AntiFreeze Smell on 2001 SES - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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AntiFreeze Smell on 2001 SES

Hello,

I've been reading past forum posts and have seen a few with similar problems as mine but none with the exact. Just looking on ideas on what could be the issue.

Bought the car Feb 2010 and it has had a slight antifreeze smell after driving since then, however the antifreeze level does stay pretty steady with maybe needing a tiny bit added every 2-3 months. My husband had been driving this car up until recently, 35-40 min drive to work everyday. We had to do major work to it at the beginning of this year (Check Eng light was on, major vacuum leak, rough idle, rear brake hardware missing, ball joint, new suspension parts, tires, alignment) I am now driving it, about a mile to work everyday and maybe the most I go inbetween 25-30 miles on the weekends just running errands.

Occasionally there is also a little bit of smoke, passenger side where the antifreeze smell is also coming from. Hubby has flushed the heater core twice due to little/no heat in the winter. Car takes forever to defrost the windows in the winter, which is why I am now driving it. (lol) The antifreeze smell does not happen all the time either. There is no smell in the cabin, and the passenger floor has never been wet. The car has never overheated.

Could this all just be a heater core issue? Could we have a slow leak in a hose somewhere back there too? I don't think this could be a water pump issue, could it? If it was the water pump, wouldn't the car have overheated during one of those 35-40 min drives when hubby got stuck in traffic?? (I had a water pump go on my old Cavalier and it started to overheat and I got out and there was a huge puddle of antifreeze on the parking lot)
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 04:15 PM
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hi,

you may have a very small leak at the water pump weep hole,
after car is run for a short time and turned off, the weep holes will
be wet, easy to see with flashlight. Since you see smoke and have
the coolant odor this may be the problem.

The pressure cap on the degas bottle may not be holding pressure,
I had zero pressure on my 99 taurus and only 8lbs on the 99 sable.

You may also have very small leak in radiator, you've got to get
under the car to take a look, could also be small leak at hoses.

regards
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 04:47 PM
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Check the coolant overflow tank, mine was cracked and leaking, and I replaced it.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 04:48 PM
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I had a similar problem with my chevy truck and it truned out to be a small leak in the heater core. I got it fixed at a dealership, then it leaked again 2 months later. The idiots at the shop tried to fix it with Stop-leak and that ended up clogging up my radiator tubes and causing overheating issues. I did have the smell and occasional "smoke" out of the vents too. Never had a puddle on the floor until the second time it leaked.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I will take a good look at it this weekend and see if I can spot anything using a flashlight.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 12:20 AM
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If you check out the coolant tank and waterpump and don't see any leaking at those components, you may have the dreaded timing chain cover gasket leak on the Vulcan engine (which is in the SES - I have the same car model and year).

It's hard to spot because coolant leaking from a faulty gasket will run along the side of the timing chain cover and then drip directly on the exhaust or cat which produces the antifreeze smell and steam.

Depending on the extent of the leak, you could go months with the coolant slowly dropping and then becoming more extensive. It probably doesn't need to be fixed ASAP but if you need to have a shop fix it, it will be around a grand.

One other area to check is the heater bypass hose which runs along the firewall. The steel components will corrode and leak in some cases.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 08:19 PM
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I had the same problem. (02 SES Vulcan) If you can't find it but see stains on the right exhaust it is likely coming from the timing chain cover as rickpark explained. I went DIY, parts and gaskets, inluding new timing sprocket/chain and water pump are all less than $100. Dealer estimated it could cost around $2000. Is a tough job for even a shade tree mechanic, took me 12 hours. Need a few special tools and lots of patience.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 10:49 PM
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12 hours is about right - but you saved $100/hr - more if you remember you would have paid a dealer with after-tax earnings.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2012, 12:18 PM
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Now, rickpark, if you could only tell me how to quiet the P.S. pump
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-25-2012, 08:43 AM
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Changing PS fluid over to Mercon V has worked for a lot of noisy pumps.
Instead of a full flush and having to bleed air out I did mine by sucking out the reservoir a couple times and refilling with the Mercon over a few weekends. Sort of a slow flush the lazy man's way.

John
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