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  #1  
Old 10-07-2008, 03:51 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Default 98 Windstar: where is the coolant going??

My 98 Windstar loses coolant like it's out of style.

A couple months ago when I took it in for an oil change, the guy said my coolant overflow was dry. He added 2.5 liters to it, which alarmed me - but I forgot about it by the time I came home.

Two days ago I filled the empty overflow jug up to the fill line (about a liter and a half) and yesterday it was already empty. I topped it up again and after a half a day and a couple of short trips (45 mins each max) it's empty again!!

Last winter we had problems with no heat but now it's been running great for heat (since I filled up the coolant!). Tday, there was lots of good heat but the temp guage didn't budge above "C" - not even up to meet it!

I don't have any obvious leaks, no hot coolant smell, no coolant in my oil. where is it going?? How do I stop it and what should I look for as fallout in the future?

Thanks,

Taz
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Old 10-08-2008, 04:47 AM
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Default RE: 98 Windstar: where is the coolant going??

If you have the 3.8 V-6 engine, you could be munching it due to a failed head gasket. Is the vehicle pushing steam out the tail pipe even after the engine is warmed up? That is the normal sign of a failed head gasket for these.
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  #3  
Old 10-08-2008, 06:02 PM
 
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Default RE: 98 Windstar: where is the coolant going??

Thanks for the reply, haven't checked the tail pipe but will do so when it's back home tonight. I was thinking of tossing in some radiator leak stop stuff next week, will that help with the gasket or is it pretty much a guaranteed gasket replacement expedition?

Thanks,

Taz
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Old 10-11-2008, 10:47 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Default RE: 98 Windstar: where is the coolant going??

Had this very same problem with my 1997 Windstar.
Intake manifold gasket was leaking both banks/sides of the 3.8Lengine. 1997 intake manifold gaskets made with neopreame material around the intake ports as well as water jacket ports and with age I guess this is a common problem of this gasket failing especially the one next to water jacketat the alternator end of engine. Easier to fix than taking the heads off for a blown head gasket.
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Old 10-13-2008, 11:51 AM
 
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Default RE: 98 Windstar: where is the coolant going??

Thanks, cdueling.

Found out yesterday my cooling system is now sharing oil - black gooey stuff through the radiator and into the overflow tank.

Is there a way to save this engine or do I just drive it to the wrecker while it's still running?

I haven't checked the oil for coolant contamination; the dipstick still shows oil only, as does the oil filler cap - and it looks like only oil inside there as far as I can tell - dirty but still only oil. I don't have the facility to pull the drain plug to see what pours out...

Would flushing the cooling system sufficiently remove the oil residue from it? Would flushing the oil system suficiently remov any coolant that may be in there? Would doing both (and replacing the intake manifold gasket) restore the engine to keep it running for "as long as we own the van"?
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Old 10-13-2008, 11:51 AM
 
 
 
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2000, 98, 99, coolant, empty, gasket, going, heat, intake, jug, leaking, manifold, oil, replace, smell, windstar

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