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 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?.