2000 Ford Taurus Overheating

Tiny
WHEREISTHYLOVE
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 FORD TAURUS
  • 6 CYL
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 125,000 MILES
I suspect there is an engine coolant leak considering that I have bought two bottles of it. It just recently started over heating. I've had the vehicle for a little over a year and a half now. The problem just started about two weeks ago myb less. I've never let it get to the high temp. I usually turn the heater on full blast to cool it down until I get home. But I've seen leaks toward the front end of my car. How much would this cost to fix? Could I fix it myself? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'm very poor. So I'm worried. Thanks.
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Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 AT 10:10 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
We don't get involved with costs here because there's way too many variables. In this case we don't even have a clue as to what's wrong. The good news is if you see a puddle under the front of the car, it's fairly likely a cylinder head gasket is not the cause. That is the most expensive cause.

You're going to have to look to see where the leak is occurring. With the amount of coolant you've had to add, a wet spot should be pretty easy to find. If you can't tell because the wet area is too big, your mechanic can perform a pressure test. For real slow and elusive leaks, he can add a small bottle of dye, then search a day later with a black light to make the dye show up.
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Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 AT 10:23 PM
Tiny
WHEREISTHYLOVE
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I have actually only used myb less than 3/4 of one of those antifreeze bottles.
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Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 AT 10:25 PM
Tiny
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Thanks. I read that you could add a little red food dye then check it the next day. Is that true?
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Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 AT 10:27 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
No. Antifreeze is already colored. You'd have to add at least a gallon of something of a different color, and even then, what's the point? If you can see the food dye, you can see the coolant. The dye I'm referring to is for when the leak is so small the coolant evaporates too fast to leave a wet spot. The dye comes in a little bottle and is formulated to be used with the fluid that's leaking. It is dark purple, but when searching with a black light, it will show up bright yellow. Even though the coolant has evaporated, the dye will be left behind.

The dye is available at any auto parts store, and those that rent or borrow tools will usually have a black light, but this is an unnecessary expense for your leak if you're seeing wet spots on the ground. The wetness will lead you to the source of the leak just like the dye would.
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Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 AT 11:07 PM
Tiny
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OK thank you. I really appreciate the help.
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Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 AT 7:26 AM

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