Scraping noise in 94 Taurus engine

My wife's car has developed yet another psychiatric symptom :) Especially noticeable at low rpms in idle, there is what I could best describe as a scraping noise in the engine, like a bearing that's
intermittently sticking. The noise is coming from the area of the items driven by the serpentine (alternator, AC, PS). Any idea what this is likely to be? Fluid levels are all good, with the exception of the AC, which is uncharged (it developed a leak and isn't worth fixing). I am wondering if this noise could be coming from the AC compressor.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Lewin A.R.W. Edwards" wrote:

3.0? likely its the water pump. The bearing wears eccentric and the impeller starts to scrape on the housing internally. It may not leak or leak very little when this happens. But sooner or later, it will completely fail and dump the cooling fluid. I would change the water pump and the hoses if you have not done so recently. Its Cheap insurance.
BOB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yep, 3.0. I was sitting here thinking "coolant pump" with my fingers crossed hoping nobody was going to say pump or tensioner :) The noise I hear is 100% consistent with the failure you describe.
This car gets driven very little; one 2mile roundtrip once a week to the supermarket and one 70mile roundtrip once a week. Is this something I should immediately take the car off the road and wait till I have the money, or is it likely to survive for a 2-3 more weeks to my next paycheck?
Also, what's a ballpark price for an independent shop to do this? Couple hundred bucks?
Thanks for the good info, as usual, Bob, Rob :)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You make it all sound so simple but it's not. I have never changed a water pump on a V6 FWD before but I have attempted it on a L4 FWD and found it near imposible with hardly any room around the engine components to fit a broomstick. Much less my arm/hand and wrench.
Get a second opinion first before you try replacing an imposible to replace water pump that is OK to begin with.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Eastward Bound wrote:

Near Impossible on a 3.0? No. I have done two. Any shade tree with a few tools and lots of patience can do it. Access is not great, but doable. The hardest part is scrapping the old gasket material off the motor pump housing mount. And mounting and dismounting the lower radiator hose on the pump.

For what a garage would change for the opinion, you could do it yourself. I am not recommending replacing parts that don't need it, but it is a common wear item on this motor. So you spend $30 or $40 on parts and do it yourself. What's a tow going to cost you if it breaks? What were the other choices, alternator and tensioner? And do you think those are cheap?
The key words here were scrapping noises. Usually a failing alternator bearing does not sound quite like that. An impeller scrapping on the housing does.
To he original OP: Good luck on whatever happens. If you cannot do it yourself, i hope you have an honest mechanic.
BOB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yeah, your description of the impeller/bearing issue is absolutely consistent with what I hear, so I'd happily take the risk of $40 to try it out.

Thanks... Well, the jury is still out. I can't find my stethoscope (trip to Autozone tomorrow I think!) and the shop where it had its safety inspection today says it sounds like it COULD be the water pump but they can't be sure.
I *would* attempt doing it myself - I see the pump on ebay for $9.99 - but we moved since I did my last round of repairs, and now we have no off-street parking. So I don't have the luxury of being able to slam down the hood and leave it for a week if I get stuck or frustrated. (It took me several days of evenings to replace the broken body parts after I had my accident.. thank God for underground parking and the unassigned spaces on both sides of mine. VERY frustrating work).
Looking at where the pump is, I guess it will probably be about 2 hours' work for a mechanic, plus probably $60 for the part, so probably around $200 total. Sound realistic?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Lewin A.R.W. Edwards" wrote:

Sounds ballpark. Make sure the radiator hoses are changed while your at it. One of the hardest parts is getting the lower radiator hose off the water pump if you do it yourself. It helps to use degreaser and hosing it off if you do it yourself. That's kind of an underneath and through the fender well thing.
You might call around to a few garages,. Tell then what exactly you want done. Then get a price quote.
BOB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I forgot to mention, try slipping the belt off & spin the different pulleys by hand. If you have a bad water pump bearing it maybe difficult to turn freely by hand., it may drag a little, get tighter then loosen up, get tighter, etc... there may even be a slight grinding noise as you try spinning the pulley. A really bad worn out bearing may have enoguh play in it that the impellar may be scrapping the water pump housing. Try grabbing the pulley to see If you can move it up and down.
========Harryface ======== 1991 Pontiac Bonneville LE ~_~_~270,000 miles_~_~_
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Listen you, don't give me that arrogant bullshit. What I want to here are the facts. Not mearly oppinions that can cause this poor fellow to have his car offline for a month since he stipped a bolt on his water pump and can't get it off.
You are so full of yourself, I have never known anyone so sure of themselves and as arrogant as you are. Heaven forbid if you should breed.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well, look:
a) I'm not a child to be led by the hand, and I don't think anyone in a.a.f is some kind of mystic visionary with the answers to my problems. I'm not going to go dump $1000 on random part replacement based on the recommendations of ANYONE on Usenet who hasn't actually seen the car. I'm here for advice, not expecting to speak with the Automotive Oracle, dammit.
b) I have a pretty good idea of my own capabilities. I'm not about to strip down the engine on the assumption/hope that I'll be able to complete the job and get it all together again. I've looked at the hardware involved and made the decision that I am not comfortable trying to remove any of the accessories powered by the serpentine. I just don't like my chances of getting it all back together.
What I was looking for was plausible explanations of what could be causing the scraping, partly so I can have a decent bullshit filter installed when I talk to a local mechanic. So far, the most likely candidates seem to be the water pump or the tensioner; although the alternator is a possibility the noise just doesn't seem to be coming from there. I appreciate Bob's advice and don't see why you're getting so hysterical about it.
-- -- Lewin A.R.W. Edwards (http://www.zws.com /) Learn how to develop high-end embedded systems on a tight budget! (Amazon.com product link shortened)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Eastward Bound wrote:

What's a matter? You get up on the WRONG side of the bed? You must not work on your own cars. Or have OWNED a number of taurus.
Facts: I have owed 4 first and second generation taurus. All 3.0's. And worked on many others that were not mine. Even junked a few. I do my own maintenance. I bought the manuals. I have done the repairs. (Including two water pumps). Most all the repairs i suggest or comment on i have personally done myself. Fought the battles. Won or lost the wars. So i talk from a car owner who happens to work on his own cars perspective. Not a shop owner who may have other motives.
No, i am not right 100% of the time. But i have seen enough things to see trends develop. And water pump failure was one. Actually, you can add another one to the list because i just helped my brother in law change one on a 93 taurus.
There has been many other good suggestions posted here too. Sure, the alternator, A/C clutch, tensioner all could fail and make noise. It just sounds like the Water pump in this case. And i have personally heard that noise when mine have failed. And i studied the failed parts to see what had happened to them. And yes, i ask questions too to help me fix mine.
Personally, i believe in preventative P/M. Especially with parts that could leave you stranded. I believe the water pump falls under that category. So does a lot of parts under the hood of a Taurus. If you don't think like that, be my guest and pay for the tow trucks. If your driving the 2002 you posted about, its a little early for you. You drive a 10 year old Plus taurus with 100K plus, the dynamics of the situation changes.
You already stated you never worked on the water pump on a FWD V6 car. And you don't even have the balls to post with your name. You can call me whatever you want (I will just call you MR. X) I try to help people fix there cars. Most of the time, what i say helps people fix them or make a decision. Or the other informed people here as well as some of the mechanics that post here help also.
I will agree with you that there is nothing wrong with getting a second opinion. But if you take it to two or three shops that are charging you a diagnostic fee, You could have done it yourself (if your able) for the price of one diagnostic fee. What's a ford dealer charge for diagnosis now, $75 or so?
I am fighting a problem with my S10 now. I am getting a Air intake temp error. Had it scanned for codes for free at autozone. So rather than take it to a mechanic, i bought a $15 IAT sensor to try. The mechanic would have replaced it anyway and charged over $100, so its just another step in the trouble shooting process.
A lot of people take their cars into these chain store garages and get ripped off one way or another. Maybe intentionally, maybe because if ignorance. It pays to be informed as possible on a problem. It could save you money latter. There are a lot of good mechanics out there. But there is no guarantee there at the place you randomly select. If you find a good small shop you trust, your lucky. If you want to pay the Ford dealer the big bucks, be my guest. I will buy the product, but i am not going to take a 10 year old car in for them to maintenance. Not cost effective.
If your the kind of guy that lives in a suit and doesn't own any tools except for a single screwdriver, by all means take it somewhere and have it fixed. I hope you have a good honest mechanic. There is no way i could have afforded keeping all my old taurus on the road without doing most of the maintenance myself. And there is only one way to do that: Buy the manuals, ask a lot of questions, and get under the hood.
So Mr. X, have a nice day. I have fixed my taurus this week by replacing the starter. My wife bitched at me a said it took too long. But you know what? I got the job done and the car runs. And i saved a LOT of money. (and a tow too since the car would not start in the driveway) What have you fixed this week? And for your arrogant "Breed" comment, yes, my three children appreciate they could be taken to school in our family taurus wagon after i fixed the starter this week.
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Second the water pump.
Rob * * *

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

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If this is a 3.8, the last two I worked on with this symptom it ended up being the idler pulley located next to the windshield washer tank and coolant overflow tank.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Not to familiar with Fords at all, but going by what others have said ( ie, Water pump, Alt, Belt tensioner ) I would try using one of those automotive like stethoscopes used for listening for noisy bearings. A 12 inch long socket ratchet extension works just as well. While the motor is running set the end of the extension on the front and back of the alternator case, the water pump housing, tensioner housing & power steering pump. A bad bearing noise will travel up the rod to your ear. There all going to make a certain pitch , but a really bad bearing will really sound bad.
Another trick is to put a wrench on the the tensioner while the car is running and slowly loosen the tension off the belt. If the pitch of the noise changes or goes away then whatever the noise is is definitely driven by the belt.
Having a second person listening with an extension as you loosen tension on the belt also is helpful.
Make sure you have a good grip on the tensioner nut or square drive so you don't slip off. And be careful aroung the moving parts
Good Luck
========Harryface ======== 1991 Pontiac Bonneville LE ~_~_~270,000 miles_~_~_
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi Harry,

Thanks for the tips! The car had to go in for oil change and state inspection today, so I asked the guy to have a quick look at the problem area if he gets time during the day. If he can confirm it, that would be very helpful. Otherwise I will listen around with a stetho as you suggested.
This job will have to go into a shop anyway to get this problem fixed, as I don't really have any place to work on it. But I would like the diagnosis confirmed before making a decision on how to proceed.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

=========================It could be alot of things, A/C clutch draging, It makes a scraping noise. If the noise quits when the AC is on thats the problem. Water pump, If it is the impeller hitting the cover there will be alot of play in the pulley of the pump. Loosen the belt and see if it wiggles. The easiest way is to pinpoint the noise with a stethoscope or a long screwdriver or the like. hold one end to your ear and the other to the expected noise maker. If you find it you will know. Be careful and use some common sense around the moving parts and you will be ok. If you dont think you can handle this approach, you are probably better off paying someone to do it rather that replacing everything till it stops making noise. :) GL
--
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com ).
  Click to see the full signature.
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.