I have an '03 windstar and it has started to use a bit of antifreeze. I
looked around pretty close and didn't see any leaks. In serarching the
web I seen headgaskets were kind of a common issue with the early windstars.
It only has 50,000 miles on it and has been very gently used and well
maintained. Just wondering if there were any "common" issues with the 03
windstars and antifreeze useage?
I was thinking of throwing in a jar of BARs, but wasn't sure on the best way
of doing thing. Is it OK to just dump it in the resovour? Not sure how
much circlulation there. With previous vehicles, I would drain the radiator
down a bit and add directly in the radiator, but with the pressurized
resovour there really isn't a radiator cap....
I don't need a lecture on the stop leak, but I have had great luck in the
past with BARs. I had a toyota that started leaking antifreeze into one of
the cylinders through a head gasket at about 70K. Still driving it with
170K, hasn't used a drop of antifreeze since....
You could smell the antifreeze after starting it, along with the color of
the coolant and the way it was foaming into the overflow bottle.
The 7MGTE toyota engines are rather famous for blowing head gaskets. I used
a bottle of bars that claimed to fix head gasket leaks by fusing to the
leak. I was a temporary fix just to get home a few hunderd miles. I was
expecting to tear the engine apart when I got home.
Ten years and 100,000 miles later still holding up, even after flushing the
system a couple of times. When the car finally does die, I plan on doing an
teardown just to see what the head gasket looks like.
From looking at the plugs, it was the number 6 cylinder.
On Tue, 1 Sep 2009 23:20:16 -0500, "James Patterson"
I'm guessing this is a 3.8, not a 3.0?
If so, the engine is definitely on borrowed time. Head gaskets and
front cover gaskets, as well as intake gaskets IIRC can leak on the
3.8, and ANY amount of antifreeze in the oil WILL take out the
The BARS may buy you a week or two, but count on an engine replacement
in a very short time.
The Ford 3.8 ain't no Toyota.
I haven't seen any evidence of antifreeze in the oil. I was told by a ford
mechanic that the '02 & '03 windstars are the most reliable vehicles ford
has ever produced. It was rated the most dependable mid size van on the
market beating out the Sienna and Odyssey in both those years.
Also have a '98 / 3.8 - 180K miles and still running like it just came out
of the showroom. Body has held up well too, just one rust spot right in
front of the passenger side rear wheel. Besides normal maintance: 2 CV
joints, Fuel pressure regulator, alternator, one headlight bulb, one tail
light bulb, and one fuel injector. I think I'm due for a rear wheel
bearing, its getting a bit noisy. By far, most reliable car i have owned.
I just seen one in autotrader wtih over 230K.
I do recommend 2 additives for prentative measures in all my older vehicles:
Trans-x - I alwasy add one bottle at each trans oil change. My windstar
shifts so much better with it. About 50K it started to really take its
time going into overdrive, with occasional rough downshifts. I added
trans-x, it has shifted perfectly since. Great stuff!
Bars Head Gasket Fix / Sealer - About 70K started I missing some
anti-freeze, no idea where it was going. The stuff is a little pricey, but
good insurance to keep antifreeze out of the oil. I add a bottle with each
If you can't dump it drectly in the radiator, take off the top hose and put
it in that way. Do not put in the overflow jar. Run it for 15 minutes, let
it cool, and repeat several times. The trick is make sure there is NO air
in the system.
I have seen a cracked radiator develop a hard "scab" of sealant and never
even displayed a noticable leak. The stuff does work, and works well.
I believe if you do a pressure test you will discover the head gasket to
If it were my vehicle it would not drive it until the problem is corrected.
If you do you will ruin the engine, because the antifreeze will destroy the
Does this Van have a Rear heater ? if so . look back there for leaks at
heartcore and hoses,
there is other stop leak than bars leak , Green stuff , bars leak as i know it
is brown and you
can never flush it clean
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