New head gasket for Taurus or other problem?

One mechanic says I need a new head gasket, another doesn't think so. What's your advice? Situation: 99 Taurus wagon, 3.0 type u engine, 173000 miles. Engine
consumes about 12 oz of coolant daily though no leaks are observed. There are no bubbles in the coolant tank. The manifold vacuum reads steady 17+ at idle. Besides using coolant, the engine smells hot, like buning oil, after a short drive. The engine runs good but, recently, has bugun to miss a little when first started. Check engine light was on yesterday and the code indicated missfire on cylinder one. About 80k since tune-up.
Suggestions, please.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Find a mechanic that has the equipment to test for exhaust gases in the coolant.
Find a mechanic that knows how to use a coolant system pressure tester.
Look for white residue around all the hose fittings.
Any chance the water pump is leaking? Check the weep hole for "wetness."
The misfire when cold is a bad sign.
Good luck.
Ed
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

How much do you love the car and how much are you willing to put in it, how much have you recently put in it. It does sound a bit like a leaking head gasket that might be sealing up when it's warmed up. It could also be weak plugs/wires but lets assume your mechanic has already ruled out the simple stuff.
If I was hoping to avoid major expense and just see how long I could keep it on the road I would do what I did last time I had a car like this (Toyota Tercel with bad head gasket)... get a can of the magic head gasket repair stuff from the auto parts store. The kind where the instructions say to THROUGHLY flush out all the old antifreeze first. I used that stuff in a Toyota and halfway thru the treatment the engine, that had been running like crap continually for months, smoothed out like a new engine. The transmission went belly up a couple months later. Maybe it was a fluke for a Toyota but at 113K miles to have the engine and tranny both give out so soon did not endear me to the legendary Toyota quality but the performance of the head gasket repair in a can did convince me that at least sometimes the stuff can actually work. For how long, ????? At the price, you can always do a second treatment in 6 months.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I like your answer the best... a 12 year old car with 173,000 miles on it.
This car has every chance of turning into a money pit....
For a DIYer that doesn't mind getting stranded the odd time, it's probably OK.... but for me to suggest a repair from a professional standpoint? There just isn't anything attractive to say. Patch fixing something like this could have a shop "marrying" the car...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jim Warman wrote:

Hey, on the bright side, if the shop owner has to make some boat payments, tuition payments for the daughter, etc., she'll have a good source of income.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Actually... our shop is in a smallish town... I've lived here since the early 80s and I know many of my customers as friends and neighbours.
It isn't about turning a customer into a money pit... it IS about either fixing it right today... or fixing it for free next week.
Always amusing is the mental picture you Americans paint - you make it seem like the US is a land where everyone is busy bending everyone else over a desk - ass raping each others wallets in the process.

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

Actually, I was implying that the person with the 12-year old car will need a lot of repairs. The repairs will generate enough honest profits for the shop to pay for some boat payments.
However, there are a lot of dishonest repair shops and a lot of honest ones, too, in the states.
jeff

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

Well, the wifes car is14 now and any mechanic would strarve on it's repairs. It needs some ABS work right now, and it needed a vacuum hose replaced along with intake manifold gaskets about 6 years ago. It had a engine mount problem and lower control arms about 5? years ago, as well as a A/C accumulator/drier and a couple of brake lines - all over 3 years ago. It's a miserable heap to work on - but a lot less trouble than some much newer cars I know of. And its a FORD.
Other than that it's had it's share of electrical gremlins - bad connections that I just solder up now instead of trying to get the connectors repaired.. Over the last 10 years I've likely spent 5 0r six months payments on a new cheap car in maintenance and repairs.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 11 Jun 2010 05:42:03 GMT, "Jim Warman"

It's not the kind of thing I'd expect a shop to recommend for a lot of reasons and I don't blame them. Some of these kind of DIY shortcuts are fun experiments as long as you can live with the car breaking down again at some unknown place and time.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Sure sounds like you have a head gasket problem (or cracked head). A proper leakdown test would likely prove it. (aircraft type compression test)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 6/9/2010 12:06 PM, Moses wrote:

Gen 3 Taurus have a known problem with this. I will bet your degass bottle has brown crud in it. There is a Factory TSB on flushing out the system.
I would pull the heads off and take them to a machine shop and have them redone and checked for cracks. You might want to do the chemical flush before pulling the old heads off. get new head bolts too.
Now, its not uncommon to have the heater core bypass hose spring a leak also. Mine was leaking at the T fitting on passenger side. Get the car good and hot and turn it off. Then open the head and listen carefully for any hissing noises or such. Thats how i found my leak.
While your at it, change the water pump. You can also flush out the block pretty good by sticking a garden hose with nosel inside the water pump passages with the water pump off. Run water into both holes until its all clear. back flush the heater core too while your at it.
bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 9 Jun 2010 10:06:26 -0700 (PDT), Moses

The #1 cylinder is the one most commonly affected by a leaky head gasket. The plug may appear to be unusually clean because of the coolant.
You should know that they start as a small problem like you describe but, usually fail near catastrophically if allow to continue. You are probably already getting cool;ant into the oil which results in eventual bearing failure if allowed to continue. The O2 sensor is another frequent failure. The O2 sensor and bearing damage is not always apparent until the head gasgets are replaced and the vehicle driven a ways after.
If you suspect head gasket failure, you should get it checked properly and pronto by a good shop. An pre-emptive repair may allow you to continue driving the car for many miles without further problems. The longer you wait, the greater the chance it will not be successfully repaired for the long term. If it is a high mileage beater with little value, drive it til it croaks.
Lugnut
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.