Actually, I don't think they call it an "silent recall", it's
something like an "unadvertised extended warranty".
As related in a different thread, my wife's 1996 mustang GT (4.6 liter
SOHC V8) started overheating about three blocks from home. There was
no traffic so I turned on the heater and drove it the rest of the way
home. It was gouting water from somewhere around the alternator.
After carefully cooling it off with the hose, I shut it down and
started diagnostic procedures.
For awhile I followed a red herring -- an empty threaded hole in the
driver's side of the block just behind the alternator. Turns out some
blocks had this (depending on where it was manufactured) it doesn't go
into the water jacket, and in this model it wasn't used. (Thanks to
everyone who helped on this issue.)
Finally I gave up, put everything back together, filled it up with
water and started the engine. Since the engine was cold, I was able
to put my hand behind the alternator and see where the water was
coming from. (Kids, don't try this at home.)
As you probably know, the intake manifold on the 1996 Mustang is
plastic. What I didn't know is that part of the cooling system -- a
bridge between left and right parts of the block, just behind the
alternator -- is also plastic. This part had split along a forward
So, I went to the dealer and talked to the parts guy. He said "you
sure you want that? It's expensive". I said other than wrapping the
old one in duct tape, I didn't really have any choice. Then he said
"You know, the last one I pulled was for a recall repair." Well
that's interesting. He loaned me the phone, I called the insurance
company to get the VIN number (which I didn't have on me) and then
went around the corner to Service.
I asked the service guy what recalls were on this car, and he pulled
up two -- a parking brake assembly (common on Mustangs -- our last one
had a similar recall) and an.... let's see if I remember the term
exactly... "unadvertised extended warranty" on the intake manifold.
He asked why, and I said it had split open and was gushing water.
After a long time looking through books and arguing with the other
service people, they couldn't find any limit on the warranty (either
time or mileage) so he decided to cover it. I had the car towed to
the shop and they had it fixed in less than 24 hours. The new part is
If your car develops a similar problem, you might check on silent
Definition: Nelp: Contraction of "no help". Colloquial: Help
messages that are of no help whatsoever. Pretains to help files,
messages or documentation that convey no useful information, or
pedantically repeat the blindingly obvious.