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Antifreeze Leak '96 Windstar


Lumiere's Avatar
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08-08-02, 02:09 PM   #1  
Lumiere
Antifreeze Leak '96 Windstar

1996 Ford Windstar 3.8 litre

Small (just couple drops/day) antifreeze leak under car. Seems to be above exhaust pipe.

Where to look? Suggestions?

 
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08-08-02, 03:28 PM   #2  
Joe_F
Any cooling pipes or heater hoses in the area could come to mind. Depends on where it's going. The engine and belts can also cause it to get whipped around and fool you as to where it is coming from.

Look for trails of dried antifreeze. Jack it up and put it on stands and get under there and have a look.

 
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08-09-02, 10:40 AM   #3  
Be careful!! Those motors are famous for head gasket failure. Every one of those motors do it between 80 k and 120 k or so. make sure the leak is not coming from the head. ALthough if it was, I would think that you would notice other things. In the event of a head gasket problem, you need to get rid of that thing fast!!

 
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08-09-02, 05:34 PM   #4  
Water pump/timing covers bad for coolant leaks, too.

 
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08-11-02, 08:43 AM   #5  
Lumiere
Thanks

Thanks for all the suggestions. The leak has stopped on its own and I never could see from whence it came. Hope we can get another year out of it, presently 130,000 km (80,000 miles).

This is the worst vehicle I have ever owned - constant front end problems (tie rods, strut bearings, etc.).

I bought it based on experience with our '90 Taurus Wagon which was very reliable and except for brakes cost us practically nothing in repairs for the 9 years we owned it.

I thought that the Windstar was basically a Taurus but was proved wrong.

 
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08-11-02, 05:31 PM   #6  
Joe_F
Likely had the 3.0 in the Taurus which would explain the "lack of problems". Got lucky on the tranny in those, they are crap.

The Windstar is no better. 3.8 engines blow gaskets, the trannies are winners and the quality is lackluster. Quality was not Job 1 on this one .

Drive it till you can afford something better and pitch it in a heartbeat. It's up there in mileage.

 
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08-12-02, 11:05 AM   #7  
BTW, coolent leaks don't just "fix themselves" Be careful of this!!! Take this opportunity to take it into a shop, where they can pressure test the cooling system. That takes only 30 seconds to do, and I am willing to bet a good old radiator shop would do it for free. You will find out where the leak is from immediately, and if it is coming from someplace bad such as the head, you now to ditch it before it completely abandons you.

 
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08-13-02, 05:57 AM   #8  
I have (2) car with the ford 3.8 liter engine. A 1994 and 1995 Sable. Both have a very small leak in the corner where the upper manifold sits on the cylinder heads. I have replaced gasket and caulk with the corner special Ford sealer, but the leak returns. It leaks more when you start the car up and stop before it warms up. Or maybe you just see the small leak because the engine is not hot enough to evaporate the leak. I believe this maybe partly why this engine has a head gasket problem. You end up loosing coolant very slowly and not realizing it. Then the engine can over heat. I check the weekly and run at the hot full line in the over flow bottle.

 
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