97 Ford Taurus overheating

My Taurus overheats when I drive and then come to a stop for about a minute or more. The temperature gauge creeps up, but it doesn't top out completely. When I get it moving again, the gauge comes down to the
mid-range (slightly above where it should be).
I cannot detect any leaks and I've taken it to a mechanic who cannot find any leaks either. He says the fan is working fine.
So what's wrong?
Any ideas?
D
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Nothing.

The system normally gets a bit warmer when you stop. There is not as much air moving through the radiator.
This is completely normal.
Jeff

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Is it a 3.0 OHV?
http://blizzard.zmm.com/waterpump /
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Backyard Mechanic wrote:

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Many thanks for the replies. The one thing that has my mechanic stumped is that it does not overheat when it is just sitting in park running. He had it sitting in his garage running for an hour and nothing happened.
He said that it's possible that it's cracked and leaking coolant into the engine, but I'd rather look for cheaper explanations before I decide to junk the car.
D
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Maybe you'd better find a better mechanic.. if he doesnt know how to run a test to find a leak, he's either dumb or lazy.
But before you tell him we said that... Print the pages/pictures out and show them to your mechanic... evidently YOU dont understand what they are saying.
Your mechanic SURELY knows that in such an engine, coolant circulation problems might manifest differently.
I almost think you could unhook the Water Pump belt on a Vulcan v6 and it wouldnt overheat all that bad.
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Awww, HELL!!!~!
Just tell the mech to change the water pump!
Here's what's happening... in normal driving - and the outside temp may not be all that bad where you are- even a round disc might cause coolant to circulate enough to cool the engine under load at rpm.. but there is a heat 'latency' in the engine that shows up when you first slow the engine down after it has done work. Since the engine isnt running fast, the decreased circulation wont let the coolant carry away the heat as fast as it absorbs it from the surrounding metal.
It's the same as if you went out running on a cool day, you may not break a sweat until you stop and sit on a bench. But if you sit long enough, you'll quit sweating and what you HAVE put out will dry and your body temp will return to normal.
Now... if you just go directly to the bench and sit, of course you wont sweat.
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Thanks to everyone who suggested that the problem was the waterpump. I had the mechanic replace it and when he opened up the old one it looked like it had melted. The blades were essentially stumps.
The mechanic said that he just had a similar problem with a water pump on a Mercedes. The shaft had stripped out, so that it was spinning, but it was not spinning the blades.
As to those who suggested that my mechanic was an idiot--I took it to three mechanics and none of them figured it out. Lotsa idiots, I think.
D
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Well, maybe that was a little harsh.... but this problem is far from really rare.
If he took trade mags or did a few hours on the net, per week, he'd have known about it.
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Backyard Mechanic wrote:

3.0's with bad headgaskets. I wonder if its a secondary effect of the water pump impellers rotting off? And what changed on the 3.0 when they went to coil packs and cam sensors to make the cooling system more corrosive?
Bob
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----------

Like I said, I took it to three different mechanics. I think most of them learn based upon what they see themselves, not by doing research. If they see another late 1990s Ford with this problem and they get a solution, then they'll remember that. Otherwise, they're clueless.
But I have to admit that once you guys explained it here it made perfect sense. It fit the symptoms. The first time this thing acted up the first mechanic told me that my coolant fluid was brown, which made no sense because I had changed the fluid no more than a year or so before. Clearly it was showing the effects of the corrosion in the pump. But the fan and the water pump were both working.
My guess is that all these mechanics figured that the water pump was working and never bothered to ask how _good_ it was working.
D
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DDAY wrote:

brown coolant then expect problems with the core plugs rusting and leaking. It's a continuation of the pump erosion concern. There was a recall on many of these vehicles for "Brown Coolant" that included some nasty multiple flushing and addition of some bypass hoses in the heater lines. I'm sure the recall has expired by now, but maybe your local Ford dealer can clue you in on it so you'll know what to expect down the road. ( I should clarify, this was a Campaign, Recalls are for safety related items, last I understood). .
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ALSO note:
You did NOT mention this 'brown coolant within year of change' in the OP!
If you had... the chorus, including pointers to the bypass mod would have been resounding!
The MORE info, the better the reply ..
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Backyard Mechanic wrote:

Does the coolant hose bypass mod' apply to a 95' Taurus/Sable with the 3.0 engine?
Thanks
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Tom Adkins wrote:

about 91's-2000s. I NEVER remember seeing that problem. BUT, the coolant was changed when it needed it too :). I do remember changing water pumps on them but not because the impeller was ate up, but because the bearing was ate up. Of course it could be the driver drove it till it melted and it got an engine with a new water pump. :)
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DDAY wrote:

The water pump impeller is eroded. Very common on this vintage Taurus. Do a search for previous posts, there were a whole load of them this past summer
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DDAY wrote:

http://home.sc.rr.com/estaab/water_pump.htm
Rob
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