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danford1

2003 3.0L Engine, Coolant Leak

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I have a 2003 Taurus with 3.0L engine and it has a slow coolant leak I can't find. I looked around and can see wetness here and there but no leak. I add about 1" of coolant every few days. Not a big leak but an annoying leak. Sometimes i see wetness on the ground, passenger side toward the front area of engine. From what I can see the radiator isn't leaking.

What are the commom things or areas that leak?

Thanks

Danford1

Edited by danford1

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I assume you have an OHV (Vulcan) engine. Look into the timing chain cover gasket. I had a similar problem and took a while to correctly diagnose it.

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I assume you have an OHV (Vulcan) engine. Look into the timing chain cover gasket. I had a similar problem and took a while to correctly diagnose it.

Yes, Vulcan.

Isn't the timing chain cover gasket a pain in the butt to change?

Danford1

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Yes, Vulcan.

Isn't the timing chain cover gasket a pain in the butt to change?

Danford1

Yes, it was.

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Could just be the coolant recovery tank as well, check the bottom of the tank for cracks, that is also a very common problem.

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Coolant tank cap (original Ford design is crap), bad coolant reservoir, or bad timing cover gasket. I would check them in that order.

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The timing cover gasket usually won't leave wet coolant on the ground as it leaks out right next to the exhaust. In most cases it will all burn off, it would have to be pissing out pretty bad to actually drip. I drove my car for over a year with the timing cover leaking and not once did it drip. I also only lost maybe a quart of coolant over that time period, probably less than that.

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The timing cover gasket usually won't leave wet coolant on the ground as it leaks out right next to the exhaust. In most cases it will all burn off, it would have to be pissing out pretty bad to actually drip. I drove my car for over a year with the timing cover leaking and not once did it drip. I also only lost maybe a quart of coolant over that time period, probably less than that.

I don't necessarily agree with this.

 

The timing cover itself is a pretty chunky piece of aluminum.

 

Depends where the leak originates, the parking orientation of a car (is it parked uphill, downhill), and other factors.  Drips can go some weird places, all thanks to gravity and clinging to surfaces.

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The leak can only originate from 2 points as there are only 2 coolant passages for the water pump, it either runs down the left or right side, can't run inward since that is toward the inside of the motor and timing chain and would either burn off or mix with the oil.

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From experience on my 2002, timing cover gasket leaks and coolant tank leaks. And both are well documented as problem areas.

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Somewhere here, Chart posted info on the new coolant cap to install. The original ones go bad in a heartbeat. Cost is around $5. I'd start with that and then move on to the tank itself leaking.  (I tend to go for low hanging fruit when problem solving  :icon_lol: )

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Somewhere here, Chart posted info on the new coolant cap to install. The original ones go bad in a heartbeat. Cost is around $5. I'd start with that and then move on to the tank itself leaking.  (I tend to go for low hanging fruit when problem solving  :icon_lol: )

RadCap13_zps7b3d2c0c.jpg

Likely the lowest cost, easiest to install part of maint. on your car. I have had 2 fail, one sudden loss of coolant, one seeping around the top of the tank, making stains and damp tracks.

 

 

-chart-

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I've been leaving the cap loose so no pressure is built up to force coolant out.

It still looses coolant.

I'll check the tank for cracks as soon as I get a chance to. Been busy lately.

Danford1

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I've been leaving the cap loose so no pressure is built up to force coolant out.

It still looses coolant.

I'll check the tank for cracks as soon as I get a chance to. Been busy lately.

Danford1

 

Pressure in the cooling system is necessary in order for the system to be effective. It raises the boiling point of the coolant so that it doesn't boil off. With the cap loose you are probably losing coolant this way in addition to the actual leak (maybe even faster). Even with the leak I would leave the cap on tight until you have a chance to check things out. Your headgaskets will thank you.

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Pressure in the cooling system is necessary in order for the system to be effective. It raises the boiling point of the coolant so that it doesn't boil off. With the cap loose you are probably losing coolant this way in addition to the actual leak (maybe even faster). Even with the leak I would leave the cap on tight until you have a chance to check things out. Your headgaskets will thank you.

With the cap off, you will likely loose coolant out the top. When my Lin cap failed, it blew all the coolant in the tank out, and it was below freezing.

 

-chart-

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