I recently flushed and refilled my cooling system, having been surprised
by overheating. I inspected the system for leaks and didn't find any.
Last night, when weather was cool by the lake, I put the heater on. A
little while later I noticed dripping under the car. It seemed to come
down from behind the engine, in the middle and near the cat converter.
This morning I wanted to trace the leak. I put the heater on, ran the
engine to normal temperature and heated up the inside. In spite of this
testing, I do not see any dripping now. Is there a wise man out there
for me? The coolant has been in the normal range.
If the drip was clear water, it might have been that your air
conditioning circuit was turned on to dry the air, so that your
windshield would not fog up. This happens when you put the heat on defog
and defog/floor in my Contour. I think the Taurus is similar.
The air conditioner dries the air. When it does this, the water drains
out through a hole to the ground.
If your overheating problem returns, you should be aware
that some Taurus/Sable of that vintage had a problem with
the water pump impellar corroding and disappearing. There
is a TSB out on the problem but, the cure is basically an
updated water pump. You should chack on the TSB for
complete info. Sorry I do not have it any longer.
Thanks, and thanks to all who responded. As far as I can tell, there
hasn't been dripping the last couple days. Might it be that it's less
humid? Might the dripping have come from an overflow tube from the coolant?
It appears to me that the coolant might have come down slightly but it's
still in the normal range.
I don't know where I'd get that TSB. The engine has not overheated
since. Because the heater seems to work well and the radiator hose gets
hot I figure the water pump must still be working.
Lower humidity may be the answer but, your coolant reservoir
level should stabilize after 3-5 hot run cycles. Do your
check either completely warm or dead cold. You should see
almost exactly the same level you look at it under similar
temp conditions. A system with no leakage will have almost
no drop in level over many months of operation.
The overflow tube is usually further forward than you describe, maybe 12
inches behind the radiator.
I think you figure wrong. It's not like a catastrophic failure with the
water pump, but rather, the water pump pumps much less coolant than
desired. So it seems to work well in the cooler weather, but in reality,
it isn't. Some parts of the engine might not be getting enough coolant
You should be able to go into your dealer to get the TSB. You can also
do a search of the web for tsb taurus water pump. I bet you can find it.
"There was a recall on this car for problems with the cooling system, so the
first thing to do is check to see if the recall was performed.
Also, there was a TSB, number 01-11-6 dated 06/11/01 addressing this
problem. It involved, among a number of other things, replacing the water
pump with a modified water pump. The new water pump is part number
In addition, I would replace the serpentine belt with Ford part number
F7PZ-8620-AB since there was a problem with the serpentine belt slipping.
If, after all this is done and it still overheats, the freeze plugs may have
to come out to inspect the block water passages for obstructions."
This was listed for the '96. Might apply to yours, also.
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