parts causes the coolant to travel along it making it look like that is the leak source....
 

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Do you know how cold your garage actually got? My garage is unheated, but being attached to the house and decently insulated, it rarely gets below freezing. It was about +25* during our recent -40* chill factor. If your situation is similar, almost any amount of antifreeze would have kept your system from freezing up.
 

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I would check all the hose connections first. When it gets cold, the rubber shrinks a bit in the clamps, and then coolant will drip. It can be tricky checking for leaks sometimes, because as has been noted, the fluid will follow whatever casting line is downhill so be patient and try to find every clamp to verify they are tight.
 
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