2000 Ford Taurus Wagon heating problem

Tiny
SISTASHARON
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 FORD TAURUS
I have a 2000 ford taurus wagon ~80,000 miles
the heat isn't working and the mechanic said he found a hole in the overflow bottle for the engine coolant. He said it would be $276 to replace it. Does this sound resonable as far as the cost?
and do these bottles get holes in them often?
i just had the coolant flushed a month ago, and I was wondering if that other shop might have accidentaly caused the hole?
any thoughts?
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Wednesday, December 6th, 2006 AT 12:17 PM

6 Replies

Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
  • EXPERT
No that is not reasonable and it is not the reason for the no heat problem unless there is too little fluid to reach the heater core. But a used overflow can be found. Sometimes they rub against a sharp edge. Look at the hole and determine if it is a wear or a puncture.

Buy a used on and fill the system back up with fluid.

Then we can address whether there is heat problems or not.
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Wednesday, December 6th, 2006 AT 12:54 PM
Tiny
SISTASHARON
  • MEMBER
I am new to the site, so I wasn't sure how to respond to your answer. I had the car in the shop yesterday and they did the work. I was having other electrical problems as well. The windows didn't work, or the interior lights, or the exterior mirrors. They replaced a fuse for that. They also said they tested the battery and it was "failing" So I told them to put a new one in, which they did. The car had had some trouble turning over (took a couple seconds longer than usual) and the battery did not work at all one morning 2 weeks ago(although that was because I left a seat warmer plugged in). I hate taking my car in cause I always feel like I'm getting ripped off, being a woman and really not knowing anythng about them. By the time it was all done it was $400 (oil change, overflow bottle, put in more antifreeze -they said it was low 1 1/2 gallons, replace fuse and battery) plus $25 for a rental for the day!I found you site too late for this repair, but I will check here in the future. What can I do though? If you take a car anywhere to have them look at it, it costs money for that, and you have to get a rental while its just being looked at. It feels like your trapped, cause your cars already at that shop.
I was wondering how much something like that would run(replacing the bottle parts & labor) How badly did I get taken?
Should I call them and ask for the bottle they took out or is it too late for that?
Any tips for the future?
I did not get the bottle with the hole, so I didn't see what they took out of the car. I don't think I would know how to replace it myself anyway.

:cry:
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Thursday, December 7th, 2006 AT 8:39 AM
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
  • EXPERT
Hey, you know a way you can save some money is to take a basic automotive class. For instance, some are offered at high schools or colleges. Maybe you can find a friend to teach you some basics about a car. I have three girls and a boy. They all work on their own cars and do the basic stuff like oil change, etc. I know that even should they opt to take the car and have it serviced they will know what is what and are less prone to being ripped off.

Did your heat problem get taken care of?

Now, you can start your learning process by just watching the vehicle closely. For instance, check the oil regularly and the other fluids as well. Brake fluid, clutch fluid, power steering fluid, coolant level, tranny fluid, etc. Also, watch under the car after it has sat for awhile and see if you see any fluid drips. If you see one, investigate the location of it in conjunction with the car engine and see if you can find the source of the leak and the type of fluid that is leaking.

That said; look around the engine, radiator, hoses, watch where the belts are for a coolant leak. That radiator fluid went somewhere.

As for repairs and rentals, etc. Take a shopping trip the next time you need a repair and shop for a repair shop that would give a loaner. They still do exist. Not all repair jobs need to be done at the dealership.

Ask questions, we will be happy to help and I enjoy giving assistance. Good luck!
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Thursday, December 7th, 2006 AT 9:59 AM
Tiny
CARUNDELL
  • MEMBER
Awesome post Bruce! Its great to recommend classes to folks as it will give them the basics AND give them better skills when dealing w/ repair shops!

Regards,

Chris
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Thursday, December 7th, 2006 AT 11:07 AM
Tiny
SISTASHARON
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the reply.
It did make me think, if all that coolant leaked out, wouldn't I have seen something on my driveway? I don't recall seeing any spots there.
The class is a good idea, I'll look into that for the future.
The heat is working fine today, as are the windows, but it's just the first day after the repair.
Would the fuse have anything to do with the fan for the heat?
How do you check the coolant level. I know how to check the oil, but I am not familiar with the other fluids. Also, is it easy to change that overflow bottle? Is it in a spot where a non-technician could reach it? So what would have been a resonable charge from a shop on that repair?
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Thursday, December 7th, 2006 AT 11:18 AM
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
  • EXPERT
Used plastic bottle$10 -25 and 20to 30 minutes of labor. Don't know the rates.

Fuses would cause fan not to operate.

Coolant loss. The bottle that they put in the vehicle should be marked with a line for hot and cold full. First of all the plastic overflow should have coolant in it all the time. The level as the proper mark according to hot or cold engine. NEVER open the radiator to look inside after the engine has been running. The radiator and cooling system will suck fluid from the overflow or push excess fluid in to the bottle. Watch the level of the overflow.

The transmission I would bet is an automatic? There is a dipstick for this and it is checked just like the engine oil with the engine off and best checked when the engine is cool or has been sitting a bit.

The power steering is checked by viewing the resevoir usually found near the belts on the car and it is marked with lines as you can usually see through it or a dipstick as part of the cap.

The brakes are checked at the resevoir on the firewall and it is viewed through the sides for level.
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Thursday, December 7th, 2006 AT 11:57 AM

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