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Last year, early fall, my 2012 Focus SEL sat for 2 weeks. After driving car approximately 1 mile, coolant temp soared. Checked tank, bone dry. Added coolant, and car was fine until Sunday, March 15. Again, tank was dry with coolant dripping from under right headlight. I couldn't find any obvious locations of leak. I refilled tank, put an empty 1 gallon milk jug cut in half. In roughly 12 hours, again, tank dry. Was going to take car to dealer, filled the tank, and no leak. Car has been sitting for approximately 1.5 hours since filling tank and running engine to get it warm, and it's still full. I've read about the infamous thermostat housing issues. Is the housing in that area? Any ideas?
 

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You've got a '12, better known here as a MkIII version. The Last model with the thermostat housing issues was built in '04 with the Zetec engine.

MkIII coolant loss problems are primarily from seepage at a hose connection, with a few having more major issues with tanks splitting off the ends of the radiator.

You can find more on those issues in the MkIII section, as most were still in warranty & were taken to the Dealer for repair rather than posting in this area for do it yourself help.
 

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While I do not know the specifics of the 2012+ Focus, but if you have radiator fluid dripping under the passenger side headlight then I would look for either a crack in the side tanks of the radiator, a leak at where the radiator hose meets the radiator, or at the hoses themselves perhaps to the radiator or at another hose or somewhere else in the vicinity of the leak, it should be apparent where it is coming from.

If your car is not under warranty you may just have to tear into things to find the leak to see what needs to be fixed or replaced. If it is still under warranty then take it to a dealer and have them fix it and report back here what they find so other people know what to perhaps look for.

Sometimes vehicles only leak radiator fluid when hot, sometimes when cold, or sometimes both, depends on how the leak opens up. On my old 93 Escort it would leak radiator fluid after it warmed up from where the lower radiator hose meets the water pump. I never got around to fixing that as I ended up parking the car as it was "BER"/beyond economic repair due to it being a 20+ year old vehicle having 220K+ miles on it and a bad transmission which couldn't justify putting the money into it to have the transmission rebuilt or replaced (for the 2nd time).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
An update. After refilling tank last night, only to have it start leaking once engine had cooled off, I go out this morning and it had leaked to just a hair below the max line on the tank.
 

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Remember that the coolant level in the tank changes with engine temp.

Filled to the top, it'll puke out coolant as it warms up then the level will drop as it cools down. Don't fill beyond "max" or you'll be chasing a false leak & missing the real problem.

Many have had a small leak from a hose connection on these resulting in a slow loss of coolant over time. Residue from leakage at a connection is the only easy way to see where that's been happening.
 

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Last year, early fall, my 2012 Focus SEL sat for 2 weeks. After driving car approximately 1 mile, coolant temp soared. Checked tank, bone dry. Added coolant, and car was fine until Sunday, March 15. Again, tank was dry with coolant dripping from under right headlight. I couldn't find any obvious locations of leak. I refilled tank, put an empty 1 gallon milk jug cut in half. In roughly 12 hours, again, tank dry. Was going to take car to dealer, filled the tank, and no leak. Car has been sitting for approximately 1.5 hours since filling tank and running engine to get it warm, and it's still full. I've read about the infamous thermostat housing issues. Is the housing in that area? Any ideas?
I recommend heading to your dealer to have this looked into. Once you have an appointment set up, please let me know along with your mileage, and I'll check out some options.

Meagan
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Car sat at work for 7 hours and didn't leak a drop. Maybe this was my cars way of saying that it wanted new coolant in it.[:D]
 

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Car sat at work for 7 hours and didn't leak a drop. Maybe this was my cars way of saying that it wanted new coolant in it.[:D]
Glad to hear it was a one time event! :) I'll be around if you have any questions. [twothumbs]

Meagan
 

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Well it has happened again. It went a month without leaking. Now car has been sitting for nearly 3 days and the leak is back.
 

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They can do that............off and on then fine then back to doing it.

You mentioned a localized leak area around a headlight, the surest way to find the issue. Also take into account that the leak may actually spray out a bit while you're not under there and look for any hose that could do that in that direction.

Rad sidetank leaks can be hard to find, often the plastic BARELY fractures to make just that type of on again off again leak but eventually it WILL get worse and sometimes all at once to strand you. I chased one once for over a year before it made itself painfully evident.
 

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Maybe, maybe not.

I've seen more intermittent leaks from hose connections, but as amc49 mentioned plastic tanks of all types can do it as well.

Until you follow the leak back to a source it's all just guessing.
 

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Yeah you just made a far jump, one doesn't just assume the rad is bad unless you are a millionaire with plenty of cash to toss. LOOK. Might just need a new hose or hose clamp buried under there somewhere and common. $20 or $200, answer quick, no time to think!
 

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Well it has happened again. It went a month without leaking. Now car has been sitting for nearly 3 days and the leak is back.
Have you had a chance to visit your dealer this time? Please let me know, along with your mileage, and I'll check this out. :)

Meagan
 
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