Consuming Coolant slowly, no leak visible. - 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 10-31-2012, 08:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
Member
 
Member Number: 43424
Join Date: Nov 2011
Chapter: Northeast
Drives: 2000 Ford Taurus SE sedan 3.0 L V6 Vulcan engine
Visit: My Garage
Posts: 151
Trader Score: 0 reviews
Rep Power: 6
mrvanwinkles is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Consuming Coolant slowly, no leak visible.

OK here is what is happening, and some details and history.

2000 Ford Taurus SE, 3.0 L V6 Vulcan. 245,000 Km now.
[ Yes, it's getting on in age and miles - but still runs GOOD, well maintained ]

Is slowly consuming coolant, with no leak visible, no steam seen, no smell.
It has been slowly consuming coolant for about one year now I would say.

I think it is slowly getting worse. I am continuing to monitor closely and adding as needed.

At this time, in 300 Km and 3 hours of highway driving it drops now about 1 inch in the reservoir bottle. I estimate that is just under 1 litre lost somehow in this amount of driving.

This mid-august, it was in to the Dealership for other regular maintenance, and I mentioned this slow coolant consumption to the Service Rep. They had the mechanic do a pressure test, and said it held pressure for 30 min with no drop. And advised me to just continue to monitor and keep adding for now.

Car still runs fine, for it's age and mileage, pretty good still.

Oh ya, the Timing Cover Gasket had a leak several years ago, and was done. And a new Water Pump, and Crankshaft seal was installed at that time. That was a problem that got worse until I HAD to fix it - leaking too much, and coolant dripping down onto hot CAT Convertor, and steaming up into the engine compartment, and then that steam smelling and getting sucked into the cabin by the ventillation system at the stop light.

I digress ...

I read some other posts and threads with similar issue - slow consumption.
They mention possible HEAD GASKET leaking, and possible car burning the coolant in the the combustion chamber and out the tailpipe.
They mention possible SLOW LEAK somewhere and evaporation - so not easy to see and find the leak.
They mention possible cross leak into some other system - like oil or trans oil.

One suggests "chemical dye test" ... mechanic adds chemical marker of some kind into coolant - and that shows better where or how the missing coolant is going.

One suggestion is take samples of various oils for test. Check engine oil for change in colour (milky colour?)

If it is being burned in the engine, is there an emmission test that will show it ? In the exhaust gases? Can one SMELL it burned in the exhaust? Just my ideas.

P.S. For first time ever, the oil pressure light flickered a little, one evening, after a highway run, when idling to unload a few things. Pulling up the REVS a little made it go out. So just indicating lower oil pressure at idle. Never seen again since. No issue I think not ... but thought to mention this anyway.

Thanks in advance for any advice or help.

No major problem yet ... but I can see something coming - given that the rate of coolant consumption is slowly increasing.
mrvanwinkles is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 10-31-2012, 09:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
Crazy Devoted Member
 
Member Number: 5295
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Miramichi, New Brunswick
Drives: 2005 Taurus SE 3.0L Vulcan Bought with 111,432KM in October of 2012
Visit: My Garage
Posts: 5,747
Trader Score: 0 reviews
Rep Power: 34
the_intimidator_02 is a jewel in the rough
Default

Have you checked the timing cover since the repair from a several years ago? If not check there, also check the coolant reservoir. If no visible leak are seen, then I would add dye to the system and then see where it's illumnating.
__________________


Life is a hard teacher, it gives you the test before it teaches you the lesson.

The Human race is governed by it's own imagination.

Please don't steal, the government can't stand the competition.
the_intimidator_02 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2012, 10:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
Sam
breeves002
 
Sam's Avatar
 
Member Number: 49890
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: St. Louis, MO
Chapter: Midwest
Drives: 2008 Mercury Sable Premier
Visit: My Garage
Posts: 6,101
Trader Score: 8 reviews
Rep Power: 68
Sam has a reputation beyond reputeSam has a reputation beyond reputeSam has a reputation beyond reputeSam has a reputation beyond reputeSam has a reputation beyond reputeSam has a reputation beyond repute
Default

If it is being burned in the engine, you will possibly have coolant on the spark plugs. Just pull the front 3 out and check, could get lucky. That would indicate a leaking head gasket. You can see if the oil is milky, or if you pop the oil cap off, there may be some residue in the cap from evaporated coolant.

I've heard of lots of mysterious coolant leaks that were from leaks onto the exhaust that evaporated and they could never find the source. It's obviously small enough that the system can keep pressure.

Oil light flicker is usually an early warning sign to serious engine problems if left alone (someone back me up? or am I wrong?). Just watch out for it to start happening more often. If it does, start changing your oil/oil filter more often. If that doesn't fix it, then you need probably need your oil pickup cleaned or try a higher viscosity oil. There are plenty of threads on oil light flicker here.
__________________
Sam

2008 Mercury Sable Premier
2012 Kia Soul Base AT 1.6GDI
2004 Acura TSX 2.4
Moved On: 2000 Sable LS Premium Duratec

Last edited by Sam; 10-31-2012 at 10:56 AM.
Sam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2012, 08:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
Crazy Devoted Member
 
Member Number: 10865
Join Date: Dec 2006
Visit: My Garage
Posts: 12,602
Trader Score: 1 reviews
Rep Power: 53
sheila is a glorious beacon of lightsheila is a glorious beacon of light
Default

Coolant in the reservoir can be tested for the presence of combustion gases.
sheila is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2012, 08:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Spaceman1200's Avatar
 
Member Number: 45573
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Westland, Michigan
Chapter: Northeast
Drives: 1992 Ford Taurus L 3.0L 74K
Visit: My Garage
Posts: 62
Trader Score: 0 reviews
Rep Power: 7
Spaceman1200 has a spectacular aura about
Default

You can try and check some hose clamps see if anything leaking slightly
Spaceman1200 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 10:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
Member
 
Member Number: 43424
Join Date: Nov 2011
Chapter: Northeast
Drives: 2000 Ford Taurus SE sedan 3.0 L V6 Vulcan engine
Visit: My Garage
Posts: 151
Trader Score: 0 reviews
Rep Power: 6
mrvanwinkles is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Thanks everyone ... for the advice and tips.

I will try and follow up on these suggestions and report back if I find anything.
It may take a little while to figure this "coolant consumption" out, and have something to report back.

I'll also check back occasionally this thread I created.

Thanks. Much Appreciated.
mrvanwinkles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2012, 05:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
Member
 
Member Number: 43424
Join Date: Nov 2011
Chapter: Northeast
Drives: 2000 Ford Taurus SE sedan 3.0 L V6 Vulcan engine
Visit: My Garage
Posts: 151
Trader Score: 0 reviews
Rep Power: 6
mrvanwinkles is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

I have some early news. Not definite / not for sure yet because it could be other things.

But I took a quick look around the engine / front cover area / quick inspection.

Sure enough, it looks a little "WET" front of block, behind alternator and water pump, where there's two castings meeting and a gasket between, just above where a large ( approx 2" ? ) rubber hose / large rad hose is connected with a clamp. (must be where the lower rad hose connects to the block?).

I think this certainly is the front engine cover, near the top of it.

I took a stick, wrapped a white tissue around the tip of it, and wiped.
Sure enough it came out dirty GREEN in colour. ie. likely coolant.

Not leaking enough to drip there ... but wet.

I think I will start to actually MEASURE the amount of fluid each time I add, and record the date and miles. I will have a better idea if the leak is really getting worse or not ... and how bad it is.

Must leak more when hot or running. Not sure.

So looks like maybe that pesky front engine cover again - seeping.

Well if that is true, then at least it's not a head gasket, or not leaking into the engine, or the oil - hopefully.

Tried to smell exhaust - can't smell anything different there. No steam or white smoke or anything.

Will do some of the other checks suggested later. Maybe this weekend when I have more time.

Thanks.

Last edited by mrvanwinkles; 11-02-2012 at 07:34 AM.
mrvanwinkles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 10:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
Member
 
Member Number: 43424
Join Date: Nov 2011
Chapter: Northeast
Drives: 2000 Ford Taurus SE sedan 3.0 L V6 Vulcan engine
Visit: My Garage
Posts: 151
Trader Score: 0 reviews
Rep Power: 6
mrvanwinkles is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Did an engine oil and filter change myself this weekend. Kept a sample of the old oil in a small bottle in case that can be checked / analysed.

Nothing looks or smells wrong with the Oil I removed. No milky anything, no frothing or anything on the oil cap. Just black oil. Can't see anything else in it. It was the right time / due for an oil change.

Measured precisely what I added this time: 1.175 L of coolant since the last add, and recorded date and mileage of this add.

Will start to make table of these values and see more exactly if leakage/seepage or usage is increasing with time and km's driven.

TABLE:
DATE / KM / Amount of coolant Added (to the cold fill line of the bottle)

Will begin to talk to my local mechanic and see what he advises as well.
mrvanwinkles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 10:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
Sam
breeves002
 
Sam's Avatar
 
Member Number: 49890
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: St. Louis, MO
Chapter: Midwest
Drives: 2008 Mercury Sable Premier
Visit: My Garage
Posts: 6,101
Trader Score: 8 reviews
Rep Power: 68
Sam has a reputation beyond reputeSam has a reputation beyond reputeSam has a reputation beyond reputeSam has a reputation beyond reputeSam has a reputation beyond reputeSam has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Well good looks like your heads are good!

Probably is the source of your leak. If you don't mind adding the coolant, fine, leave it, but watch out it may get worse quickly if there is a hose going bad.
__________________
Sam

2008 Mercury Sable Premier
2012 Kia Soul Base AT 1.6GDI
2004 Acura TSX 2.4
Moved On: 2000 Sable LS Premium Duratec
Sam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2012, 05:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
Member
 
Member Number: 43424
Join Date: Nov 2011
Chapter: Northeast
Drives: 2000 Ford Taurus SE sedan 3.0 L V6 Vulcan engine
Visit: My Garage
Posts: 151
Trader Score: 0 reviews
Rep Power: 6
mrvanwinkles is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Clamp added to Fill bottle outlet hose.

More inspection this weekend.

Looked a little WET underneath the plastic coolant bottle main outlet at the bottom. And then looked a little wet down the side of the frame, and under the car there, under front of front wheel.

So I added a second hose clamp, a good all SS stainless steel gear clamp beside the factory original hose clamp.

The plastic outlet nipple from the bottle looks fairly long, so a second clamp just added beside the first - works. No need to remove the old clamp or disassemble anything.

The factory original hose clamp is a steel one, black in colour, that you open by squeezing the tangs with pliers. Was looking a little "WEAK" in it's clamping action. It works based on the spring strength of the clamp itself.

Hoses themselves still look good.

Will see if this reduces coolant usage over time.

[ Don't think plastic bottle itself is cracked or leaking. Checked by feeling around and under it, best I could with hands. No wet.]

( the bottle itself was replaced several years ago, a crack and leak down the seam on one side at that time. That leak was obvious. Cold and heat here are extreme with the seasons, and with pressure and hot cold cycle of engine ... that plastic bottle will crack in time.)

Must monitor again now, to see if this has reduced coolant loss.
mrvanwinkles 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 06:19 AM.



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