HEATER CORE LEAK?HEADGASKET NEEDS REPLACED?

Tiny
TONYAANN
  • MEMBER
  • FORD TAURUS
99 FORD TAURUS LX, V6, AUTOMATIC, FRONT WHEEL DRIVE, 150,000 MILES.I SMELL ANTIFREEZE WHEN I USE THE AC.I HAD THE THERMASTAT REPLACED BECAUSE IT KEPT OVERHEATING.2 WEEKS WENT BY THEN IT OVERHEATED AGAIN. TOOK IT BACK TO THE MECHANIC. HE COULD NOT FIND ANYTHING WRONG. HE PUT STOPLEAK IN IT. HAVE NOT PICKED UP MY CAR. THE HEATER DOES NOT WORK VERY GOOD.I HAD THE AC SERVICED IN MAY.I HAD THE BLOWER MOTOR REPLACED IN JULY. THE MECHANIC THAT SERVICED THE AC PUT DYE IN IT SO HE COULD TELL WHERE THE LEAK IS. LAST WINTER I HAD THE HEATER CORE FLUSHED OUT BECAUSE THE HEATER DID NOT WORK. AFTER THAT THE HEATER WORKED ONLY WHEN THE CAR WAS MOVING.I HAD THE OVERFLOW FLUSHED OUT LAST SUMMER BECAUSE THE ANTIFREEZE WAS RUST COLORED. THE ANTIFREEZE SMELL IS NOT AS BAD NOW SINCE I HAD THE THERMASTAT REPLACED. THE PASSENGER FLOORBOARD IS NOT WET.I ALSO HAD THE TIERODS ENDS REPLACED, NEW STRUTS, A SWEIGH BAR REPLACED. NEW TIRES AND 4 WHEEL ALIGNMENT. SO FAR I HAD 4 MECHANICS WORK ON MY CAR. THE MECHANIC THAT REPLACED THE BLOWER MOTOR SAID I NEEDED AN AC KIT FOR MY AC SINCE IT WAS LEAKING ANTIFREEZE.A GUY THAT USED TO BE A MECHANIC SAID IT WAS THE HEADGASKET BECAUSE THE FORD ENGINES ARE POORLY DESIGNED. SO IS IT A SMALL HEATER CORE LEAK OR DO I NEED TO HAVE THE HEAD GASKET REPLACED?OR WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?IS IT THE VALVE INSIDE THE FIREWALL OF THE ENGINE? THE MECHANIC WHO FLUSHED OUT THE HEATERCORE SAID THE ENGINE WAS NOT BYPASSED BY THE HEATER HOSES. THE MECHANIC THAT REPLACED THE THERMASTAT ALSO PUT ANTIFREEZE IN. I DON'T THINK IT WAS LOW THE FIRST TIME IT OVERHEATED. : ?
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Saturday, September 1st, 2007 AT 4:53 PM

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Tiny
BLM
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Any mechanic worth his salt will NEVER use stop-leak. It only makes whatever problem there is, worse. Also, beware of mechanics that replace a bunch of parts just to diagnose a problem. That is by far the least effective and most expensive approach.

Let's start with the overheating, since that's the most critical problem. You can get a compression tester, which measures the amount of cylinder compression of each individual cylinder. Generally, if you have two or more adjacent cylinders with very low compression, then you probably have a blown head gasket. If your compression is good, then the next step is to get a coolant pressure tester, which consists of a hand pump that you use to pressurize the entire cooling system to 15psi, and listen for hissing sounds, or obvious leaks. I was able to successfully use it to find an intake manifold leak, which only cost me $100 to fix. It will also tell you if your heater core is leaking.

Once you have taken care of any overheating problems, and any coolant loss (you should be able to drive for at least a year without having to add coolant), you can look at the A/C. I can't help you with that part, but keep in mind that there is no connection between the A/C and the cooling system.
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Tuesday, September 25th, 2007 AT 6:08 PM

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