1994 Ford Thunderbird Unsure about a coolant problem.

Tiny
XYELE
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 FORD THUNDERBIRD
  • 3.8L
  • V6
  • RWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 100,000 MILES
I've been checking my car lately and for some reason it seems like the radiator always needs to be filled back up, the expansion tank is always at the correct level. It never seems to be the same level after filling back up, sometimes it's lower, sometimes not, sometime after taking the cap off and letting it sit it seems to fill up a little bit, so I'm not sure.

I've checked the radiator for leaks, and it's been flushed out, and replaced the radiator cap just because the old one was probably the original.

I've changed the oil and looked at it, and there is no coolant in the oil, there is no smoke coming from the exhaust, of which I know are some signs of a blow head gasket. The radiator hoses get hot, and the electric fan comes on once the temp gauge gets about to the M in NORM, and so far it has kept the temp gauge about center.

Is it possible there could just be air in the system that is causing that, or is it possible the head gasket may be going, or could it be a clog that just didn't get flushed, or any thoughts or suggestions?


Thanks.


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Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 AT 8:05 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
If the overflow doesn't change, but the radiator level does, check to make sure the hose between the two of them is in good condition and connected. Also, place a piece of cardboard under the vehicle at night to see if there is evidence of coolant on it in the morning.

Let me know what you find.
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Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 AT 5:17 AM
Tiny
XYELE
  • MEMBER
Everything looked good, all the hoses were tight, I filled the radiator up to the brim yesterday, but didn't drive it until later in the evening today, but after sitting overnight there was nothing that had leaked underneath the car that I could see.

I drove it for a bit later on, and just checked the radiator again and it looks like the fluid is 2 or so inches from the top now, and the expansion tank level doesn't look like it changed.

The temp gauge still gets up to the M on norm, and that seems to be about when the fan kicks on, runs for a few and then it goes back to about the middle, but I'm not sure if that's still too hot for the 3.8L or not.

Both hoses were hot so the t-stat seems to be working and circulating the fluid, and I already gave the hose to the expansion tank a good flushing out and cleaning, so the hoses seem to be good.

I bought a pressure release radiator cap, and when I open up the release on the radiator I can see and hear noise from the expansion tank when I release the pressure valve, so the cap seems to be good as well.
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Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 AT 5:29 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
The coolant has to be going somewhere. Do you smell anything in the vehicle that may indicate a leak in the heater core? Have you checked the waterpump weep hole to see if it is leaking?
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Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 AT 8:05 PM

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