2001 Taurus Vulcan V6 - coolant boiling, engine temp fluctuating - help? - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-08-2013, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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2001 Taurus Vulcan V6 - coolant boiling, engine temp fluctuating - help?

My '01 Taurus with the Vulcan V6 has a problem.

Coolant has been boiling up and leaking out of the relief valve in the cap neck threads for a week or two now, and until today no change in temperature was ever seen. (I did replace coolant to the "cold fill" line when low after it had sat overnight after seeing it boil out.) Today, the temp shot up while driving, not quite to overheating but still on the very high side of the temps. When I stop and idle, the temp goes down, but if I sustain velocity, it soars again. When the coolant boiled out, it looked a bit murky but as orange as it was when I poured it in (50/50 mix, of course).

I'm thinking it's the thermostat, but I'm afraid it could also be the water pump. The only clue that makes me think water pump is a rattle when accelerating that almost sounds like a diesel's valves. There's no leakage out of the engine, oil's fine, everything's fine except for the boiling out of the reservoir and the heat issue. It has NOT overheated yet.

Any way I can try to find out which one it might be? Anything I can do to get it home safe besides calling up AAA?
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-08-2013, 10:29 PM
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Yeah, you being in Phoenix would exacerbate things. If it's 106 here today, you're way hotter than that.

When did you put the coolant in?

If it's been several years, I'd recommend a full coolant flush and thermostat replacement at this point. And if it hasn't been, the murkiness you describe means there's gunk in there somewhere. Heat works, right?

Don't just drain it and change it, use a bottle of Prestone Super Cleaner to really get the gunk out. You'll need to drive around for a few hours, and I'd recommend doing it early in the day so it's not super hot (that's not an antifreeze replacement)

Can you get the rattle noise by just revving the engine while in neutral/park?

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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-08-2013, 11:16 PM
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^^ I'm also thinking the thermostat is stuck closed.
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-08-2013, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The White Falcon View Post
Yeah, you being in Phoenix would exacerbate things. If it's 106 here today, you're way hotter than that.

When did you put the coolant in?

If it's been several years, I'd recommend a full coolant flush and thermostat replacement at this point. And if it hasn't been, the murkiness you describe means there's gunk in there somewhere. Heat works, right?

Don't just drain it and change it, use a bottle of Prestone Super Cleaner to really get the gunk out. You'll need to drive around for a few hours, and I'd recommend doing it early in the day so it's not super hot (that's not an antifreeze replacement)

Can you get the rattle noise by just revving the engine while in neutral/park?
Radiator was replaced about a year ago. The heat works a little, like when you turn on the heat it blasts hot for a little and then fades to normal outside air. If I turn off the blower, it seems to "recharge". Haven't noticed the rattle when revving while standing still. Is there any sure-fire way to test the water pump for failure?
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Red Machine D View Post
Radiator was replaced about a year ago. The heat works a little, like when you turn on the heat it blasts hot for a little and then fades to normal outside air. If I turn off the blower, it seems to "recharge". Haven't noticed the rattle when revving while standing still. Is there any sure-fire way to test the water pump for failure?
For the water pump flow, as the engine is running, look at the smaller hose next to the radiator cap on the expansion tank (it is approx. 10 o'clock to the cap) and coolant should be freely flowing from the hose into the tank.

As far as the heater goes, it sounds as there is not enough flow through the heater core to keep it hot. The "recharge" is from the heater core warming up and as the air passes through it, it cools off too quickly.

The rattle could be a broken impeller on the water pump. The flow test should determine that. The flow should be high enough to have the coolant hit the top of the passage where the hose is connected to the tank itself.
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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 01:29 AM
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X2 on checking for flow. I didn't see any in my tank and coolant was sometimes blowing past the cap also. New pump, tank, cap, & radiator in my case . 113* will only make your problem worse.
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 01:46 AM
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X2 on checking for flow. I didn't see any in my tank and coolant was sometimes blowing past the cap also. New pump, tank, cap, & radiator in my case . 113* will only make your problem worse.

I usually check the flow with the radiator cap off and with the engine idling, checking the one hose on the tank that comes from the intake manifold (serves as a bypass hose) and making sure coolant hits the baffle inside the top part of the tank. It should be flowing all the time.
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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 03:05 AM Thread Starter
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Okay so I checked the flow and I couldn't see anything. Also checked underneath and there wasn't anything coming out of the weep hole that I could tell. The rattling sound happens when accelerating, even while standing still. Think my water pump's done.
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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 03:23 AM
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Yeah, your pump might look like this:

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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 06-09-2013, 07:43 AM
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100% is the pump. Overheating because of failing pump will damage an older thermostat too...
At least this is what happened to me. Change both.
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