COOLANT LEAK

  • Tiny
  • twinz
  • 2003 Ford Taurus
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • automatic
  • 51,000 miles

Mechanic noticed a coolant leak from timing cover gasket in my 2003 ford taurus whcih has 51,000 miles on it. Quoted $850 (w/water pump installation), $750 for leak repair. Is this a fair price? I was quoted $200 cheaper by another reputable mechanic. Just how serious is a coolant leak anyway? SHould I look forward to more seious engine problems?

Thanks!

Friday, December 31st, 2010 AT 7:25 PM

10 Answers

  • Tiny
  • merlin2021
  • Expert
  • 17,583 posts

850 is high if you can get it 200.00 cheaper, that's the way to go, a pressure test is recommended to remove all doubt about where it's leaking, and yes low coolant in an aluminum engine ca cause seroius problems, like warped heads and engine blocks. An ounce of prevention.

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Friday, December 31st, 2010 AT 7:29 PM
  • Tiny
  • twinz
  • Member

Thank you for your prompt response! I am torn between choosing one mechanic over another. One more thing. Should I choose to get a new water pump installed with the timing cover gasket even if it wasn't diagnosed initially? If I go with the cheaper quote, my total cost would be approx $650. Need the advice. MUCH appreciated: ) Yes, I am a female!

PS - I can recall the same leak in a former vehicle repair, and ultimately had to get the water pump AFTER the fact at another $300 (Pontiac). Karma?

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Friday, December 31st, 2010 AT 7:56 PM
  • Tiny
  • merlin2021
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  • 17,583 posts

If it was my car, I would replace the water pump while it's apart.

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Friday, December 31st, 2010 AT 8:50 PM
  • Tiny
  • twinz
  • Member

Well, I took the 2003 Taurus to the mechanic with lower quote ($650). The invoice indicates a pressure test was done on cooling system, flushed and sealed. He informed me that the original diagnosis was blown out of proportion and someone might have been looking for a big sale. Footnote: Some kind of dye was placed in there to place where a potential leak would be coming from in the future. Your thoughts on my experience? Thank you for your time!

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Saturday, January 8th, 2011 AT 12:40 AM
  • Tiny
  • merlin2021
  • Expert
  • 17,583 posts

That's why I recommended the pressure test. What parts where replaced?

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Saturday, January 8th, 2011 AT 2:42 PM
  • Tiny
  • twinz
  • Member

It does not indicate on the invoice of any 'replacement parts' nor did he mention any. I asked if whatever he did would be a 'temporary fix' and he said no, but he cannot guarantee hoses going, etc. I suppose he doesn't have a crystal ball either. Also, I asked about the water pump replacement it didn't need it and due to the mileage in the car (51,000), if I'm lucky, I should be good for awhile. He kept repeating as I was surprised about the cheap repair (sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?), You'll be okay and you're fine now. Obviously, he was talking about the car and getting tired of me asking questions. Honestly.I didn't know whether to be grateful or apprehensive! I believe he also said that the 'alleged' leak was minor, but never indicated how it was fixed. Don't they make a sealer of some sort to put in cars for leaks? I read about it online. I appreciate your input about my issue!

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Saturday, January 8th, 2011 AT 9:53 PM
  • Tiny
  • merlin2021
  • Expert
  • 17,583 posts

They do make sealers, but most if not all can and on these, usually clog the heater core. This does sound fishy, I have never heard of a mechanic not telling the customer what the fix was?

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Sunday, January 9th, 2011 AT 1:18 PM
  • Tiny
  • twinz
  • Member

It's me again.I spoke to the mechanic regarding the 'fix' on coolant leak. Indeed he did put a "special sealer" to plug a minor leak in timing chain cover. I'm relieved that he gave me an answer, but now I'm concerned about your remark about the heater core possibly clogging. Frankly, I was not about to bring up heater cores to this man.I'd look/sound foolish (don't really know what a heater core is). He also reinstated that he can't guarantee hoses may go or what have you. That's his response when I repeatedly ask if the fix was temporary. Generally speaking, I think I can trust him because I've known him for years. Just a bit apprehensive about driving a distance alone. How long should it take temp guage to reach middle? Mine used to immediately go to middle, but it takes 5 or 10 minutes now. Depends on weather temp and age of car? Just curious (& paranoid).

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Friday, January 21st, 2011 AT 12:56 AM
  • Tiny
  • merlin2021
  • Expert
  • 17,583 posts

If the system is full, the thermostat is good(you have good heat), It should take 10 minutes or so to reach normal operating temp.

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Friday, January 21st, 2011 AT 8:00 AM
  • Tiny
  • twinz
  • Member

Will a pressure test find all leaks?

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Monday, January 2nd, 2012 AT 11:41 PM

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