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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there. Daughter has a used 09 Challenger and radiator was bad so we put in a new one, but it was the bigger model from Summit, but fits fine. Went in easily and ran fine for a couple weeks...but

After that we started having troubles with fluid leaking out of the reservoir cap, and now she's getting a leak inside the car that pools under the gas pedal and brake pedal.

is there a pressure difference in the new radiator causing this?

Also, where is the leak occurring where the fluid is inside the car? I assume its a heater line or something under the dash area that popped or was a bad line, but all this is annoying and hard to pinpoint.

Its not a leak on the firewall in the engine bay as no wet there when I looked and felt around. Im checking for a head gasket leak today, but i doubt that since the car would be losing fluid in the engine bay and not in the cab.

Thoughts? thanks!!!
 

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2021 JEEP Wrangler Unlimited Willys 4X4
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I would suspect the source of your coolant leak is the heater core.
 

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the heater core is in the center of the dash - the coolant tubes are on the driver's side - almost above the accelerator pedal. Its pretty likely the heater core has a leak - odds are that if (due to lack of maintenance) the radiator required replacement, the heater core was probably deteriorated as well
 
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2020 Dodge Challenger Hellraisin Scat Pack
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Thank guys, that sounds like the issue for sure. Read up and it looks like a pain to get to / swap out that item. Ill search here and. see if others have done the fix on here...
You have a job ahead of you and I have no desire to add to your misery, but I wanted to take this opportunity to expand a bit on what Hal H touched upon above and that is the lack of "maintenance".

Even as far back as 2009 I expect Dodge didn't call for periodic coolant replacement but probably stated (as it does now) the coolant is life time but what component's lifetime? In the case of your daughter's car the answer is the heater core.

Four year coolant drains and refills with fresh coolant goes a long way in helping keep the cooling system healthy. Been doing this for years with a number of cars and cooling system problems are rare. The coolant services won't keep a water pump from (eventually) failing but it can have it last a long time. In one case 172K miles. With previous cars while I drove some of them to 150K miles never had a water pump fail.

Never had to replace a coolant hose and in one case this was even with 317K miles on the car and 16 years.

Besides regular oil/filter services a 4 year drain and refill of the cooling system with fresh coolant and every 2 years a brake fluid flush and bleed are a good part of keeping a car in good running condition with as few surprises of the unpleasant kind in the meantime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good advice. Most of the cars I have and work on I rarely think about swapping coolant out, especially on a newer car. Oil every 5k but ignore coolant never really. She bought the car used and I doubt this was in the regiment for the previous owner. The car sat and was more of a summer fun car for the guy, pretty low miles but still... I'm pretty sure what you are saying is true. It also explains why the rest of the coolant system is acting weird and boiling over, I wonder if the pump is screwy too... sigh.
 

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Good advice. Most of the cars I have and work on I rarely think about swapping coolant out, especially on a newer car. Oil every 5k but ignore coolant never really. She bought the car used and I doubt this was in the regiment for the previous owner. The car sat and was more of a summer fun car for the guy, pretty low miles but still... I'm pretty sure what you are saying is true. It also explains why the rest of the coolant system is acting weird and boiling over, I wonder if the pump is screwy too... sigh.
Had a similar experience with one of my cars. I bought a nice (pristine) used car with less than 10K miles on the car. The car was 6 years old and the previous owner put on average just 1660 miles on the car per year. Before I bought the car the dealer gave me a CarFax report and from this I learned where the car spent its time. I called dealers in that area and with the VIN managed to learn something about the car. Overall it had reasonable servicing, but I don't recollect any coolant service.

Soon "fixed" that. 3 weeks after I bought the car it got this service. I hit a mule deer with the car and among other things the passenger side radiator was taken out. All the coolant leaked out. So after the car was repaired -- $25K worth -- it not only had a new radiator butfresh coolant.

But the 6 years it went without receiving fresh coolant had taken its toll. The water pump went bad -- started leaking at around 100K miles. By way of comparison another car that received regular coolant replacement the water pump got noisy at 172K miles. Rather than the seals failing the bearings just wore out.

Lack of real use also takes its toll on other things, too. A rear main seal went bad. The front axle flange seals developed leaks. The transmission selector shaft leaked. (This was covered under warranty and the car received a new transmission.) The hydraulic system that operated the moveable rear spoiler developed a leak. The clutch slave cylinder developed a leak. At 130K miles all 3 radiators developed leaks. Heck, even the rear view mirror developed a leak.
 
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