99 Taurus Freeze Plug $700

Reply

  #1  
Old 05-13-06, 02:47 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Montgomery
Posts: 35
99 Taurus Freeze Plug $700

My 1999 started to gush water, but no overheating problems. Mechanic "thinks" it might be the freeze plug between the motor and the transmission. He says the transmission has to be removed and with 7.5 hours of labor I am looking at at least $700?

Is there an easier and less expensive way to get to this plug if that is the problem?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 05-13-06, 04:32 PM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 11,528
Only way to get to a rear freeze plug. I would make awful sure that is the one leaking before I commited to the repair. A second opinion wouldn't hurt.
 
  #3  
Old 05-13-06, 08:26 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Montgomery
Posts: 35
Another possibility????

Would it be possible to get to the plug from the interior??

I had read somewhere that a 91 Explorer had a panel under the carpet that could be removed to get to this freeze plug.
 
  #4  
Old 05-13-06, 09:02 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 242
If it was the plug in the back of the head if equiped. Only way to get the other one is pull trans.
 
  #5  
Old 05-14-06, 07:35 AM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 4,320
Originally Posted by hootie1fan
Would it be possible to get to the plug from the interior??
Not in a Taurus

I'd have to second the opinion on getting the second opinion
It had really better be the problem before committing to that kind of repair
 
  #6  
Old 05-14-06, 02:42 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Texas
Posts: 2,345
let us know please

I have no input but I also have a Taurus 2000 model and would like to know the outcome of your leak.
 
  #7  
Old 05-14-06, 03:01 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4
What I dont understand is the "gushing water but not overheatin" statement. Sounds mutually exclusive to me.

And a 99 model shouldnt be needing freeze plugs until long after the tranny is gone.

Look behind the motor yourself using a good light. Coming from the left front (drivers side) and going back to the firewall are the heater hoses; these are prone to failure and its a quick fix.

$750 is a rip off for dropping out the tranny, shops around here (expensive part of Southern NH) charge $500-600 for a tranny swap. Some real good work at home mechanics get a lot less, check around.

I own several Taurus and buy others to fix and resell. They do have their quirks but are a decent car. Good luck.
 
  #8  
Old 05-15-06, 05:45 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Montgomery
Posts: 35
Where the problem started

The start of my tale:

1. Thursday flat tire. Get it plugged. Recommend Front end realignment.

2. Friday get the front end aligned while I am at lunch. Drive 3 miles back to work.

3. Friday afternoon 2 miles into my drive home from work on the interstate the engine goes up to 3000 RPM and will not accelerate. I get to bottom of off ramp and coast into parking lot. Call will not start. Call AAA. AN hour and a half later the tow truck shows up and he can't start the car either. It just won't turn over. He gets the car on his truck and drops it off at my house 2 miles away. When he gets it off the truck in front of my house, the car starts up. Drive it up and down the street no problem. Decide to leave it on the street and have it checked out on Saturday. Only places in town open on Saturday are major chain brake, muffler and tire places.

4. Saturday morning take car to Sears. Starts up fine, but after about 3 miles of driving see smoke/steam and hear a clicking sound that gets faster with acceleration. Make it to Sears. Leave car in the parking lot and walk in only to be told that they don't do that kind of work. Walk back out to my car which is now leaking water. It's light brown which could just be the dirt on the lot. Leak appears to be coming from slightly left of center.

5. Drive other car to major chain store and he says he will look at it. Go back and get my car which starts up with that clicking sound. Drive 1 mile. Mechanic outs car on a lift and put a gallon of water in the reservoir. It all immediately comes out the bottom. He looks at it and says that the problem is between the motor and the transmission. He thinks it could be freeze plug or a crack in the engine, but he can't do the work. The guy in another major chain across the street agrees to look at it, but probably won't be able to fix it during the weekend.

6. New guy calls at the end of the day. He "thinks" it's the plug, but in order to verify problem he has to remove the transmission (i.e. $700). Offers to call around on Monday to find someone more familiar with this problem.

7. According to most advice I've been given, the recommendation is that removing the transmission shouldn't cost that much and that I should get a second opinion before I commit to $700 +. I just don't want to start sinking $$$$ into something that "might" be fixable.
 
  #9  
Old 05-15-06, 07:26 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Montgomery
Posts: 35
Second Opinion

A got a second opinion. They agreed that it was probably the freeze plug and yes the transmission would have to be removed. That alone would run me $500-700.
 
  #10  
Old 05-15-06, 07:11 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 2
What size motor? Have you made sure that the intake manifold isn't leaking? I would also like to know if there is a coolant bypass hose running through the valley of the engine like on the 4.6 liter? the 4.6 L bad about that hose leaking and making it look like the freeze plug. It's been a while since I have dug into a ford, however I have workedon many when I worked independantly, if you can give me a little bit more info I would be happy to help.
 
  #11  
Old 05-16-06, 06:15 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Montgomery
Posts: 35
It's a 3.0L v-6 I think.
 
  #12  
Old 05-16-06, 07:00 AM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 11,528
I would check some more places. I think a tranny job on a Taurus/Sable (remove/replace & overhaul) runs about $1500 or so around here; I can't believe it would cost $700 just to do the R&R. The cost of the freeze plug repair itself is negligible.

One word of advice; avoid the big chain places. Find a good independent garage; a transmission shop wouldn't be a bad choice even though the actual repair is not on the tranny. They will be more proficient at the R&R and should cost way less (given the track record on Taurus/Sable transmissions it won't be hard to find a tranny shop that has - no exaggeration - done dozens of them). They may also be able to give you some insight on the possible failed freeze plug. Just be a little careful in selecting one; don't want to go in the other extreme and use a guy who works out of a shed in his backyard.

My $.02 worth.
 
  #13  
Old 05-16-06, 07:28 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4
Did you check the hoses as suggested earlier? The 3.0 runs everything externally.

Standing at the front the top radiator hose goes to the engine right side. The heater hoses and coolant recovery are right next to the distributor and go to the back of the engine. They go into the firewall to the heater core AND ALSO all the way behind the engine to a fitting on the water pump which is behind the alternator on the left side of the engine and another to the coolant resovoir. A combination of rubber and steel tubing is used.

Since the path from the right side goes right over the tranny a leak there could be mistaken as a freeze plug. Or a dishonest shop is looking for an early Christmas present.

A cracked block is unlikely in an area not having sub freezing weather and inadequate antifreeze protection.

Cracked head or blown head gasket is possible but the 3.0 is mostly relaible to around 150K or more. However overheating from coolant loss will accelerate the problem. I just blew a gasket at 208K on a 94 and another is fine sofar at 185K. I picked up a 95K motor for $250 and will swap that in the 94 as everything else has been rebuilt or replaced as needed; Im not about to buy anything new! Stubborn and frugal (cheap) NH Yankee.
 
  #14  
Old 05-16-06, 06:07 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 2
i would like to help you out. write me at [email protected]. i would like some more info. i have worked on a lot of these when i worked at an independent shop and have never seen a freeze plug go bad so quickly.
 

Last edited by toyotaman11769; 05-16-06 at 06:58 PM.
  #15  
Old 05-17-06, 10:11 AM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 11,528
FYI, on one of my stops at a tranny shop today I asked about this job and was quoted $450. They did say the "book time" on it was pretty high, but that they could beat it by a considerable margin and charge accordingly. This was at one of the biggest national tranny chains, so I would think getting it done in the $400-500 range would not be hard to do.
 
  #16  
Old 05-17-06, 11:53 AM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 100
I have to agree with jumbo14. The freeze plugs generally do not go unless they rot out. I just replaced the ones in my Toyota during a rebuild. The truck is a 99 and has 141K on it. The plugs were still in good shap. I only changed them because I got new ones with my rebuild kit.
 
  #17  
Old 05-18-06, 07:32 AM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 11,528
Big difference between Toyota quality and Ford, of course.........
 
  #18  
Old 05-18-06, 12:36 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Texas
Posts: 2,345
right again

Towguy is right again about about Toyota quality vs Ford I have two Toys and one Ford it is like night and day for sure.The Ford has been in the shop many many times for problems and recalls the Toyotas only one time for a MAF sensor.Even the belts can go 150 thousand miles before they show signs of needing replacment.
The only thing I like about the big Ford is the ride and solid feel but I always have a cell phone on me just in case I need to call the tow truck driving the Ford.
 
  #19  
Old 05-19-06, 07:14 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Montgomery
Posts: 35
One last question

What, in layman's term, is a freeze plug, what is it designed to do, and what can I do to prevent this problem in the future ?
 
  #20  
Old 05-19-06, 10:14 AM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 11,528
Freeze plug is actually a misnomer. It is a small, usually brass, disk that is used to close off the holes in the engine block that are leftover from when the block is cast. They are generally about an inch to an inch and half in diameter and run down either side of the block, the front of the block, and the rear of the block. the reason they are referred to as freeze plugs is from the false notion that they are there to blow out as a safety in the event the water in the block freezes, thereby preventing the block from cracking. The ones on your Taurus may be difficult to see because the various accessories in the way. There really is no preventative maintenance beyond changing your coolant periodically to minimize corrosion.

Here's what Wikipedia says: "Freeze plugs are subset of the plugs on a car engine cylinder block (core plugs). The name comes from the belief that they are designed to intentionally leak the coolant when it freezes. Their actual purpose is to plug the holes where sand from the sand casting process is removed".
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'