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Discussion Starter #1
Got a 2000 Taurus with the vulcan. Pushing 190,000 on it now, so it's really done well for me. Runs pretty well, except heat. I had no heat prior to this weekend, so I changed the air filter, the old one was pretty dirty anyway and figured that it would help mileage.

But anyway, I've not had heat all summer, in summer who worries about heat though? Took it over to the mechanic for this, and they did a full system flush, and backflushed the heater core, they said. Total was 137, so not a bad deal really.

History on the car is that it had a new head gasket at 160,000 give or take(last summer). Had a new seal on the oil pan near the same time to deal with an oil leak.
Couple months prior to the head gasket, it had a new water pump.
It's also had a new battery and alternator as of late last year/spring this year. It later got a new tensioner pulley.

So between all those things, the car runs well, no major squeaks(does need new shocks struts more than likely), does not use much if any oil.

But they did the flush and backflushed the heater core, and said that when they did this quite a bit came out of the system. The heat went from no heat at all to a little heat, as in when the car is warmed up, heat is lukewarm.

Car gets driven close to 500 miles a week, does not overheat and does not seem to have any major glaring issues aside maintence things, like having the tranny fluid changed, etc.

The only other thing it does do is that it has a battery light that comes on. Not sure if that's a clue. Shop said that it's charging the battery from the alternator and not to worry about it basically that it could be almost anything. However, I remember reading online that these cars had a bypass hose for the heater core, but the guy there said they don't?

Wondering if I need to try another mechanic? Would replacing the blend door actuator make a difference?

Last thing, they did tell me before they did the flush, that the hose coming into the heater core was not hot, or not very hot. Any ideas?
 

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Being a Vulcan the automatic thought is the heater core, search Clinton Flush. A few other things come to mind. T-stat stuck open, is the engine getting up to normal operating temp? Is there good circulation, are the water pump impeller vanes intact? Are the controls manual or EATC?
 

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most chain parts stores will test the battery and alt for free to make sure they are good. taking the car to a mechanic and ending up with lukewarm after a flush tells me something is wrong with that picture. a second opinion wouldn't hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Have read about the Clinton flash. I assumed that reverse flushing the heater core as they did would have had a similar effect. As far as the battery charging light, I've had it tested at a Wal-Mart and O'Reilly auto parts store as well, both of the testers showed normal loads and charging.

As far as thermostat and what not, thermostat was replaced when they changed the head gasket last year so it's a newer one. with the water pump, not sure, it was replaced shortly before the head gasket went. Could there have been damage to it from when the engine overheated when the head gasket went out?

Forgot to say that, but when they replaced the head gasket, they had the heads machined etc and its run ok since.

Also toward the beginning of summer I did use a diy ac recharge kit, it seems like things started around that time but I would think that would not have caused that?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
A couple of things I forgot to answer on last post. As far as operating temperature, the car within about 5 minutes of driving will heat up to normal temperature, a little under halfway up the temp gauge, and stays there.

As far as thermostat being stuck open, not sure about that, again, it's a newer on that was put in last year when the head gasket was done. I know a chevy beretta I had a few years back had a lazy thermostat that would stick closed at times and then open and be ok, so the engine would heat up, then when you gave it some gas, would go to normal. The Taurus does not act that way.

The water pump, again, I'm not sure there either, but it was done a few months before the head gasket went. The engine did overheat when the head gasket went, was going highway speed at 65 mph, engine started getting hot, pulled off not knowing what was happening, checked antifreeze level, added more antifreeze, started the car back up, seemed to be at an ok temp and all, so I went on. About 5 miles later, got a trail of white smoke behind me, engine overheated, so I pulled off and shut it off. As I said, they checked and machined the heads and what not. New plugs, T-Stat and oil pan gasket at that time as well as head gasket.

Could the water pump have suffered due to the overheat?

Definitely want to get it fixed when I can. As I told my wife, I could probably look at another car sometime, but with all the money we have put into that one, and as good as it seems to run now, I hate to get rid of it and get into a payment when it seems to run so well and seems to have a lot of life left. Another note, I checked the antifreeze today at lunch, flush was done saturday, antifreeze for the most part still seems green. Seemed like it looked like a greenish blue though. Maybe just me?
 

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A couple of things I forgot to answer on last post. As far as operating temperature, the car within about 5 minutes of driving will heat up to normal temperature, a little under halfway up the temp gauge, and stays there.

As far as thermostat being stuck open, not sure about that, again, it's a newer on that was put in last year when the head gasket was done. I know a chevy beretta I had a few years back had a lazy thermostat that would stick closed at times and then open and be ok, so the engine would heat up, then when you gave it some gas, would go to normal. The Taurus does not act that way.

The water pump, again, I'm not sure there either, but it was done a few months before the head gasket went. The engine did overheat when the head gasket went, was going highway speed at 65 mph, engine started getting hot, pulled off not knowing what was happening, checked antifreeze level, added more antifreeze, started the car back up, seemed to be at an ok temp and all, so I went on. About 5 miles later, got a trail of white smoke behind me, engine overheated, so I pulled off and shut it off. As I said, they checked and machined the heads and what not. New plugs, T-Stat and oil pan gasket at that time as well as head gasket.

Could the water pump have suffered due to the overheat?

Definitely want to get it fixed when I can. As I told my wife, I could probably look at another car sometime, but with all the money we have put into that one, and as good as it seems to run now, I hate to get rid of it and get into a payment when it seems to run so well and seems to have a lot of life left. Another note, I checked the antifreeze today at lunch, flush was done saturday, antifreeze for the most part still seems green. Seemed like it looked like a greenish blue though. Maybe just me?
Water pump blades do rust off and the first thing to get flow loss is the heater core.
Heater cores plug up. Rust from iron block engines.
And the heater can have the blend door motor fail.

-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I think the water pump may be under a warranty. So maybe the next place to go would be check the blend door actuator and possibly then have the waterpump checked?

Also, the guy at the shop didn't think the Tauruses had a bypass hose for the heater core. Thought I'd read they did? I guess I am asking because is it possible if they didn't clamp off the bypass that maybe the heater core didn't get a good flush? But the most telling thing to me was they said when they checked the hose going into the core was not very hot. So maybe it is a waterpump? Thought about replacing blend door actuator just to kill another possibility and they don't seem to be much or hard to do.
 

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Back flushing is seldom enough for a Vulcan's heater core. CLR or oxalic acid and the Clinton flush are far more likely to work. Yes it has a bypass hose and a mechanic should damn right well know that. The concern with the t-stat is it sticking open not closed or perhaps being the wrong temp. There is an over abundance of no heat threads here, do some searching.

Again, EATC or manual controls?
 

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Then a a physical inspection of the blend door actuator is the answer to eliminating that. Realistically the core is a far more likely suspect. If they were unaware of the bypass hose then I would hardly trust them to be checking the correct hose for the core. Check them yourself and hit us back
 

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I just did the Clinton reverse/forward flush on my heater core and now the air coming out of the dash vents is so hot it hurts the back of your hand! Prior to that is was just lukewarm when on full heat.
 

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The trick I have always used on the heater cores in these cars is disconnect both hoses, crimp the one off, and fill the heater core with drain-o and let it sit for about half an hour. After that, flush the heater core only with clean water from a hose hooked up to the line, and then refill with fresh coolant, and your heat will be as good as new.
 

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The OEM manual for my Grandpa's Farmall C says to flush the engine cooling system with a solution of water and "washing soda". Until recently I never knew what the heck "washing soda" was. My wife got a recipe for home-made laundry soap that uses Fels-Naptha bar soap, Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, and Borax.

You can get a cereal-box sized container of Super Washing Soda for about $2.50 at the grocery store. It is sodium carbonate (soda ash) and has pH of 11. You can also use it as pH + for your swimming pool. The pH + stuff at the pool store is about $10 for a small container.

Unfortunatly you shouldn't use it on aluminum so that kind of rules it out for modern engines.

With the Farmall, everything in the cooling system is either cast iron or brass.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Reviving an old thread here, but as cold weather is setting in here in illinois, I am finding I still have very little heat. I called the shop that I had taken it to originally and they agreed to look at it again and not charge me just to look at it. Previously they had flushed the cooling system, backflushed the heater core they said, put in all new coolant. What else should I have them look at?

A little history on the car. I'm at 191,000 miles now.

1. At 165,000 miles give or take, the car blew the head gasket. That was changed, heads machined, etc etc. I think at the time they'd said the thermostat was basically melted nearly so they changed that as well.

That winter, had heat no issues.

2. Shortly before the head gasket went out, the car got a new water pump. That water pump is still on the car to my knowledge, only about 2 years old(maybe this is what I need to be looking at?)

3. After the head gasket, I also had a new alternator and new tensioner put on.

So as you can see, quite a bit of work has been done to this car. I notice the issues with heat started more so after I charged the AC for the summer. First time I'd done it, but looked it up online, looked easy enough. I found the low side port and used this to charge it.

EZ Chill Measure and Charge Can with Inline Gauge - Walmart.com

It was easy enough, AC has worked great ever since.

One interesting note, I have been watching my temp guage(I drive about 35-38 miles on way to work), my temp guage stays a little below half. I'd say about just above the 1/3rd mark. Is this normal or should it run half?

Car is not overheating or anything out the ordinary. It does have a battery light that comes on, but the shop essentially said the alternator and battery both show fine and it's charging fine, not to worry about it, and it's been like that for months. Only other thing is if it idles it does at times have a rough idle if it sits. Looking under the hood, I'd guess the plug wires are the originals and need changed. Been fixing other things on it as you can see so gotta get money.

Also, I asked the mechanic on the phone about the bypass hose, and he said something to the effect of that just went to the block and that they hook up both hoses of the heater core when they flush it(didn't mention pinching off the bypass as I've seen on here). I do remember the last time when they did the flush they said that the hose going into the core was not hot. But they did tell me at the time that quite a bit of stuff came out when they did the flush. I know this to be true because I took it in when I realized the coolant was a rusty brown color. Anything to have them look for? I'm not a mechanic. I know a little of the theories of how things should work, but not confident enough to go ripping into things too far.

If it needs a waterpump, I think mine is still under warranty, so that would be ok with me I think. Maybe the thermostat or blend door actuator?
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Btw, I apologize if I restated too much. After your first cold drive in say 20 degree weather you think more about these things lol.

On a good note though, I did have it in the other day for a new brake switch(brake lights were not coming on until way later than they should be), and also had the shop do an oil change, I had it at Midas since they are open till 4 on staturdays, and needed the car for work today. The guy at Midas said everything underneath and under the hood looks good considering the mileage it's got. Got a small oil leak he said, but barely any leaking. I used to lose a quart about every 3,000-5,000 miles before I got a new oil pan gasket installed(was done when the head gasket was done).
 

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I would bet your heater core is still at least partially clogged. I would also have a question on if your thermostat lets the motor warm all the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
After more reading, I started thinking thermostat. Are those hard to change? I know from what I've read looks like you basically have to drain the coolant and it's pull off a clamp and 3 bolts. Let me ask this too if I change the thermostat, what is stock on these cars for temp wise? 195? I see some places selling 180 degree thermostats for example, but those would probably be not be good for it I imagine. So may all the rust in the system got the thermostat messed up and it could be sticking open so the car can run? If not that then reflush heater core/new core. Will have to take it up to them probably saturday. Hopefully things don't get expensive(fingers crossed).

Thanks for the replies guys. Guess I know what to check. No heat when temp is 14 degrees=no fun. At least I can kinda get the windows cleaned from inside and de-icer for the outsides have been my friend.
 

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My vote is still for the heater core as stated before in this post. If the mechanic didn't block off the bypass hose when he flushed the heater core, the core is still mostly block. Most of his efforts just flushed out the heater hoses. Had the same problem about a year ago with my 06. HTH's Lee

My car has 217+ on the clock and still has the same water pump.
 

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Easy way to check if its your thermostat....Pull it out, hook the housing and hose back up, get car to operating temp.....if still no heat....its your heater core or your core hoses being blocked. Did you check your in/out hoses on the core to see if one was hot and one wasn't?
 
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