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Old 11-02-2007, 04:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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92 3.0L w/88,000 miles. Have a small coolant leak (not enough to lower the coolant level yet) from the RF area of the engine dripping from the cross member/engine cradle. It only leaks when I let the car sit a day or so. When I drive it everyday, it doesn't leak. I checked the area under the waterpump and its dry. Today I looked at it (it has sat since wednesday) and I found drips coming from the corner of the oil pan gasket. Waterpump area was still dry. Could this be a timing cover leak?? Its not bad right now but if its the waterpump, then I'll change it out, if its the timing cover, I'll keep some coolant in the car with me and drive it. Temps are normal

Thanks for the help.

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Old 11-02-2007, 04:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Could be a number of different things, water pump, timing cover, head gasket, heater hose. Best bet is buy/rent a coolant pressure tester and use that to determine your leak.
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Old 11-02-2007, 05:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks. About how much would one cost? Would Autozone/Advance have one?

In that area its either the waterpump or the timing cover gasket. I don't think the headgaskets are bad as its a 3.0L and I don't seem to have any coolant in the oil.

My concern is that if the timing cover gasket is bad, can there be a chance of coolant leaking into the oil pan itslef and polluting the oil? If it can then I'll get it fixed, if not then I'll live with it until it gets worse.

Thanks again

Nick
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Old 11-02-2007, 06:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It can contaminate the oil providing the timing cover is corroded(or loose) on the inner portion of the water jacket. I'll see if I can find a pic.

[attachmentid=22134]


The red high lighted areas are the water jacket those provide coolant from the water pump to the engine block. The timing cover is aluminum, it will over time corrode. If the coolant system is maintained, it will corrode at a much slower rate, but it will still corrode. Or the bolts may be just loose. The other red area is the lower hose, if the front engine mount has ever failed, it may have either stretched or loosened the hose from its original state of tightness. I have also had to replace the lower hose and had them leak due to the power steering system leaking fluid all over it, causing the hose to swell.
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Old 11-02-2007, 08:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the pic. It appears to be leaking at the corner of the oil pan/timing cover area, so I think I don't have to worry about cross contamination. I also don't have any coolant in my oil, I will keep an eye on it.
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Old 11-03-2007, 04:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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AutoZone should rent you a pressure tester for free.
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Old 11-03-2007, 11:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Here's the difference between the timing cover on a 3.0L, and the cover on the 3.8L, and why they 3.0L is better - the 3.0L cover has a groove machined into its gasket surface, that runs around the inner curve of the water jacket, where the 3.8L cover does not. This groove provides a path for coolant to leak to the outside of the engine when the gasket fails, instead of into the oil pan, like on the 3.8L. If you have coolant dripping down from the front of the engine, there's a good chance your timing cover is leaking. I just did one last week on an '01 Taurus.
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Old 11-04-2007, 05:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks Nidan, that sets my mind at ease. I'll just keep an eye on it until I get the time to get it fixed. Its pretty slow and only leaks when the car sits for a day or so.

Thanks again,

Nick
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Old 11-04-2007, 06:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Rudy what are you doing posting BMPs.....
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