Where is the steam coming from...? - Page 2 - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-14-2019, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by the_intimidator_02 View Post
This is the issue. It happens to any vehicle. The radiator gets hot when the thermostat opens and any moisture on it evaporates or in case of winter snow or ice. If it's cold outside you will see steam. I've had it happen on real foggy days also. Nothing to be concerned about.
Vulcans are subject to this, DOHC are not.
Sudden rush of hot coolant to the rad happens with open/shut stat in Vulcan.
DOHC uses a blending stat and you get blended hot/cold through the rad on warm up cycle. Pic of blending stat. It requires 3 hoses and on Bulls is not in the engine but in separate box/hose Tee.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-17-2019, 10:37 AM
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On a 2000 Vulcan engine, I get the same steam off the front grill after it's warmed up a bit. I think it is just water or snow evaporating off the rad when it heats up.

But if you are LOSING NO COOLANT - then there is no indication of any leak or loss or consumption of coolant.

Not much to worry about on that.

But the mention of a pin hole in a RAD, by an earlier post, is good information for me.
And that the pin hole was found with a pressure test when the system was empty - is also good information for me.

I have been chasing and fixing various coolant system leaks - in my 2000 Vulcan, old and high mileage (285,000 km now) - for quite some time now.

It has been quite a challenge to find them and fix them (mostly myself).

Coolant bottle (a few times) / front engine cover and water pump gaskets (twice) / lower intake manifold gasket (once) / hoses and rubber elbows to heater core and crimps and steel tubes on the firewall that feed the heater core (removed and replaced now).

I may continue to have some small amount of consumption through the engine, probably via the head gasket.

Coolant was getting into the oil earlier (very concerning) probably via the lower intake gasket and also front engine cover / water pump gasket area. ( I suspect that has stopped now / I fixed those internal leaks now I think ).

But ya, that is interesting - another possibility is the rad leaks a little somewhere (pin hole etc. or something else, like at a seam).
And it is hard to see the actual RAD with all the plastic shrouds etc. on my vehicle.

Yes - it would have been very helpful to use the U.V. dye and U.V. light and U.V. glasses to find those leaks.

The pressure test was done on my vehicle, and it held pressure, so the pressure test was little or no help.

Also, it seems my vehicle leaks and consumes when HOT and Running / and under pressure mostly.

Mechanic suggested: head gasket opens up a little when hot and running - so you are consuming a little / burning through the engine.

Old car. Many miles. Head gasket on mine may be letting a little coolant by into a cylinder- but only when HOT and RUNNING and Under pressure.

Hard to justify doing a HEAD GASKET job for me - until it literally blows up one day. Can not even be sure it IS the head gasket at this time.

I continue to monitor consumption, add coolant as necessary, and look for / find and fix - any obvious leaks.

I have a long THREAD on my adventures - with coolant leaks and consumption. Fixed other things along the way.

Last edited by mrvanwinkles; 01-17-2019 at 10:40 AM.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-17-2019, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by repairman54 View Post
UV dye test is the way to go. You will find leaks and seepage easily in any of the component's. Pressure test is now old school obsolete.

+1 on the UV dye test. I was having trouble locating a leak on one of my DOHC cars. I could smell it and over time I had to add small amounts of coolant but I could never find where it was leaking. Finally got a UV dye kit with light and tinted glasses and it showed up right away. Turned out it was seeping out of the upper hose where it's clamped to the top of the engine and evaporating right away so it always looked dry.

That said, it sounds like you've never had to add coolant so I'm doubting it's a coolant leak. I agree with all the other comments about it probably being humidity or outside moisture evaporating off your radiator but are you sure it's steam and not smoke from a slow oil drip getting on an exhaust manifold or down pipe? Does it have any odor associated with it? Both coolant and burning oil have distinctive smells that can help you diagnose.


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