Q: I can see a freeze plug that appears wet on my 2002 Dodge Caravan. What does this mean? Another one beside it looks like a rubber stopper. I just bought the car last April. How many are there on the engine? About how much would it cost to replace it, or them?
A: To me it means the cooling system has not been maintained and the coolant has gotten so acidic that it is eating the metal of the engine. The freeze plugs need to be replaced and the cooling system flushed. As the cooling system is flushed you may find even more leaks. Due to the various location of the freeze plugs, I can’t put a labor price on the job.
Car Care Tip: Coolant systems (antifreeze) should be flushed and the thermostat replaced every two years. At the same time, check the belts, hoses and wiper blades. Preparing your vehicle in the autumn will pay dividends in the winter.
Larry Rubenstein is a master technician who owns a North Shore service station. His column appears every Saturday. Write to Larry at The Salem News, c/o Auto Scanner, 32 Dunham Road, Beverly, MA 01915, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.