Mechanics

COOLANT/HEATER/RADIATOR PROBLEMS

2000 Ford Taurus

Engine Mechanical problem
2000 Ford Taurus 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 95100 miles

Coolant looked dirty and low, so I filled it up to cool line with 50/50 green coolant. When hot, coolant overflowed out of reservoir lid. Next day, coolant had transformed into oily, dirty, thick foam. Flushed radiator at shop several times and replaced reservoir. New green coolant added to fill line - $160. Starting next day, after driving radiator fluid leaked in great amounts out of lid area of reservoir. Suddenly engine temp was elevated for short time. Refilled coolant, leaked out after every drive, even though never over full line. Drove couple of times, coolant turns brownish again, heater didn; t want to blow hot again. Next drive, heater worked again. Car never got hot again, but fluid is very low when car is off, high when car is on. Question: Did they connect something wrongly after the flush? Is something else broken? History: Had already 2 air conditioning compressors installed previously, and a/c is still leaking. Also, inside knob to adjust a/c somehow not functioning properly, i.E. A/c blows colder when on cold and not on a/c setting. Heater blows hotter when on hot and on a/c side setting. Could this be connected somehow to this coolant issue? Please help, my mechanic doesn; t know and I sure don't have any clue about cars myself. Any help would be appreciated.
Car also smells like burnt liquid when stopped.
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Europerican
January 24, 2009.




Has your mechanic done a compression test on the cylinders?

Dave H
Jan 24, 2009.
Thank you for responding quickly. No, no tests aside from checking the oil for coolant (head gasket leak suspected?) Were done. They said they " just don; t know.&Quot;

Tiny
Europerican
Jan 24, 2009.
I'm suspecting headgasket as well. A compression test on all cylinders will rule this out or confirm? Have one done. This is the only real way of checking the headgasket. Let me know !

Dave H
Jan 24, 2009.
Thank you for your help. Would a head gasket problem not manifest itself in other ways, too, such as water/coolant etc in oil, " smokey" exhausts? I will suggest the test if it's not too pricey. Can the car be driven as long as it doesn't get too hot? Thank you.
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Tiny
Europerican
Jan 24, 2009.
Your vehicle has already displayed all/most of the signs of a headgasket fault ! The only thing missing is the white smokey exhaust !

When hot, coolant overflowed out of reservoir lid. Next day, coolant had transformed into oily, dirty, thick foam. When hot, coolant overflowed out of reservoir lid. Next day, coolant had transformed into oily, dirty, thick foam.

These are signs of oil getting into coolant, the foam is caused by the compressed gases/air getting into the coolant at the same time as oil ! The overflowing is caused by the gases/air building up pressure in the coolant system and having to find a release somewhere, which is generally the reservoir cap. Or eventually it will burst a pipe/hose or blow a hole in the radiator !

I wouldn't recomend letting this engine get hot while driving could only do more damage (warp head) !

Also, you said in your previous post. Next drive, heater worked again. Car never got hot again, but fluid is very low when car is off, high when car is on. Is it now running fine again? I also think the A/C issue is not related to the coolant. We can look into this when we pinpoint the coolant issue.I would have the cylinders compression tested and the coolant system pressure tested at the same time. Let me know

Dave H
Jan 25, 2009.
Ok, thank you so much for your help. I will approach a shop for the tests you suggested on Monday and I will repost with the results. I did not realize the symptoms were mostly head gasket related. I thought maybe there was a coolant reaction - the coolant that was in was so dirty that its original color cannot be identified, but I used one that said it could be mixed with anything. Let's see what the tests say. Would a specialty radiator shop be able to do something like this (tests), or is this something a " normal" shop should be able to do? To answer your question about the car running: Yes, the car runs fine per se, stays in " normal temp" zone, the only thing is that it smells like burnt liquid when stopping. I will fill more coolant in today and see if it keeps releasing it again through the reservoir lid. Also, since it first started I have not driven it more than short distances (10 miles max) for fear of breaking down. Thanks.

Tiny
Europerican
Jan 25, 2009.
There should be 2 marks on the overflow tank MIN and MAX. As long as the coolant does not go below the MIN you should not need to refill. Leave it at the MIN level. And drive the vehicle. See if it overflows out again. Carry a couple of litres/quarts of spare water with you just in case. Any good shop should do a compression test for you. You could do it yourself if you rent the special compression test tool. Let me know

Dave H
Jan 25, 2009.
Thank you. I don't put in water, just 50/50 coolant. A friend looked at the car today and noticed that the coolant would be at a certain level, and then suddenly is sucked in, level sinks, a bit later rises again. The car is still not getting hot, nor does it run poorly. Temp steady, heater comes and goes (meaning blows hot and then cool, then hot again). My friend thinks this indicates a faulty thermostat. Would you think so, too? It kind of makes sense to me. Sorry to go on with this for so long, I just need to hold on to as much $ as I can and don't want to be taken advantage of by walking into a shop without a clue.
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Tiny
Europerican
Jan 25, 2009.
I agree with your friend. This does sound like a thermostat sticking/stuck. Have the thermostat replaced. And refill the coolant making sure not to get air in the system when refilling. Test drive again and see if the heat is blowing steady once the vehicle is upto temperature !. Let me know

Dave H
Jan 25, 2009.
Hello, the thermostat was replaced. There was only a trickle of coolant in the hose connecting to the thermostat. When all was reconnected and the car was started and brought up to temp, coolant level did not change but hose felt not " pressurized.&Quot; We filled more coolant directly into hose. Don't know how else to do it without " getting air into the system" as you mentioned. We looked for a valve of sorts to release possible air, but could not find it. When test-driving, temp was steady, in normal range, and heater blew hot continuously. We hope it is fixed, will be able to tell by tomorrow and more test driving. Is there a way to release air out of the cooling system, or would it have to be flushed again? Thanks again for all your valuable and friendly help.

Tiny
Europerican
Jan 25, 2009.

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