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  1. Allison

    Allison New Member

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    2000 Windstar, I have a coolant leak from a crack in the radiator, some inches to the right of it, front center of the car is another leak, definitely not the coolant leak. This is what it look like today after the rain. Anyone know what it is? I'm assuming oil. 2018-01-12 14.43.37z.jpg
  2. Action

    Action Moderator Staff Member Respected Member

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    Thanks for the picture. What appears (to me) in the picture is whitish spots. There isn't any white fluid.

    So it is difficult to understand what is leaking. And whatever it is, has been diluted by the rain.

    With that said if it is oil and coming from the area of the radiator (and you have an automatic transmission) that oil leak may be automatic transmission fluid. An automatic transmission cooler is inside the radiator. With the radiator already known to be cracked, that crack may be causing automatic transmission fluid to leak as well. Kind of guessing at this point.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
  3. Allison

    Allison New Member

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    Thanks. I should have clarified that the water ,mixing with the fluid is causing it to turn white. It's definitely not trans fluid, it's the one thing that's not leaking, got to be oil. The crack is on the left bottom corner of the radiator.
  4. redrag

    redrag Active Member

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    if it's oil, water on it will make kind of a rainbow in the runoff.
  5. Allison

    Allison New Member

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    Uhg, wish someone could diagnosis properly. I know if I show that pic they're say the head gasket is blown and won't even look at it
  6. Action

    Action Moderator Staff Member Respected Member

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    Water mixing with oil can turn it white.

    Pull the engine oil dipstick and check the level and color.

    When was the last time you had the engine oil changed?

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
  7. pkevins

    pkevins Active Member

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    Besides above, if you don't want to keep looking underneath, watch the level of the coolant reservoir. Long story, but I discovered coolant in our 2000 Windstar a couple of years ago via analysis of used oil. I took a sharpie to mark its level. Two days earlier it was just below the top mark. Although it only had 178K, I had lost the paint so we let it go, even though it would have been less expensive to have the head gaskets replaced.
    TwoDaysLater.JPG

    Kevin
  8. Allison

    Allison New Member

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    I do have an oil leak, but only evidence was by touch, however I do believe it has gotten worse, just hope I haven't blown the head gasket. But the levels, believe it or not have not gone down, I check my fluids every week. Last oil change, maybe a year or so ago, I barely drive anywhere, stay in the town.
  9. Allison

    Allison New Member

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    My reservoir does get slightly low every month or so, like maybe 1/4 inch under the low line. About a month or so ago I went to a mechanic for the radiator leak, I've already had it for well over a year, but no one could find it until I realized it had to be the radiator. When I told them what to look for they found a crack in the left bottom corner of the plastic casing, then for some reason proceeded to fill the reservoir up, FILLED it up. Next morning I go out, my little baseball sized leak was the size of a beach ball, open the hood and notice the reservoir was as good 3 inches above the max line, antifreeze all over the engine and all over the ground, after that everything is leaking more. I was told to replace the valve gasket, a year ago, they said it would hold though, even when I brought it to Ford they said it would hold, that was maybe 3 months ago, that's where the leak was, would have cost about $500, now I'm worried I've gone to far.
  10. Action

    Action Moderator Staff Member Respected Member

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    A bad valve cover gasket will only cause an oil leak. The oil will leak and the engine will be very dirty. A valve cover gasket is on top of the engine. The oil leak that it creates if bad will cause a mess including dripping onto the ground if left for long enough. The only damage this will create is to the engine IF the oil level is allowed to go down off of the stick.

    Your picture may be of this engine oil leak from the valve cover gasket.

    The over fill on the coolant won't do any damage. It will make a mess, just won't damage the engine or the cooling system including the radiator.

    If the radiator has a small crack in it please don't delay getting this handled. It isn't an urgent repair and why wait until it IS urgent. That is just setting yourself up for a bad day.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>Action
  11. Allison

    Allison New Member

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    So now I'm a little confused, because they said the leak was under the engine and it wasn't "dripping" just wet. So far it has not gone below the line. I've been trying to fix the radiator for a few weeks, the problem is the engine is acting up, wanting to stall and surges when in idle or stopped at lights, )this has been going on for years, but worse now) I don't want to spend the $400 for the radiator if there are bigger issues with the engine. I've been trying to get to one mechanic but with the weather and my kid getting sick it keeps canceling, but trying for Mon.
  12. Action

    Action Moderator Staff Member Respected Member

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    All leaks (oil water or ??) do not get better over time they get worse. This oil leak over time may have accumulated enough to be dripping. It is difficult to know with out being there or without pictures of the bottom of the engine.
    Again, as long as fluids are in the engine in sufficient amounts the engine will do OK.

    Idle surge at idle.
    How many miles on engine?
    Is the check engine light on?
    When was the air filter changed last?
    Where is the vehicle being operated? (City state)

    >>>>>>>>>>>>Action
  13. Allison

    Allison New Member

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    On this engine, not sure, 25000, on the car itself, 180000. The check engine light is on, it's the 02 oxygen sensor, second bank, it happens when the IAC valve is cleaned. It was done a few years ago and it took a long time and replacement parts to finally clear it, then I forgot and asked someone to spray it and it came back on. I know it seems like that is the issue, but it did it before. I don't actually know when the filter has been changed, I'm hoping this guy on Monday can check all that out. I live in small city in Va, near Charlottesville, smaller though, decent roads.
  14. Action

    Action Moderator Staff Member Respected Member

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    The O2 sensor allows the computer to manage the air fuel ratio. If that sensor is not working the computer has no idea how to correctly set up the air/fuel mixture. All kinds of running issues can be had because of that. At 180,000 all of the O2 sensors should be replaced for a proper running engine.

    If you can not remember when the air filter was changed it is time to do that as well. A $20 filter can cause more expensive problems. Because air flow is restricted or worse dirt is getting into the air intake system.

    If you would update your profile with city and state. I don't believe the weather is cold enough there to have an impact.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>Action
  15. Allison

    Allison New Member

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    I have an update, though I'm not sure if I can explain it properly. One person said it was a cracked radiator, he also said I needed a new belt and tensioner and would fail inspection if I didn't replace it, not true, he is also the one who over filled my reservoir. No one else was able to find a crack in the radiator, or any issues with the belt. What they did find was a crack in the back of the reservoir. Not sure why but they also overfilled the reservoir and of course the fluid was shooting all over the place. Mind you, the only time this has happened is when it was over filled, when it's at the right level it's fine, but there is no pressure so we knew there was a leak.

    So the problem is when I am parking in my lot (and also did it in the mechanics lot the other day) there is a leak, what I thought was the radiator, made perfect sense, but now I'm being told it's not the radiator, it's the reservoir, they are saying that it is leaking on the right side and traveling to the left side on the plastic ledge under the bumper, because my parking lot is on an angle. Ok, at first that made sense, especially since when I back in to my spot there is no leak, but that's the thing, there is no leak at all. If my reservoir is leaking and traveling tot he other side of the car when leaning left then why is there no leak on the right, under the reservoir when I'm leaning right, or flat? Here's the leak when it's leaning to the left. The leak is watery, slightly greasy, no color. 20171108_161015v.jpg 20171227_092652f.jpg
  16. Action

    Action Moderator Staff Member Respected Member

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    "Here's the leak when it's leaning to the left. The leak is watery, slightly greasy, no color."

    This isn't the description of an oil leak. Which rules out engine oil, automatic transmission, and power steering. Brake fluid no matter how small the leak would show up immediately in braking performance. You have not mentioned that at all.

    Which leaves coolant or windshield washer fluid.

    Coolant is generally green with green anti-freeze. However there are different colored anti-freeze types as well with yellow or gold coloring. The antifreeze part generally does not evaporate.

    Windshield washer fluid is either water or a water and washer solvent/cleaner type of solution. Generally bluish colored and this fluid may evaporate more than engine coolant.

    Either one of those should produce a dropping fluid level over the course of time. Diligent checking of those fluid levels may be another way of understanding what type of leak. Oh, most fluid will pick up oil or grease as they move off of the engine or vehicle. It is the nature of the environment.

    For engine coolant there is a crossover tube that could leak and a couple of other hoses that could leak. On a 18 year old vehicle with un-known mileage I would suspect coolant. In addition the engine coolant operates is in a wide area of the engine system. Windshield washer not so much. It is contained in a smaller area along a more or less direct route to the windshield.

    My guess is you have an engine coolant leak. Somewhere.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
  17. Allison

    Allison New Member

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    I do have a coolant leak, the reservoir is cracked, just don't understand why it only has a visible leak when my car is parked on a slant to the left.
  18. Action

    Action Moderator Staff Member Respected Member

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    The leak may show up in a different area when the vehicle is parked differently. And eliminating this part as a source of the leak may resolve the issue. If not at least the leak in this part will not be confused with another leak.

    Replace the reservoir - https://www.ebay.com/itm/WASHER-TAN...ash=item544f453118:g:HKoAAOSwB3BZ7Bck&vxp=mtr

    Work from the known to the unknown. It is far easier.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
  19. Allison

    Allison New Member

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    I replaced the reservoir, but the one they replaced it with is smaller than the one I had and the ones I have seen online, won't that cause problems, smaller reservoir, less fluid? Then later on I go to use the wipers and all the fluid emptied, since they are right next to each other is it possible they unhooked a hose or something?
  20. Action

    Action Moderator Staff Member Respected Member

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    A smaller coolant over flow reservoir isn't too big a problem. And I wonder how does that happen? Here is an engine coolant over flow reservoir.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/COOLANT-RE...ash=item4b29c28d72:g:zAkAAOSwkC9Z394E&vxp=mtr

    Does your look different than this?

    And this is not the same as the windshield wiper washer reservoir. The windshield washer reservoir is next to the coolant over flow reservoir and is a different part.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>Action

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