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Old 02-08-2011, 05:36   #1 (permalink)
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Question 2002 Ford Taurus is b*tchy in cold weather!

I have a 2002 Ford Taurus w/ the 3.0L vulcan engine. On extremely cold days where the temp is below 5 degrees Fahrenheit, my car will overheat driving down the road. The heater blows out icy cold air, spots of coolant then appear from underneath the car when it is stopped, (very small spots) It only does this on very cold days, on days where the temp is still below freezing but not frigid, it works fine, no leaks, car doesn't overheat, and heater works fine. This morning I started to drive to work on this frigid day, and I noticed that the heater was not getting any warmer, so I immediately went home knowing the overheating would be next. I got home, called my husband out to the car. He checked the reservoir, coolant level is good. Thermostat was recently replaced. The leaks when they occur appear to be coming from the area of the water pump, my husband said. This morning he felt the radiator hose and it was warm until he got closer to the radiator itself, he said the hose felt cold there? Could there be some kind of blockage that only happens when it is extremely cold?? I have noticed the strong coolant smell on normal days when the car has warmed up, is there a steady leak somewhere? praying it is not a blown head gasket, husband doesn't think it is. The belt is good and spins properly. Anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:02   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 2002 Ford Taurus is b*tchy in cold weather!

Hello and good day:

You may have a Bad Thermostat, or bad Water Pump....I would co with the Thermostat first.
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Old 02-08-2011, 14:28   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 2002 Ford Taurus is b*tchy in cold weather!

Your extremely cold weather up here is T shirt weather. Try 40 below F. What is the
test freeze temp of your anti freeze ? Sounds like your anti freeze is freezing. the first
clue is no heat and an over heating engine.
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Old 02-08-2011, 16:20   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 2002 Ford Taurus is b*tchy in cold weather!

not a cold weather kinda guy...but have you picked up one of those $5 anti-freeze testers to make sure your mix is right? supposedly it will tell you the freeze protection of your coolant down to -50 deg F.

Thexton 100 Cold-Chek Propylene Glycol Anti-Freeze and Coolant Tester#
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Old 02-11-2011, 18:48   #5 (permalink)
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Exclamation Re: 2002 Ford Taurus is b*tchy in cold weather!

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Originally Posted by 2003FordTaurus View Post
not a cold weather kinda guy...but have you picked up one of those $5 anti-freeze testers to make sure your mix is right? supposedly it will tell you the freeze protection of your coolant down to -50 deg F.

Thexton 100 Cold-Chek Propylene Glycol Anti-Freeze and Coolant Tester#
That is not the correct tester for your car. Propylene Glycol was a rare low-toxic coolant that didn't really catch on. The correct tester is for Ethylene Glycol. Try this:

Thexton Mfg Co 106 Cold-Chek Anti-Freeze Tester - Disc Type
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