2002 Ford Taurus thermostat/waterpump diagnosis needed
Taurus SES 2002, 106K miles. Base model
I had a major cooling system problem last night. For a few days i have noticed the engine had a deep bellowing, almost peculating sound. I checked the coolant and it was a bit low, but nothing major.
About 2 years ago, I had a breakdown and the waterpump had to be replaced, so this is not original 2002 parts.
I'm very careful to watch my temps on the dash and never saw it go above the middle.
Yesterday, i was returning home, short drive of 2-3 miles, and noticed some sounds coming from the passenger side of the hood. Some squealing, on and off getting worse. No difference at a stop light or driving.
I pulled into a parking lot, and checked the coolant level and it looked fine. No signs of steam (yet). I was concerned enough to be worried to make it home in 2 miles.
As I drove home, I can hear the squealing getting louder. That engine groaning sound. Still the gauge showed normal to low temp. I can see steam coming from the passenger side of the hood.
I made it home, and can see a lot of steam, and much water dripping out.
With my limited knowledge, I was hoping it was just a stuck thermostat. So this morning I added a gallon of water to see if it was still leaking. Yes, a lot of leakage, I'm guessing from the water pump.
I'd appreciate advice. I'm thinking there are multiple problems.
1) I'm thinking that early groaning sound I heard was the thermostat not opening and the fluid boiling in the engine creating a lot of pressure.
2) The temp gauge did not show it over heating ever.
3) Now, with limited inspection, I see fluid dripping from the rear of the water pump by the engine.
So, I don't think changing just the thermostat will work since it is leaking. Would the water pump be trashed from that short drive home? Could it just have blown its gasket?
Why would I not have seen the temp gauge go to HOT if I'm getting steam from the engine? Is that another problem?
I think I remember two years ago, that it was more than the water pump being replaced. The serpentine belt, and if I remember he said that some electronic device monitoring the temp had to be replaced which was costly. I'm not sure what that part is.
Any help would be appreciated. I'm in a financial bind like many of us, and If its something I can fix I need to do it.