2000 Ford Taurus Coolant leak

Tiny
AHEDMAN
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 FORD TAURUS
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 135,000 MILES
Water starts leaking from the coolant system seemingly when the car heats up. When I drive it around town it seems to not lose much water, but when going on the freeway things start to happen. The system has been pressure tested and held pressure. Another problem, which I’m guessing has something to do with the faulty coolant system, is the A/C not providing any heat. When I had my car serviced a while ago I could get heat from the A/C system for a while, but it stopped working again and now I only get heat on rare occasions (almost never works, but not entirely out of order since I still get heat sometimes?). Right now I keep filling up the coolant system water a couple of times a week, as needed. There is no water leaking inside the car, which I’ve heard is a common problem. Could it be a blown head gasket? What more possibilities are there?
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Monday, March 8th, 2010 AT 4:46 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
A head gasket could be a problem, but that is a lot of coolant you are going through. Have you noticed any white smoke from the exhaust? Have you noticed if it appears anything is mixing with the motor oil?

Next, have you tried placing cardboard under the vehicle overnight to see if you can find a leak?

Finally, and I hate to say it, but the heater issue usually goes with the headgasket. However, if it is low on coolant, that can cause it too.

Check what I said and let me know what you find. Also, let me know if the waterpump weep hole was checked for evidence of a leak.

Joe
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Monday, March 8th, 2010 AT 5:13 PM
Tiny
AHEDMAN
  • MEMBER
No white smoke from the exhaust, and motor oil looks fine. No leak noticed when placing cardboard under the car.

I brought it to another mechanic to have a second opinion, and he as well concluded that there was no leak to be find after performing a pressure test.

Then he showed me that there was a lot of rust on the inside of the coolant container, and told me to keep an eye on the container cap and see if water was leaking form there. So I did, and he was right about that; water had been leaking out around the cap when I checked.

For the heater issue his suggestion was that the rust in the system caused some for of clog. He said that he could flush the system, but that with so much rust some parts (heater core, and a couple more?) Could crack during the flush.

Does this sound like I can exclude a head gasket issue, and is it a logic explanation of the heater issue?

Oh, and I forgot to ask the mechanic about the waterpump weep hole. I guess it has not been checked, if it's not included in the standard procedures.
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Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 AT 3:40 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
It sounds like the head gaskets are good. As far as the heater core, he should be able to flush it for you. Finally, when he pressurized the system, he would have seen a leak from the weep hole. You can confirm that he checked it, but chances are that was one of the first things he did.

Let me know if you have other questions and thanks for using 2carpros. Com.

Joe
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Friday, March 12th, 2010 AT 1:41 PM
Tiny
AHEDMAN
  • MEMBER
I had my mechanic flush the coolant system, and it seemed to be effective at first (held pressure), although it did NOT fix the heater issue.

At first it seemed okay, not loosing any water/anti-freeze for a day, but two days later it was low on coolant again, and I also noticed a leak of anti-freeze from underneath the front of the vehicle that wasn't there before.

Oil is now milky and light brown (in the picture it looks white but the flash made it look brighter than it actually is. The oil looked perfectly fine before the flush, and my mechanic had the oil changed while the flush was performed), which I understand is a possible indication that there is a problem with a head gasket afterall. As can be seen on the stick in the picture the oil/water level is VERY high. Do I even dare to drive the car to my auto repair shop when the oil looks like that?

I drove the car a very short distance, but it still seems to run smooth without any problems. How noticable would it be on the car's performance if a head gasket needs to be replaced?


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/496961_P3140054_1.jpg

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Sunday, March 14th, 2010 AT 3:44 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
You have a bad head gasket. You may not notice any change in performance, but the coolant getting into the oil like that will damage bearings (must be repaired). As far as the driving it, I wouldn't recommend it.

Let me know if you have questions.

Joe
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Sunday, March 14th, 2010 AT 4:06 PM

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