Fixing a Jeep Wrangler Coolant Leak: Symptoms, Causes, Solutions and Preventions

The cooling system of a Jeep Wrangler works to prevent the engine from overheating and to maintain a constant temperature for the engine, ensuring proper function. Coolant consists of a mixture of antifreeze and water. They keep the cooling system flowing effectively surrounding the engine by raising the boiling point of water and by reducing the water’s freezing point.

It causes various common issues including engine overheating, failure of the engine to start, and puddles of green liquids forming under the car. Coolant leakage can be identified by noticing the green puddles of liquid, smelling odd aromas from inside and outside the car, and experiencing performance issues in the car.

Coolant leakage can stem from various reasons such as damaged hose clamps, cracks in the radiator, damaged radiator hose, warped head gasket, and so on. These problems can easily be identified and solved by following the proper diagnosis and fixing methods which are described below.

What Are the Common Symptoms of Jeep Wrangler Coolant Leak?

The most common signs that you have a coolant leak in your Jeep Wrangler are smell, puddle formation, and overheating.

Sweet Aroma

Coolant liquids have a distinguishable sweet aroma unlike any other liquids in your car and you may notice this strong sweet smell coming from outside or inside of your vehicle. This is a symptom that your Jeep Wrangler might have a coolant leak.

Puddle Formation

Puddles of liquids that have a greenish color forming under the vehicle are signs that your Jeep Wrangler might have a coolant leakage. These liquids can also form on the underside of your car.


Unusual overheating is also a sign that your Jeep Wrangler might have a coolant leakage.

common symptoms of jeep wrangler coolant leak

What Causes Jeep Wrangler Coolant Leak?

Various reasons can be behind a leak appearing on the coolant system in your Jeep Wrangler. The most common reasons include a blown radiator hose, damaged hose clamp, warped head gasket, and foreign objects accidentally hitting the front of your truck and damaging the radiator.

Crack in the radiator: Corrosion in the outer or the inner surface of the radiator can cause cracks or holes to form which can result in coolant leakage. This can happen due to accidents or rock and debris hitting the underside of the car. 

Faulty head gasket: The head gasket can get damaged or worn out over time which will result in engine oil and coolant mixing together and spilling outside the car.

Damaged radiator cap: The radiator cap keeps the coolant sealed and prevents it from coming outside the car and can cause coolant leakage if it gets damaged.

Cracked tank: The container that holds the coolant can form cracks and leak coolants as well.

How Do You Find a Coolant Leak in a Jeep Wrangler?

Coolant leaks show some clear symptoms which are signs that the radiator, hose clamp, or other part of the cooling system is damaged and is leaking coolants. These symptoms are puddles of green liquid forming under the Jeep Wrangler, odd smells coming out of the interior or the exterior of the car, and coolant decreasing rapidly while driving the car. The diagnosis methods to identify coolant leakage on your Jeep Wrangler are discussed below.

Notice The Puddles of Green Liquid

One of the most common signs of coolant leakage is puddles of liquid which are often green in color forming on the floor under the vehicle or on the underside of the car. These puddles can also be lime-green, orange, pink, or blue-green.

Take the car out, drive for about 15 minutes, park it on clean pavement, and let it cool down sufficiently. After the car has cooled down, look under it to check for any puddle of colored liquid. Check the underside of the vehicle if there is no puddle underneath the car. The coolant system is leaking if you see that the underside is wet or covered in droplets. Make sure that these droplets are not just water droplets coming from the air conditioning by smelling them because an antifreeze liquid will have a sweet aroma, unlike water.

Identify Any Odd Smell

Another helpful method of identifying coolant leakage is smelling the interior and the exterior of the car because antifreeze liquids have a very distinguishable sweet aroma unlike any other liquids inside the car like gasoline or transmission fluid.

Lift the hood and start looking in the engine bay to find the source of the leakage if the puddle or stain forms under the front side of your vehicle. Sniff around to find the exact leaking point. The common points of leakage are the radiator cap, the hoses throughout the engine compartment, and the radiator.

The problem is inside the heater if the smell is stronger in the interior of your Jeep Wrangler than outside of it. Heaters are at fault here if the carpet gets damp or the windows seem to fog up too quickly.

Check The Coolant Level

Checking the coolant level is another method of figuring out whether your Jeep Wrangler is leaking coolant if you cannot find any odd-smelling liquid anywhere around or in the car.

Check the vehicle’s coolant level by noticing how much fluid is in your vehicle’s coolant recovery tank. The coolant level indicator is on the side of the plastic tank. Coolant is leaking if the level is drastically decreasing even without driving the vehicle.

Scan for Code

Scanning for error codes can be helpful to identify the problem of coolant leakage on your Jeep Wrangler. Insert an OBD 2 scanner with your vehicle and the scanner will show an error code of P0125 if there is a coolant leakage on your car.

How to Fix a Coolant Leak on a Jeep Wrangler? 

The method of fixing a coolant leak on your Jeep Wrangler depends on which component of the cooling system is faulty and needs replacement. The most common methods to fix the coolant leak are replacing the damaged hose clamps, replacing the radiator hose, and replacing the radiator. These methods are discussed below.

Replacing Damaged Hose Clamps

One of the most common and effective solutions to the coolant leakage problem in your Jeep Wrangler is replacing damaged hose clamps. Let the car rest and completely cool down in 5-10 minutes. Pop the hood and locate the radiator cap to unscrew it.

Drain some coolant by placing a container under the drain valve and releasing the valve. Unscrew the hose clamps from both sides of the hose. Replace the hose clamps with new ones and tighten them down. Refill the radiator with fresh coolant and tighten the radiator cap.

Replacing Radiator Hose

Replacing the radiator hose can also fix the problem of coolant leakage in a Jeep Wrangler. Let the car rest and cool for 5-10 minutes. Then pop the hood and unscrew the radiator cap.

Drain some coolant to avoid spilling it during the replacement process. Unscrew the hose clamps on both sides of the hose. Slide the two hose clamps on the new hose and tighten the two hose clamps down. Refill the radiator with new fluid and tighten the cap.

Replacing The Radiator

Replacing the entire radiator might be the only option if the radiator itself gets damaged or cracked. Let the car sufficiently cool and then pop the hood to locate the radiator. 

Disconnect the battery and drain all the fuel left in the radiator by unscrewing the drain plug. Remove all the hoses that are connected to the radiator. Remove the old thermostat and plug the holes by taping the outlets. Disconnect the mounted fans. Find all the nuts and bolts connecting the radiator to the hood and remove them.

Take pictures and store the nuts and bolts in a separate container to make the reassembling process easier. Remove the fan bracketry while holding the radiator in place and install it on the new radiator. Insert the new radiator and bolt it back. Reinstall the fans and reconnect all the hoses to the radiator. Refill the radiator with fluid and reconnect the battery.

How to Prevent Jeep Wrangler Coolant Leak?

Avoid hitting the front side of your car with any solid objects to keep your radiator from getting damaged and cracked. Regularly check the hose and the hose clamps for damage or leakage. Keep an eye out for any green-colored puddle forming under your car. Try to notice any odd aroma coming from the interior or the exterior of the car.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Coolant Leak?

The cost of fixing the problem of coolant leakage on your Jeep Wrangler will depend on which part of the coolant system is faulty and needs replacement. Radiator hose clamps can be bought for $10-$30, radiator hose pipe will cost about $15-$35, and a spare radiator will cost about $150-$400. Labor costs will vary from workshop to workshop depending on location.

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