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Ok, I have 2 separate issues on my 2001 Ford Taurus SES, and was hoping that someone might be able to give me a little input.

1. I am wondering if this has to do with a plugged heater core and needing to flush it, but I figured I would confirm... The car takes a bit to heat up, and operates standard and just below the half-way point on the temp gauge. When I turn on the heater, it comes out fairly warm for a short time, and then rapidly cools off until it's ambient temperature at best.

2. I have a very annoying oil leak, it's actually pretty moderate at this point. It looks like it's coming from the front of the engine somewhere, but I can't seem to see it exactly. When I make a turn, it dribbles in a consistent line from just inside the passenger tire from the looks of it. It doesn't seem to leak at all until the engine reaches operating temp, and it's almost if the oil pools until I'm on some sort of an incline when it goes up in a plume of smoke. When driving on even ground you will see some smoke from the perimeter of the hood, but for instance when I park (and my parking space is an incline), it'll smoke like crazy for a few seconds like it just got dumped on the exhaust manifold. I don't see any oil from the valve covers, and I would think if it were the oil pan it wouldn't smoke like that, just lose oil. If it were the front cover, again wouldn't it be too far from the exhaust to cause this? Any help would be appreciated...
 

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1. Check your coolant level - if you're low, you may have a crack reservoir tank. They leak from the bottom only when heated up, and you can't see any signs of it leaking unless you remove it and look at the inner fender right below the tank.

2. Get several cans of engine degreaser, and thoroughly clean all oil and muck off the engine. Start the car, and leave it idling in Park. Look for any new spots of oil on the engine.
 

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Is your oil level dropping? If not, check the other fluids - maybe it's not an engine oil leak - could be power steering or tranny fluid. As for the heat, if the gauge is barely getting up to halfway, you probably new a new thermostat, and likely the heater core flush as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Is your oil level dropping? If not, check the other fluids - maybe it's not an engine oil leak - could be power steering or tranny fluid. As for the heat, if the gauge is barely getting up to halfway, you probably new a new thermostat, and likely the heater core flush as well.
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I'll check into a new thermostat... As to the oil level, I'm quite certain it's an oil leak, I can go through 2-3 bottles of oil a month if I'm driving a lot.
 

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What engine or did I miss that point? I had a minor leak on my duratec that came from the upper and lower block near and/or behind the front cover. It was only a slight drip but I hate having a mess in my garage plus it is wasteful (my greeny comment of the day :D ). If you are going through that much oil you have a major leak, not moderate.
 

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I will second the heater core flush, warm it up to operating temp, and feel the heater hoses at the heater core and see if both are warm/hot, if one is cool, your heater core needs flushing.
As far as the oil leak, if its a vulcan, the front lip of the oil pan likes to push out somewhat, and will drip/smoke on the exhaust, also did you check your rear valve cover?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I will second the heater core flush, warm it up to operating temp, and feel the heater hoses at the heater core and see if both are warm/hot, if one is cool, your heater core needs flushing.
As far as the oil leak, if its a vulcan, the front lip of the oil pan likes to push out somewhat, and will drip/smoke on the exhaust, also did you check your rear valve cover?
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I will certainly check the hoses for heat as soon as I am able and proceed to flush if need be, thank you.

As to the oil leak... I looked around both valve covers as much as I could and didn't see any anything out of the ordinary... I suppose the oil pan is a possibility... So, if that is the case, or possibly the front cover gasket, does anyone have any idea what the potential cost would be to fix? I haven't the time, workspace, or equipment right now to attempt it on my own.
 

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If its the oil pan, its doable in less than a day on your driveway. If the front timing cover is leaking, like mine(but coolant), it will take awhile. I think book time is like 6.8 hours.
 

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If its the oil pan, its doable in less than a day on your driveway. If the front timing cover is leaking, like mine(but coolant), it will take awhile. I think book time is like 6.8 hours.
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Ok, I will have to see what I can do to look closer... So when you say that the oil pan "pushes out", are you talking about the gasket tends to pop out of the front, or the pan going slightly out of alignment or something?
 
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