97 taurus' coolant turns brown after 6,000 miles


chandler10
03-30-2005, 10:11 PM
Why would my antifreeze turn brown at only 6,000 miles? I also have a burned antifreeze smell. In addition, my heater only blows out cool air. Any ideas?

KimMG
03-31-2005, 01:12 AM
No heat: After the engine warms up, check the heater hoses and see if they are both hot. Clogged heater cores are a common problem. They should be flushed separately from the rest of the cooling system.

Brown and rusty coolant: Your cooling system needs to be completely flushed.

Coolant smell: Cooling system should be checked for minor leaks and the radiator cap tested. Some auto parts stores may loan or rent a pressure tester.

chandler10
03-31-2005, 01:22 AM
Kim...thanks for your reply.

The brown coolant problem has been going on for 30,000 miles. I use to be able to go about 10,000 miles, but now this time it's brown at only 6,000 miles. I have the coolant system flushed out each time.

I've noticed a skip or misfire lately as well when I start the car, so I'm wondering if I don't have a bad head gasket. On the other hand, the car's temperature is fine and the car drives fine. I have not seen signs of overheating. I'm perplexed.

chandler10
03-31-2005, 01:24 AM
One more thing, I can't find any oil or coolant leaks nor is the car using any coolant or oil.

KimMG
03-31-2005, 01:37 AM
Many times when the cooling system is flushed the heater core and the pipes that the heater hoses are connected to are overlooked. The heater core has to be flushed separately from the rest of the cooling system. The gunk that is not flushed out of the heater core will eventually circulate through the system. You will also end up with a clogged heater core, hence no heat.
The coolant smell can come from the overflow reservoir or a very minor leak (example would be a bad radiator cap).

chandler10
03-31-2005, 01:45 AM
Thanks Kim!! I never thought about that. It makes a lot of sense. So on the surface based on the info, you don't think it sounds like a head gasket?

KimMG
03-31-2005, 02:01 AM
No, I don't think it is the head gasket.
If you have the time to search you will find hundreds of posts describing the same symptoms on this forum. I have posted previously on how to flush the core. Other people just hold a hose to the core and flush it out.

chandler10
03-31-2005, 02:11 AM
I did notice that a clogged heating core was a common thing on this board. I thought my situation was different because of the coolant turning brown. What do you think a dealer would charge to have the heater core flushed? Unfortunately, I know very little about vehicles and will have to get it serviced somewhere.

Thanks again for your comments.

KimMG
03-31-2005, 03:01 AM
I don't know about the dealer in your neighborhood, but the one in mine wanted $120- just to look. Give the shop a call and see what they say.
If you know how to use a screwdriver and are willing to try, the procedure I use is below.

How I flush raditor cores:
Parts needed, a length (2 to 4 feet) of 5/8" diameter hose (a section of old garden hose), a female garden hose end, a couple of clamps.

Disconnect heater hoses from core.
Cut the above length of hose into two pieces.
Attach one end of hose to the outlet of the core, and using the garden hose end, attach it to a garden hose hooked up to a faucet.
Attach the remaining piece of hose to the inlet on the core and point away from the motor.
Turn faucet on full.
Reconnect heater hoses and fill cooling sytem.

cougarman
03-31-2005, 08:10 AM
Why would my antifreeze turn brown at only 6,000 miles? I also have a burned antifreeze smell. In addition, my heater only blows out cool air. Any ideas?


I believe Ford had a TSB for this concern back in 97-98. I don't recall what the repair was but the problem was caused by airation in the cooling system.
Check with a Ford dealer, have them check old TSB's for the repair.
Some of the more experienced Ford techs and Service Managers may remember.

mwt
03-31-2005, 07:27 PM
This is the third biggest complaint about the Taurus behind

Bad transmissions

3.8 cylinder head gaskets

brown coolant

There was a tsb that added a bypass kit to keep everything circulating in the car. It can still be purchased but they don't do it for free any more.

Check with the Ford dealer and tell them you need the bypass kit and they should be able to fix you up

Mike
:smokin:

chandler10
03-31-2005, 08:26 PM
Thanks for all the feedback.

I took the taurus in today to a dealership and I had a clogged heating core just like Kim said. They flushed the cooling system and then did a back flush on the heating core to remove the sludge. My heater works great. It will be interesting to see if this takes care of my brown coolant problem or if it's a different issue as suggested by cougarman and Mike. I hope it was just the sludge from the clog.

Mike or Cougarman, any ideas how much the bypass kit plus installation would cost?

Thanks.
Greg.

mwt
04-02-2005, 07:46 AM
Congratulations on getting it working right.

Now you are starting the cylce all over. It will turn brown again.

Did you ask the mechanic about the bypass kit?

Probably less than $100.00

Mike

:smokin:

Rod59
04-05-2005, 12:41 AM
Another possibilty with the coolent smell could be that the water pump if they are similar to the Gm desing have a small whole that as the bearings in the pump start to go bad will release atnifreeze through it and you will smell it.

blowe
08-14-2005, 08:54 PM
I too have had some of the same issues re the 1997 Ford Taurus and its cooling.

One mechanic said it was a blown gasket. I hope not. We are serioulsy flushing the radiator, which is still showing a lot of rust. Just wondering what others have experienced with a bubbling Taurus. Tips sugguested?

I'm in the the flushing stage for a few more days. Next step would be new radiator, and then blown gasket.

-Bob

jimfordsa
08-17-2005, 06:09 PM
If It Is A 3.0l Ohv V6 It Is Affected By A Tsb That Calls For A Chemical Flush Of The System, Also A Wter Pump And Freeze Plug Replacement To Clean The Sediment. The Cause Is Something In The Coolant Causing The Inside Of The Engine Block To Rust.

jeffjeff
09-18-2005, 08:11 PM
Another possibilty with the coolent smell could be that the water pump if they are similar to the Gm desing have a small whole that as the bearings in the pump start to go bad will release atnifreeze through it and you will smell it.
The bubbling may just be burping air pockets in system, also I read long time ago somewhere, that antifreeze doesnt wear out as far as heat and freeze protection but the antiRUST properties DO. Under the impression that anitrust properties only last around a year. Prestone sells those little bottles of antifreeze booster, but if you use it I would mix and shake well in separate container with some antifreeze coolant before adding to resoveir tank.

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