Front Timing Cover leak on 03 Taurus (worse case scenario?) - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
Register Home Forums Active Topics Topic Finder Photos Members List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Auto EscrowAuto Loans
TaurusClub.com is the premier Ford Taurus Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-07-2012, 09:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
Member
 
Member Number: 35913
Join Date: Apr 2011
Chapter: Northeast
Drives: 2003 SE 3.0L
Visit: My Garage
Posts: 113
Trader Score: 0 reviews
Rep Power: 7
NorthernTaurus is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Front Timing Cover leak on 03 Taurus (worse case scenario?)

I finally confirmed my 03 Taurus (3.0 Vulcan) is leaking coolant from the front timing cover. I added some dye to the coolant and had my mechanic use his light to find the source of this leak. Sure enough, it's leaking from where I said it was.

I knew this car had a slight coolant leak months ago and it really wasn't that bad. Occasionally I would get the odd drip on the driveway but it also would burn off while I was driving. With the arrival of winter and the cold temperatures I figured it might get a bit worse. Now it's leaking daily and there's usually a couple drops on the cardboard I've got placed underneith and it usually happens after it's been sitting for awhile.

Right now I'm in limbo about what to do. It's not gushing out coolant and the fluid level is still where it should be. However, I'm getting conflicting opinions from 2 different Ford guys I deal with. The one says to keep driving the car until it gets worse. At which point I'll have no choice but to fix. The second guy has put fear into me because he claims that oil could mix with the coolant if the seal/gasket comes off. He says that it's starting to gush out pretty good now (of course he could be looking for a big job$$).

I've had some big quotes and it's not cheap. The Ford guy says he can give me a discount and would charge roughly $800 Cdn for everything (6 hours ). He's cheaper then the others.... and that's also including water pump replacement. Everyone says it makes sense to do at same time.

Car's history....
Car is 9 years old with 120,000 kms (74,000 miles). Body is in good condition with no rust. New cam sycronizer, front brakes, starter, and tires. Tranny and coolant fluids changed. Previously had a water leak which I fixed.

Things that will likely need to be fixed soon.... rear shocks, new plugs, and leaking A/C.


Is this car worth fixing up or would I be better to use the money towards getting a newer one?. What's the worst case scenario if I keep driving this car with the leak?.
NorthernTaurus is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-07-2012, 09:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
Devoted Member
 
Bigdogg2830's Avatar
 
Member Number: 35327
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Motor city
Chapter: Midwest
Drives: 2007 sel
Visit: My Garage
Posts: 3,378
Trader Score: 2 reviews
Rep Power: 15
Bigdogg2830 is a jewel in the rough
Default

if you wanted to sell it what would be the asking price?
__________________
Bill
Bigdogg2830 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 06:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
Devoted Member
 
Member Number: 33869
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Montana
Chapter: Pacific Northwest
Drives: 2000 Taurus SE 3.0 OHV Vulcan
Visit: My Garage
Posts: 1,194
Trader Score: 1 reviews
Rep Power: 10
downhill is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernTaurus View Post
I finally confirmed my 03 Taurus (3.0 Vulcan) is leaking coolant from the front timing cover. I added some dye to the coolant and had my mechanic use his light to find the source of this leak. Sure enough, it's leaking from where I said it was.

I knew this car had a slight coolant leak months ago and it really wasn't that bad. Occasionally I would get the odd drip on the driveway but it also would burn off while I was driving. With the arrival of winter and the cold temperatures I figured it might get a bit worse. Now it's leaking daily and there's usually a couple drops on the cardboard I've got placed underneith and it usually happens after it's been sitting for awhile.

Right now I'm in limbo about what to do. It's not gushing out coolant and the fluid level is still where it should be. However, I'm getting conflicting opinions from 2 different Ford guys I deal with. The one says to keep driving the car until it gets worse. At which point I'll have no choice but to fix. The second guy has put fear into me because he claims that oil could mix with the coolant if the seal/gasket comes off. He says that it's starting to gush out pretty good now (of course he could be looking for a big job$$).

I've had some big quotes and it's not cheap. The Ford guy says he can give me a discount and would charge roughly $800 Cdn for everything (6 hours ). He's cheaper then the others.... and that's also including water pump replacement. Everyone says it makes sense to do at same time.

Car's history....
Car is 9 years old with 120,000 kms (74,000 miles). Body is in good condition with no rust. New cam sycronizer, front brakes, starter, and tires. Tranny and coolant fluids changed. Previously had a water leak which I fixed.

Things that will likely need to be fixed soon.... rear shocks, new plugs, and leaking A/C.


Is this car worth fixing up or would I be better to use the money towards getting a newer one?. What's the worst case scenario if I keep driving this car with the leak?.
The car is too valuable to neglect. If you wait too long you could loose all coolant and ruin motor. That would be a real waste with that few of miles on it. It is a full days worth of work to get to the timing cover gasket and then put back together. The new water pump should only be about $35, change Thermostat and hoses, and flush entire system including heater. If the car is paid for why would you want payments again. The $800 sounds almost fair at these days prices. I know I could do it for that with a smile on my face. It is a PIA job for cleaning gasket material off, but the rest is all pretty straight forward. Good luck, and do not let it go much longer. downhill~~
downhill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 09:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Member Number: 7669
Join Date: Mar 2006
Drives: 2001 SES Vulcan OHV (U)
Visit: My Garage
Posts: 697
Trader Score: 0 reviews
Rep Power: 18
rickpark will become famous soon enough
Default

Review this wiki to get an idea what's involved in this job.

US$1200 is a number that I was quoted and it seems to be around that +/- $200 from what I have observed so C$800 seems very reasonable. Make sure they change the oil pan gasket as it can leak after the cover is removed.

If the gasket has deteriorated to the point of leaking coolant, there is a strong possibility it could leak between the internal coolant and oil passages which would not be good.
rickpark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 10:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
Devoted Member
 
Member Number: 33869
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Montana
Chapter: Pacific Northwest
Drives: 2000 Taurus SE 3.0 OHV Vulcan
Visit: My Garage
Posts: 1,194
Trader Score: 1 reviews
Rep Power: 10
downhill is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickpark View Post
Review this wiki to get an idea what's involved in this job.

US$1200 is a number that I was quoted and it seems to be around that +/- $200 from what I have observed so C$800 seems very reasonable. Make sure they change the oil pan gasket as it can leak after the cover is removed.

If the gasket has deteriorated to the point of leaking coolant, there is a strong possibility it could leak between the internal coolant and oil passages which would not be good.
Exactly!!! + 1^ on all of these thoughts.
downhill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 07:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
Member
 
Member Number: 35913
Join Date: Apr 2011
Chapter: Northeast
Drives: 2003 SE 3.0L
Visit: My Garage
Posts: 113
Trader Score: 0 reviews
Rep Power: 7
NorthernTaurus is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigdogg2830 View Post
if you wanted to sell it what would be the asking price?
I never really gave it much thought. The only problem is that you'd have to travel up to Ontario to get it. Then there's the issue of bringing it across the border. I'm sure it can be done but I have no idea what's involved.


Quote:
Originally Posted by downhill View Post
The car is too valuable to neglect. If you wait too long you could loose all coolant and ruin motor. That would be a real waste with that few of miles on it. It is a full days worth of work to get to the timing cover gasket and then put back together. The new water pump should only be about $35, change Thermostat and hoses, and flush entire system including heater. If the car is paid for why would you want payments again. The $800 sounds almost fair at these days prices. I know I could do it for that with a smile on my face. It is a PIA job for cleaning gasket material off, but the rest is all pretty straight forward. Good luck, and do not let it go much longer. downhill~~
The $800 that was quoted included labour, parts, and tax. That also included the water pump. I know the guys who work at this dealership and can get the parts for cost (thank god!).

There's a lot of truth to what you've said about keeping the car. New cars aren't cheap either. The only thing that crossed my mind was that maybe I would be further ahead to sell the car while it looks and runs good and use the money towards buying another second hand car. I've had the car 2 years and already replaced tires, brakes, cam syncronizer, starter, and tranny fluid. At least $1,000 just on that stuff. The only other issue this car has is that it's got a slight AC leak. Still pumps out cold air (had it topped up). Eventually the shocks might need to be done which I'm told ain't cheap. Problem is that I don't have a hoist or a suitable place to do the work myself. Even then... it might take me awhile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickpark View Post
Review this wiki to get an idea what's involved in this job.

US$1200 is a number that I was quoted and it seems to be around that +/- $200 from what I have observed so C$800 seems very reasonable. Make sure they change the oil pan gasket as it can leak after the cover is removed.

If the gasket has deteriorated to the point of leaking coolant, there is a strong possibility it could leak between the internal coolant and oil passages which would not be good.
That's what I was afraid of. I'm glad you have confirmed what the Ford service adviser had told me. Is this a common problem on these cars around this mileage/age or is it unique to the Vulcan motor?.

Guess I better make a decision real soon. I just finished replacing the cam syncronizer just before Christmas and caught that problem just in time. Car runs like a million bucks now. But this latest problem has me nervous.

Thanks again for your advice folks.
NorthernTaurus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 09:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
Technical Advisor
 
Member Number: 1771
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Blythewood, SC 29016
Chapter: Southeast
Drives: 00 SEL Sedan DOHC
Visit: My Garage
Posts: 16,795
Trader Score: 6 reviews
Rep Power: 92
Bull Geek has a reputation beyond reputeBull Geek has a reputation beyond reputeBull Geek has a reputation beyond reputeBull Geek has a reputation beyond repute
Send a message via AIM to Bull Geek Send a message via MSN to Bull Geek
Default

As long as rust isn't too bad just fix the car and roll. Make sure the dealer follows the repair guide to the T (oil pan gasket included). Depending where you are in Ontario, there may be folks on here, SHOForum, TSOC, etc that could help you with suspension jobs. No lift needed (although it is a plus).

These cars are so cheap to repair if you can do the work yourself or have a friend that can help you out, it's worth your time. Plenty of good parts at the yards for them. You barely have any kilometerage (miles?).
__________________
--Nick

-True Blue MC 2003 Lincoln Town Car | V8 SOHC/4R70W | 55K
-Silver Frost MC 2000 Ford Taurus SEL | V6 DOHC/AX4N | 198K
--Wood paneled 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis LS Colony Park wagon | V8 OHV/AOD | 180K ish?
--Ugly Colored 1987 Mercury Grand Marquis LS Colony Park wagon | V8 OHV/AOD | 303K miles!
Former...
'87 Taurus 3.0 GL sedan, '87 Taurus 3.0 GL Wagon, '97 Taurus SHO 3.4 V8 sedan
Bull Geek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2012, 12:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Member Number: 44048
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: MA
Chapter: Northeast
Drives: 2001 Sable LS, DOHC Royal Blue Muscle
Visit: My Garage
Posts: 733
Trader Score: 1 reviews
Rep Power: 8
mercman has a spectacular aura about
Default

No car payment - best scenario. Take your "no car payment" and go on vacation . Struts are not that expensive to replace if you find a mechanic who will charge you labor and you supply the parts. Heck, I bet someone in here can help you out or point you in the right direction or let you use their space to work. I used to use brother-in-laws garage when I lived in an apt.

From what i'm learning, the Taurus is probably one of the most affordable in terms of parts i've ever seen. There are so many of them on the road. "Take your pick."

Last edited by mercman; 02-09-2012 at 12:47 PM.
mercman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2012, 02:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Member Number: 39022
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Chicagoland , IL
Chapter: Midwest
Drives: 2003-Sable Premium LS
Visit: My Garage
Posts: 46
Trader Score: 0 reviews
Rep Power: 0
tgrudzin is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

"Average life expectancy of a new vehicle these days is around 8 years or 150,000 miles. Of course, some well-built vehicles can go 15 years and 300,000, if properly maintained." That is from Consumer Report, 2006.

Your about 75K miles away from that. Sure, you are going to have an occasional spendy repair. I just dropped $1100 for a new AC compressor, drier and the labor involved. Still less than replacing the car. And what does the 'new-used' car need as far as repairs.

Our Sable has 112,000. I not worried about the shocks or struts in the least.

Last edited by tgrudzin; 02-10-2012 at 02:33 PM.
tgrudzin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2012, 09:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Member Number: 27972
Join Date: Apr 2010
Visit: My Garage
Posts: 1
Trader Score: 0 reviews
Rep Power: 0
hvanlingen has a little shameless behaviour in the past
Default Same problem/decision to make....

My daughter is commuting to college [20 mile round trip] in my 2003 Taurus SES with 210000 miles on it. Same diagnosis...coolant leaking from the timing cover gasket. The mechanic quoted $990 labor/materials for the gasket replacement. The quote also included replacing a coolant/heater pipe on the firewall.

To me, the car doesn't seem worth fixin... but I hate to take on another car payment.
hvanlingen is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:12 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2