1996 Taurus 3.0- The coolant recovery tank overflows several minutes
after the engine is shut off. The temperature never reaches above the
half way point and I have recently replaced the Thermostat, radiator
cap and backflushed just before winter. Also as long as I have a full
(up to full cold) recovery tank of 50/50 I will get good heat. Once
low the heating is affected.
Hmmm, that sounds eerily like a head gasket concern, but that's rarely an
the 3.0L. Did you have this issue before you replaced the thermostat? Are you
new thermostat is working? I've seen failures in new "cost effective" stats
Are you sure you installed it correctly, with the spring toward the motor? An
is "possible" but with the design of the cooling system on these cars, I've
There is an issue with electrolysis eroding the water pump impeller on these
but the symptoms don't "quite" fit. The first symptom is usually poor heat. It
good possibility though if your old coolant was brown and muddy looking. If you
issues before the 'stat and flush I'd look at the water pump next. If not,
'stat with a good quality (Motorcraft) one.
Thanks for the reply,
So here is the "whole story". Bought the car in May from someone I
knew that kept the car in good shape (no abuse). In late September I
had a A/C leak on the high side and shortly after I realized I had no
heat so I changed the Thermostat with to the AC Delco (197 F). Noticed
I was low on coolant and needed to add ~1/2 gallon even though the tank
still had some in it. That day I noticed the boiling over as I was
staring at it wondering why I still had no heat. Next day I
backflushed the system and changed the radiator cap and topped off the
coolant- I got great heat but noticed again the boil over. However I
chalked it up to a slight overfill as about a quart of coolant came
out. The next day their wasn't any boilover and the car ran fine.
Last week I noticed the heat was decreasing and sometimes I wouldn't
get any so I double checked the orientation of the thermostat and yes
spring side motor; topped off coolant and heat again. However the boil
over happened again. The coolant does look pretty bad already but this
just didn't seem like a water pump issue; but then again changing this
water pump looks allot easier than my last car 92' LeSabre.
Could this be a crack in the recovery tank? Also the oil looks good;
no Mayonaise in there!
I did put the old thermostat up to a torch and it did move.
This help any?
Tom Adkins wrote:
I bet it did! A thermostat should be checked by putting it in a pan of
room temperature water with a thermometer. Slowly heat the water on a
stove and note the temperature when the thermostat opens.
As for your boiling over problem, it's time to check the coolant in the
radiator for exhaust gases coming from a leaking head gasket. If you
don't know how to do this, find someone that does.
Water Pump!!. You have the classic "Brown Coolant" and bad water pump
There was a recall on them but I don't remember the guidelines. A check with the
Ford dealer couldn't hurt, but I think you may be out of the time. A good
flush and water pump replacement will help. There was a "bypass hose kit and
restricter" installed for the recall that rerouted the water somehow and was
to help with the problem. Call the Ford dealer and ask them to see if your car
the "Brown Coolant Recall" done. They will need the VIN to check. If not, it
still be eligible.
If not, buy the kit from Ford, follow the instructions, replace the water
life may be good again. The brown coolant was caused by corrosion in the cooling
system. I've often wondered about the life of the core plugs even after the
I drive a 98 and, thus far, have had no cooling system concerns. I did the
coolant recall" on my own though, there were no indicators and I knew what to do
Thank you guys.
This morning I got only semi-warm air on my 45min commute to work so I
will be changing the water pump and do a flush..... Contacted Ford and
they said the recall work was already done and it does look like there
is a bypass near the firewall. With any luck its not a head gasket; my
wife's car died last Feburary with a blown Head Gasket.
I've had boilover from the recovery tank from an inoperable radiator
fan. Turned out the be the fan switch on the thermostat housing, but
until I fixed it I just kept the blower in defrost position. At least
on my car, it kept the fan running because the defrost function is
integrated with the A/C controller.
If the radiator fan isn't switching on you'll notice the temp guage
spiking higher than normal, not sure if you mentioned that or not. You
should check to make sure the radiator fan is working when it gets up
to operating temp. Some Ford fan switches close at around 220 degrees
F, not really sure if thats the same across their models. But they can
eventually fail as well.
I know its been several days but I just wanted to say thank you to
everyone who replied.
What I did:
Bought the kit to test the radiator pressure- everything turned out
Bought and installed a new water pump- Old one was very corroded and I
got a little more heat.
Bought and used a caustic flush- I now have heat thats HOT!
Thank you guys again.
After flushing the system with a caustic cleaner, it's very important to
neutralize it according to the instructions. Were you conscientious
Hopefully, the head gasket issue is settled. It was beginning to look
like you had a bad one from your posts. Make sure you're not loosing any
coolant now. Otherwise the head gasket is still suspect.
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