John Deere Maintenance Monday: Coolant cap and hose | Living the Country Life

John Deere Maintenance Monday: Coolant cap and hose

What would cause a sudden drop in coolant level?

Radio interview source: Bill Place, Sr. Engineer, Ag Safety and Health, John Deere

Listen here to the radio story (mp3) or read below

In this edition of Maintenance Monday, we're answering a question from Mark in Washington State. He's noticed a sudden drop in his utility tractor's coolant level. How does he check what's causing this?
John Deere Senior Engineer Bill Place says coolant caps are made to withstand higher pressure to prevent the liquid from boiling. The coolant will then opens the pressure cap, but instead of boiling over onto the ground, it travels through a small hose to a collection tank. When the engine cools, the boiled-out coolant is sucked back in, keeping your levels constant.
If there is a hole in the hose that leads to the pressure cap, the coolant will blow out and you'll lose it. 
"You'll find a little pin hole, you'll see where the coolant's spewing out, you'll see some wetness around there, you might see some coolant outside on different parts of your engine, and you'll know that that hose needs to be replaced," he says. "You need to wait until the engine is fully cooled off."
Your dealer will have the proper hose, and it's an easy repair you can do.  Remove either the screw clamp or spring clamp off the old hose and put the new hose on.   
Place says it's important to take care of a hose leak as soon as possible so there is no damage to the engine. 
"If your coolant level decreases enough, you're going to get a lot of air into the system and the cooling efficiency is going to go down because you're not going to be able to transfer heat from the engine efficiently because you're not going to be able to circulate air," says Place. "It's going to be very detrimental, and will allow the engine to eventually overheat."
Place recommends that whenever you raise the hood to check oil levels, also look for leaks in the coolant system.

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