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2001 Nissan Frontier Dessert Runner XE, 3.3L, 6cyl, Auto, with AC, Rear wheel drive, 203,000 miles

I have a coolant leak. It's leaking externally, not into the engine itself or cab. Some days it's a quart. Sometimes it takes a few days to loose a quart-quart and a half. It's getting worse though. The heater works fine. No coolant smell from the cab vents. Does not leak more or less with heater on or off.

The system was pressure tested at a shop several weeks ago and they found no leak. I have smelled and seen it leak. The smell comes from the engine compartment. The drips fall from above where the engine and transmission meet. It's not constant. It doesn't happen the whole time the engine is on.

I believe the leak is coming from one of the hoses that go to and from the heater core on the ends that go to and from the engine. There is a little funk at the ends that are at the fire wall, but I have not seen the leak there.

These hoses look difficult to get to at the engine end. Before I tear into it, are there any tips or tricks? Will I need pre formed hoses from Nissan or will flexible lengths of after market hose work? What determines when coolant runs through these hoses? Is it all the time? Doesn't seem like it. Is there a thermostat that opens to send coolant?

The water pump was replaced a few months ago due to a small leak and I have changed all the easy to get to coolant hoses as preventative maintenance.

I'll have photobucket pics in a few. Thanks. :cool:
 
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