I got trouble. I need help. - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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I got trouble. I need help.

I know y'all don't like me. That's OK, but I need to get past that and figure out what's happening.

95, GL, 3.8L V6, 120,000 miles

It's been running fine for several months now, no problems at all. It has some leaks so I have to keep up with the fluids, but they never get low enough to cause problems that I know of.

All day today it ran fine. On the way home, I could tell something was changing. It felt like it was running rough, sort of shuddering in a way, but never lost power that I could tell. I have sort of a steep driveway and I have to stop at the bottom to open the gate. At idle while waiting for the gate to open (power opener), it was running rough, but never stalled. It pulled up the steep driveway fine with no loss of power.

But in front of the garage, it was idling very rough, sounded like it was missing.

I have a horrible feeling it might be a head gasket, but I don't know enough about this to be able to check for sure. I'll let it set overnight and check fluids again in the morning to see if I can see any signs of mixing.

Other than that, I'm at a complete loss. I don't think real clear any more and get overwhelmed at things like this. Money is tight and I can't afford to replace it, or to get hit with a big repair bill. I just ate a $500 bill on my other car.

I just don't know what to do here.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 06:00 PM
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CEL on? Even if it isnt, check for codes.

Look for vacuum leaks.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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No, it did not come on while running or after I restarted to pull inside the garage. I'll try to check codes in the morning.

CEL has come on a couple of times in the mornings just after starting when cold. I stop, shut the engine off, restart and it never comes back on all day.

It never runs rough when that happens though and I was told by someone else that may be the O2 sensors which are original as far as I know.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil_Red_Wagon View Post
I know y'all don't like me. That's OK, but I need to get past that and figure out what's happening.

95, GL, 3.8L V6, 120,000 miles

It's been running fine for several months now, no problems at all. It has some leaks so I have to keep up with the fluids, but they never get low enough to cause problems that I know of.

All day today it ran fine. On the way home, I could tell something was changing. It felt like it was running rough, sort of shuddering in a way, but never lost power that I could tell. I have sort of a steep driveway and I have to stop at the bottom to open the gate. At idle while waiting for the gate to open (power opener), it was running rough, but never stalled. It pulled up the steep driveway fine with no loss of power.

But in front of the garage, it was idling very rough, sounded like it was missing.

I have a horrible feeling it might be a head gasket, but I don't know enough about this to be able to check for sure. I'll let it set overnight and check fluids again in the morning to see if I can see any signs of mixing.

Other than that, I'm at a complete loss. I don't think real clear any more and get overwhelmed at things like this. Money is tight and I can't afford to replace it, or to get hit with a big repair bill. I just ate a $500 bill on my other car.

I just don't know what to do here.
On my '95 Essex (3.8) the coolant would be low at the end of a run, but would be to the top when hot. Leaking compression into the coolant. Misfire on that one, only when sitting and restarted. It was OK once cleared out. It was subject to recall and they did the head gaskets at the local Ford shop.

Past son-inlaw had one and it missed when started in the morning but got over it when driven a mile. He just added coolant. Went out of town for a few days and when he came back, it would not crank. Cylinder was too full of coolant. "hydrolocked'.

-chart-
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not sure how that applies, but I'll add this in case it matters. Several weeks ago on one of our few very cold mornings this winter, I started out to town. A couple of miles down the road, the Temp gauge began to rise quickly. It never topped out and then it fell rapidly. Did that a couple of times before I could get to a local auto parts. Pulled off and the coolant overflow bottle was empty. I bought a gallon and added some then restarted and watched it for a bit before driving. It rose and fell a couple more times before settling down mid-range. I'm guessing it had an air bubble somewhere. It did it a couple of more times driving that day, but never since. The gauge never pegged to the top and there were no indications of overheating. I also picked up a T-stat just in case it was sticking but haven't replaced it yet.

It has run fine on several trips since that day until today.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Looks like the board ate the post, trying again.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Checked fluids. Coolant was down again, but that's not unexpected since I think there's a radiator leak. Oil was down a bit, added that. No signs that I can see of the fluids mixing though.

Cranked fine and started easily, but still ran rough, as if missing.

KOEO: 111 10 124 211 (Repeats)

KOER: 6 (Cyl) 412 116 (Repeats)

User guide that came with the reader only shows basic information for codes.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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No idea what to check for on vacuum leaks. No hoses hanging or broken that I can see.

If it turns out to be a head gasket, what is a reasonable cost? I know that varies by region, but just a general ball park number to compare against.

I know some of you can do it yourself, but I don't have much in specialty tools or equipment and I'm not sure I want to try it.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
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Not getting much response here.


If it is a head gasket (which I have no way to determine at this point), are there any thoughts on these coolant additives that claim to fill and seal gaps? I see several different products from Bars Leaks and others.

If the gap is somewhere that these products can't get to, what happens?
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 03:37 AM
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I blew a head gasket last Fall. When it happened, there were obviously blobs of crud in the coolant reservoir tank. There was also some coolant dribbling down the side of the block. The total cost of repair was $1,500 here in New York City, which included some machine shop work on the head.

You can buy a test kit that will determine if exhaust gas is entering the coolant.

There is another tell-tale sign of a blown head gasket. When you first start the car in the morning, a small, white cloud of smoke puffs out of the tailpipe.

Last edited by TechSurfer; 03-08-2017 at 03:42 AM.
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