95 Taurus 3.0 Heater Core

Hi all
Went to my friend the Mopar man who condescends to work on my Tore-Arse, as he calls it. Was losing a lot of oil. He replaced the oil pressure switch,
but told me I seem to have a slow leak from the head gasket. When I mentioned that my interior windshield is hazing slightly from the vents, he told me my heater core is going (gone? can't remember). There is an occasional whiff of coolant in the car.
I'm no mechanic. What does the heater core have to do with the head gasket? Meaning, will a bad heater core cause the head gasket to go, or vice versa? Just wondering how much money to put into it. A tranny line needs replacing, or I could just keep topping up the fluid (bad for the environment, yes, but easier on my pocketbook if I have to buy another car in 2 months).
<sigh> I love my Ford! I was hoping to get another year out of it. Anyadvice? The car has 265,000 km on it (164,565 miles).
Toni from T.O.
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Toni from T.O. wrote:

The two share the same cooling system, but there is no real connection between the two faults IMHO. The cooling system is unlikely to cause an oil leak unless your head gasket is totally blown and oil and water start mixing together. If there's an off white creamy substance under the oil filler cap, trade quickly, otherwise you're probably just looking at a new heater core. Old cars often have multiple faults that are not connected to each other directly, just by the passage of time.
I had the heater core replaced on a '88 Taurus back in 1993. Cost $380 back then at PimpBoys ('tho that included a A/C service also). I wouldn't be surprised if it's double that at todays labor rates. They have to remove the dash to get the the core, so there's mucho labor to pay for. Don't let it go too long or you'll have a pool of hot coolant in your foot well.
JP
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JP White
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No off white creamy substance (yech) under the oil filler cap...phew. Oddly however it looks like the top of my filler cap is being eaten away by some chemical. (Just an aside, has nothing to do with the prob, I'm sure)

PimpBoys? What an intriguing name...they're not in Toronto, are they? :-)
Yeah, I'm thinking it'll be well over $1000 (Canadian, what is that, $250 American, hehe). Don't know if it's worth it if the car's only going to last another 3 months.
Thanks JP!
Toni
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"Toni from T.O." wrote:

Its unusual for a 3.0 to develop a head gasket leak, but not unheard of. Common for the 3.8. Are you loosing a lot of coolant? How often do you have to top off the coolant? Does the oil look white or frothy on the dipstick?
I have had 4 3.0's and have had no head gasket failures. I have also had no heater core failures. But i have replaced or repaired a few radiators and water pumps.
For some reason, the 3 gen taurus (96 and up) seem to have had a bigger problem with heater core failure.
Bob
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I replaced a heater core in an older Taurus 86 and it was a pain. I had to remove the dash. I told my wife that I would junk it before I did that again. If I remember correctly a mechanic friend of mine told me it was somewhere between a 5 to 8 hour job. Another posting that I was reading about a Taurus heater core a guy said it wasn't as bad with some of the newer models, but then another guy said that it was. So I don't know. I hope I don't have to find out because I have a 98 taurus now. The placement of the Taurus heater core wasn't one of Ford's better ideas.
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baldone48 wrote:

I think replacing a heater core in a Taurus is more or less like a lobotomy. You will be brain dead by the time your done. Lucky, its not a task i have had to do on any of mine.
For some reason, the gen 3's have/had a problem with cooling system corrosion or such that causes problems in the cores. There have been a lot of post here about the 96 & newer taurus with people posting about lack of heat or such. I don't recall too many posts on the earlier ones. But i suppose lack of cooling system maintenance will kill anything
Bob
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Gee...I don't check the coolant regularly (i.e. at all). In your later post you refer to cooling system maintenance. What's that? I had my rad flushed and filled 18 months ago. I always supposed I knew I would need more coolant when my engine started overheating, but it's operating at normal temps. Should there be fluid in the reservoir?
Toni
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