Mechanics

FORD CONTOUR COOLANT PROBLEM

1996 Ford Contour • 15,200 miles

Car starts just fine, good fuel pressure 36.5 psi at idle, did commpression test #1 -160, #2 --125 #3-120 #4-155, engine starts to surge at idle after the thermostat opens, small drip from tail pipe 1 every 2-3 minutes. No oil in coolant or no milky oil or valve cover cap, notice a few bubbles in coolant tank and the upper hose gets really hard have replaced the the coolant tank cap, is it a head gasket?
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Guest
March 16, 2013.



It is normal for the radiator hose to get hard. As far as the compression, the rule of thumb is that you don't want more than a 10% difference between cylinders. You, have exceeded that. As far as a head gasket it is possible. It could be a valve leaking, worn rings.

Before you tear into the engine, check simple things. Check for vacuum leaks. Check the idle air control valve. Is there oil mixing with the coolant?