'03 Windstar antifreeze disappears

I have an '03 windstar and it has started to use a bit of antifreeze. I looked around pretty close and didn't see any leaks. In serarching the
web I seen headgaskets were kind of a common issue with the early windstars. It only has 50,000 miles on it and has been very gently used and well maintained. Just wondering if there were any "common" issues with the 03 windstars and antifreeze useage?
I was thinking of throwing in a jar of BARs, but wasn't sure on the best way of doing thing. Is it OK to just dump it in the resovour? Not sure how much circlulation there. With previous vehicles, I would drain the radiator down a bit and add directly in the radiator, but with the pressurized resovour there really isn't a radiator cap....
I don't need a lecture on the stop leak, but I have had great luck in the past with BARs. I had a toyota that started leaking antifreeze into one of the cylinders through a head gasket at about 70K. Still driving it with 170K, hasn't used a drop of antifreeze since....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The best way is don't. The stuff is good at clogging your cooling system.

How do you know it was leaking into the cylinders? Into which cylinders was it leaking?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

the coolant and the way it was foaming into the overflow bottle.
The 7MGTE toyota engines are rather famous for blowing head gaskets. I used a bottle of bars that claimed to fix head gasket leaks by fusing to the leak. I was a temporary fix just to get home a few hunderd miles. I was expecting to tear the engine apart when I got home.
Ten years and 100,000 miles later still holding up, even after flushing the system a couple of times. When the car finally does die, I plan on doing an teardown just to see what the head gasket looks like.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 2 Sep 2009 21:37:06 -0500, "James Patterson"

overheated, or B) the head was not properly torqued at PDI. BARS leak was an effective repair if caught early.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 1 Sep 2009 23:20:16 -0500, "James Patterson"

If so, the engine is definitely on borrowed time. Head gaskets and front cover gaskets, as well as intake gaskets IIRC can leak on the 3.8, and ANY amount of antifreeze in the oil WILL take out the bearings. The BARS may buy you a week or two, but count on an engine replacement in a very short time.
The Ford 3.8 ain't no Toyota.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I haven't seen any evidence of antifreeze in the oil. I was told by a ford mechanic that the '02 & '03 windstars are the most reliable vehicles ford has ever produced. It was rated the most dependable mid size van on the market beating out the Sienna and Odyssey in both those years.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Also have a '98 / 3.8 - 180K miles and still running like it just came out of the showroom. Body has held up well too, just one rust spot right in front of the passenger side rear wheel. Besides normal maintance: 2 CV joints, Fuel pressure regulator, alternator, one headlight bulb, one tail light bulb, and one fuel injector. I think I'm due for a rear wheel bearing, its getting a bit noisy. By far, most reliable car i have owned. I just seen one in autotrader wtih over 230K.
I do recommend 2 additives for prentative measures in all my older vehicles:
Trans-x - I alwasy add one bottle at each trans oil change. My windstar shifts so much better with it. About 50K it started to really take its time going into overdrive, with occasional rough downshifts. I added trans-x, it has shifted perfectly since. Great stuff!
Bars Head Gasket Fix / Sealer - About 70K started I missing some anti-freeze, no idea where it was going. The stuff is a little pricey, but good insurance to keep antifreeze out of the oil. I add a bottle with each antifreeze flush/change.
If you can't dump it drectly in the radiator, take off the top hose and put it in that way. Do not put in the overflow jar. Run it for 15 minutes, let it cool, and repeat several times. The trick is make sure there is NO air in the system.
I have seen a cracked radiator develop a hard "scab" of sealant and never even displayed a noticable leak. The stuff does work, and works well.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I believe if you do a pressure test you will discover the head gasket to weeping.
If it were my vehicle it would not drive it until the problem is corrected. If you do you will ruin the engine, because the antifreeze will destroy the oil.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Why is it weeping? Did someone die?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yes, the engine! "IT" will "die", if the gasket is not replaced. LOL

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Does this Van have a Rear heater ? if so . look back there for leaks at heartcore and hoses, there is other stop leak than bars leak , Green stuff , bars leak as i know it is brown and you can never flush it clean

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.