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ILivermore43

Steam Out Of The Engine Bay.. Help!

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Hello guys and gals. I just got my Taurus back from the shop yesterday after getting the alternator replaced. I few days prior, I got a PCV valve hose fixed. When I was driving home yesterday I stopped at a stoplight after getting off of the interstate and steam began coming out of my grill... What could be causing this? I know i've brought this up before and I never got a clear cut answer. It's not getting any better, and it's starting to worry me. Any help would be good!

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Commonly, you get steam if you have any water hitting any manifolds or hot surfaces in your engine bay, the water begins to evaporate and exits out the grill. My Focus I don't notice that because it has shields to prevent water from hitting the engine as much, but my van and my Thunderbird, it's very common in wet weather (including snow).

Less common, you have a leak onto your exhaust manifold, such as coolant or oil.

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Alot of people dont like to hear this reply, but with my past experience I would check your transfluid ASAP. What is happening has nothing to do with the work you had done. If you think about htis, it will make sence to you. You will also find out this is nothing but steam, no smell and only when its cold & damp outside. You will usually see this at a stop and even more when you just park the car & the fans are off.

Your trans cooler sits below the radiator and right under the opening to your grill. On damp or wet days the trans cooler will get wet. It will be so hot that the water will boil off causing it to turn to steam. You will never notice thisif your radiator fans are on, because the fan pulls the steam through the radiator & its gone. Most of the damage to the taurus transmissions is from high heat burning up the trans fluid & then the internals until they fail. You can buy some time by doing a complete fluid & filter change, but that wilnot fix the problem that has already started, be ready for tranny failure down the road.

How do I know about this ?? It happened to me with my '99 to the point of trans failure and with the '03 wagon, I installed a trans cooler long before this could happen. I have also seen this with quite a few other taurus's that show the same symptoms of steam comming from the front. This is also brought on by not changing the trans fluid and letting it break down due to the high heat we get in these cars, the fluid breaks down & causes transmission failure.

EDIT: Kev does have a point, if you went through large puddles. This all depends on the amount of steam your getting. Just be safe & check your trans fluid, most new cars done get the steam from puddles that much anymore.

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you got a few possibilities, Trans fluid, Oil leak, or simply some snow thats melting off your Exhaust. Mine is just snow with occasional coolant.

$had3 :ford::merc::Shady_J:

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You know me, I'm always for the timing cover gasket on a vulcan. Slow coolant leak dripping onto the exhaust manifold. You won't have any puddles or notice coolant missing. Mine leaked for a year like that and it lost less than a cup of coolant. I also lost a heater hose the first year I owned my car, that was clearly a coolant leak it was pouring out and the smell was horrible, not to mention the amount of steam coming out of the hood was like a small cloud formation.

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On mine it was Trans Fluid doing that

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Coolant jug leaking down onto cat, timing cover gasket leaking down onto cat, water pump weep hole leaking on to cat, weak coolant hose running coolant down onto cat/exhaust.

And that's just coolant.

If it's trans fluid or PS fluid, be careful. That stuff can catch fire.

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Coolant jug leaking down onto cat, timing cover gasket leaking down onto cat, water pump weep hole leaking on to cat, weak coolant hose running coolant down onto cat/exhaust.

And that's just coolant.

If it's trans fluid or PS fluid, be careful. That stuff can catch fire.

Oh yah Nicks right about the coolant jug, with a car as old as yours if it hasn't been replaced then I bet its in pretty bad shape. I replaced mine when I did the water pump and timing cover gasket, it was cracked up pretty bad but wasn't leaking yet.

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Mine did exactly what you described 2 times for me. One time it was the coolant recovery tank, the other was a loose hose clamp. Both times coolant leaked down onto exhaust and steam puffed out the front of the car. It was intermitten, only saw steam a few times before I found the coolant leaks. Hopefully it is a simply fix for you.

Edited by mh488

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Alot of people dont like to hear this reply, but with my past experience I would check your transfluid ASAP. What is happening has nothing to do with the work you had done. If you think about htis, it will make sence to you. You will also find out this is nothing but steam, no smell and only when its cold & damp outside. You will usually see this at a stop and even more when you just park the car & the fans are off.

Your trans cooler sits below the radiator and right under the opening to your grill. On damp or wet days the trans cooler will get wet. It will be so hot that the water will boil off causing it to turn to steam. You will never notice thisif your radiator fans are on, because the fan pulls the steam through the radiator & its gone. Most of the damage to the taurus transmissions is from high heat burning up the trans fluid & then the internals until they fail. You can buy some time by doing a complete fluid & filter change, but that wilnot fix the problem that has already started, be ready for tranny failure down the road.

How do I know about this ?? It happened to me with my '99 to the point of trans failure and with the '03 wagon, I installed a trans cooler long before this could happen. I have also seen this with quite a few other taurus's that show the same symptoms of steam comming from the front. This is also brought on by not changing the trans fluid and letting it break down due to the high heat we get in these cars, the fluid breaks down & causes transmission failure.

EDIT: Kev does have a point, if you went through large puddles. This all depends on the amount of steam your getting. Just be safe & check your trans fluid, most new cars done get the steam from puddles that much anymore.

Great.. how much does a tranny cost to replace? :rant:

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Like 2 grand. Thats what my uncles G2 cost just for the tranny itself. The cooler and labor to install is what killed him.

$had3 :ford::merc::Shady_J:

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Like 2 grand. Thats what my uncles G2 cost just for the tranny itself. The cooler and labor to install is what killed him.

$had3 :ford::merc::Shady_J:

Well, looks like I will no longer own a Taurus.

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Thats only if your trans is leaking in this case

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Thats only if your trans is leaking in this case

+1

You NEED to do a diagnosis on the issue before assuming worst case scenario. Could be anything. Get under there, and figure out the source of the leak.

Furthermore, coolant typically gives off steam. Like water hitting a frying pan.

Trans fluid and oil make smoke, and have a much more potent smell. It smells like something is genuinely burning.

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YES, before you just dump the car, make sure what it is. If it is the trans, its easy to see, check the trans fluid. If its burned, thats a sign the trans is getting hot. If you have good trans fluid, you have alot of other easy fixes to look at.

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+1

You NEED to do a diagnosis on the issue before assuming worst case scenario. Could be anything. Get under there, and figure out the source of the leak.

Furthermore, coolant typically gives off steam. Like water hitting a frying pan.

Trans fluid and oil make smoke, and have a much more potent smell. It smells like something is genuinely burning.

^+1

Well, looks like I will no longer own a Taurus.

Now, now. lets not take drastic measures ;)

8 times out of 10 its something other than a trans leak.

$had3 :ford::merc::Shady_J:

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