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Hi everyone, fab here. I currently have a vehicle, but recently have been intrigued by the ford taurus police packs. They seem to be quite nicely built but i was a bit shocked to read up about the 3.5 and 3.7 water pump failures and how big of a job it is to change or possibly kill the engine!
first off..
1. can this failure kill the engine?
2. are the police packs equipped with a better or beefed up water pump? or is it just the same as civilian models?
3. how good is the AWD system on these cars?
thanks
fab
 

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I kind of bummed the forums here are so dead for having the name taurusclub.com

It is VERY hard to change the pump. Plan on 6-18 hrs depending on skill, tools, and your ability.

Here is my take on it....
Question 1.)
It will ruin the engine if not addressed quickly. Oil makers put special additives in the oil to combat moisture and coolant dillution only to a small extent.
Always check your oil at the gas station, each and every time including when it is raining, snowing, and 98 degrees outside or -30 with added windchill. I figure it this way, while the gas is rolling in the tank, you are standing there like a zombie, may as well do something...... Look for a milkshake in the oil. If there is, get a tow right then.

Certain years have a weep hole near the alternator, keep an eye on coolant leaking.

When you go on long trips, just keep an eye on the oil color. Do this though out your trip. It will not just blow the engine like you read about. It will leak coolant into your oil for a period of time, and continuing driving will ruin the engine. Don't continue to drive and you wont need a new engine. However this also means getting the water pump replaced within a week or two max. Letting the engine sit for a month with coolant in the oil will corrode the bearings and delicate metals. I always check oil on my cars that use a little oil. Never on cars that don't. I have adopted a different way of thinking now.....

Yes it is a terrible design, and I will never ever defend it. But idle time, heat cool cycles, oil change intervals, and coolant intervals all contribute to them failing. Just got to see one torn down at 121k and 9054 engine hrs, 3000 ish idle hours. That is why it failed. Lots of crankshaft rotation time!!!! My car has 175k and 3000 engine hrs, and 345 idle hours and I am waiting for the signs to change it. Fordtechmakuloco did a mazda with over 220k on it. Our pennsylvania state police see these failures on some and not others so it is not a science. There is not "this is how to prevent it" scenario.

Question 2.)
No the police model does not have a different water pump. It will fail just like a civilian model. Make sure your police sedan was used for admin duties such as liquior enforcement, intelligence, supervisory duties, investigations, etc. Do not buy a front line car or a patrol car just because it looks cool and moves traffic better. Clean unmarked are best. No service records or history, no problem. My rule has never let me down a single time in the 43 police cars I have owned since 2005. Driver seat, steering wheel, pedals, drivers door hinges, all tell you how it was used. Also the interceptors have hour meters. Do not buy one with high engine hours or idle hours. As the crankshaft is rotating the water pump is wearing. 80K miles and 9000 engine hours is just as junk as a car with 200+K on it.

Question 3.)
Overall it is good in my opinion from the people I have spoke to in person. The internet is filled with stories becuase when they fail you will post. When all is well you never will post. The weak link is the PTU which is attached to the transmission. It is VERY HARD to drain and fill with new fluid so often the police will not ever do it. It has a temp sensor, a cooler, and an overheat protection strategy built into the computer. Again, a partrol one will fail from all the abuse. A admin one that mostyl just drove down the road with fancy equipment and antennas will outlast the patrol. Civililan PTU's are junk. No drain plug, and no cooler. You need to know the history on those before buying.

In the winter the AWD is awsome. The police stability control is superior to the civilan. Very worth owning if you plan to maintain the PTU fluid, and keep an eye on the water pump.
 
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