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Windstar Dirty Radiator and Antifreeze

07-29-2008, 11:18 AM
Bought the 1999 Windstar last month and the Antifreeze looked more like Hot Cocoa. I took it to my local Lube place and they sucked up all the Antifreeze with a machine and filled it with new one, yellowish color. The reservoir was super dirty with like Mud Like stuff. That was 3 weeks ago. Now I just checked again and it looks as dirty as it was the first time. Maybe the previous owner never took care of that and the interior of the engine still dirty..
Question is, how can I clean it so this wont happen again? What can I use to clean it?

Manny in NYC:confused:

northern piper
07-29-2008, 11:27 AM
I'm not 100% sure when you say they sucked it all out and then refilled if you've had a full flush or not. Doing a flush and fill is not a difficult procedure so I'd suggest that. I'd also suggest that you take an oil sample and send it to Blackstone labs for evaluation. If your antifreeze looks like it sounds you may have a contamination issue with oil. How does the oil look under the fill cap and on the dipstick?


07-29-2008, 11:36 AM
The oil looks fine but I noticed that the Antifreeze reservoir is really dirty. Not oil like dirty but like Mud- Brownish dirty.

07-29-2008, 08:05 PM
You can remove the resevoir and clean it......adding new coolant.
I would have the antifreeze flushed again......including the overflow tank.

07-30-2008, 07:28 AM
That sounds like is going to be the project of the weekend. Thanks a lot to all for your assistance.

07-30-2008, 07:30 AM
Should I buy some sort of Radiator Flush to make sure it cleans it all out? By doing this will I run into the chance of harming the water pump or any other component?

07-30-2008, 06:21 PM
In all honesty, I think that the flush and fill will be the best.
It is very likely that the previous owner did not keep it changed.
There is the possibility that there has been some Stop Leak added at some point also.
With this MUST be on top of any need to add coolant on a regular basis.
There are 2 common leaks that can be serious.
1 is the "front cover" aka timing cover gasket.....very expensive to have done......a super involved job.
2nd is the lower intake manifold gaskets......not so major, but still $450 and up to have done.
Both of these leaks are INTO the motor....and can cause serious internal damage if not corrected in short order.

It IS normal to need to add some coolant up to a few times after doing a drain and refill, as it takes some time to burp the air pockets out of the system.
FRESH coolant is the way that I would go........after a good rinse with water.
Use steam distilled water, as tap water can cause some major buildup of its own.

07-31-2008, 08:58 AM
When I bought it I went thru the list of items that are more open to fail. I changed the oil, Flushed the transmission, Radiator Flush, PCV Valve, Spark Plugs etc. Last week I did the intake top and bottom gasket to eliminate the P0171 & p0174 and it was a total success. Everything else is fine but the antifreeze is dirty again. I am going to take the reservoir out and wash it and then do the flush. The less dirt the best. I will keep my eye on the antifreeze after that.:smokin:

08-01-2008, 09:50 PM
I flushed mine once and even removed and cleaned the resevoir and nows its dirty again. So I'll just have to flush it again. I am going to look into back flushing it this time with the lower radiator hose removed and see if I can get all the dirty stuff out.

08-12-2008, 01:47 PM
When I took this problem to my mechanic he didnt take the cash for flushing out the system but rather sent me to a radiator repair specialist. Very grateful for the radiator needed replacing. My mechanic told me he could have taken the cash but my problem would have resurface again and again in a few weeks.

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