Our 2001 Taurs Wagon SES with 3.0L DOHC
engine overheated last month and I wanted to share the experience if it will help someone for something to watch.
Driving on a Sunday morning about ten miles to church the air started blowing hot. It was already about 85 degrees that morning and I thought the hot air conditioner just needed refilling with refrigerant.
When starting the car about two hours later, a ding bell went off and a warning light showed check coolant level. I thought just add some water when I get back home and went to driving while this time watching the temperature gauge. About half way home the temperature needle was at H so I stopped at a gas station expecting to add water. Looking at the coolant reservoir I saw bubbling green. There was plenty of coolant, but I did not notice any other troubles. When the car started again it had cooled to normal. After driving a couple more miles the gauge was back to H and the air was hot. The windows were let down and full hot heat turned on to try and cool the engine. The air blowing was no warmer than outside air. Just before getting home at a red signal light the engine was hot and upon take off pinged badly and felt like the transmission was having trouble. So I limped the car back home as slowly and gently as possible.
There never was another light to come on to tell me the engine was getting hot or having any other problem.
Upon checking the engine more closely, pieces of belt were found on the driver's side of the engine. It took a little digging on the internet to find out the water pump is on the driver's side with one single belt. I turned the water pump and it was sticky and not turning smoothly, so I went an got another water pump which had a gasket and a belt along with some spray gasket in the blue can.
The battery and hoses were removed to get to the water pump. Once the pump was out it was compared to the new and looked the same just had a bad bearing but had never leaked. The gasket was sprayed with the blue can, red colored, sticky gasket sealant and left on a hanger to dry. It took quite some time to get the old gasket off of the surface, but there were no other issues or corrosion.
The radiator was flushed through the hoses as well as the hoses to the engine and heater core. I did not run the engine, but felt I had flushed things well enough. The new water pump gasket was put into place and stayed well with the sticky stuff. The water pump was put back on and the belt put in place. Luckily the 2001 3.0L DOHC
engine has just a tensioner holding the belt in place.
One full gallon of coolant was added with less than half of another gallon bottle. Full concentrate was used not 50/50 premix. After driving about fifty miles a small water bottle was added and there have been no other troubles with heat.
The car has 190,000 miles and it has been getting close to 100 degrees in the Memphis, Tennessee area recently.
Keep watching your temperature gauges in the summer,