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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2000 Windstar in which I replaced the coolant reservoir about 1 1/2 yrs ago due to a crack.

I normally check my fluids every 2-3 weeks, old car, high mileage.

Last night I come home and the coolant is pouring out, car is burning hot and smells like it as well. There is a steady leak coming from the bottom of the tank, I check the hoses as best I can and they are dry, so I'm thinking a crack.

So this morning there was about 2 inches of fluid in the tank, I check the oil, empty. I fill it with what I have and it's just on the minimum line, top off the coolant and take my kid to work, she just started yesterday, too far to walk, and there was no one else to take her, about a 10 minute round trip ride so I risk it.

We get there and nothings leaking, I get home and there's a drip. I just checked it now and the tank is full.

I'm not driving it until I bring it in.

Any thoughts...?
 

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Your best bet is to jump in there and check everything. Or you can have a shop pressure test the cooling system if there is close enough.

Does the cap look like its been leaking?


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Discussion Starter #3
The caps not leaking, the only wetness I can feel is under it, where it was leaking. I felt every side of it I could reach. There is condensation in the tank, but there usually is.



Your best bet is to jump in there and check everything. Or you can have a shop pressure test the cooling system if there is close enough.

Does the cap look like its been leaking?


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So this one is cracked too? That would lead to lower pressure in the cooling system allowing water to boil which could cause an overheating issue. That would also explain the condensation. The issue now is why does it keep cracking.


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Check / test your thermostat . If it hasn't failed and caused overheating it will probably be damaged now . You could always run without a thermostat as a temp measure to check . The wet on tank MAY just be from overheating so don't limit where you check for leaks . Check engine and all cooling system .Pressure testing cooling system usually shows external leaks and if needed a block test will check head / gasket leaking and creating build up of pressure showing in header tank leaking and water loss. Oil loss is a worry but the excessive temp thinning the oil wouldn't help . Operate heater and see if working o.k and let coolant fully circulate , then check level again when cold .If needed though not normally , bleed coolant system if still having problems .
 

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Discussion Starter #6
When I checked the tank yesterday it was cold, it was dry all around except the area where it was leaking from. This is starting to sound like something way more complicated than the tank leaking, and way too expensive. I've no real way of testing anything. What I was able to do was check the upper hose for temp, after about 4 minutes it got warm, like body temp, after another 5, it got hot, but not burning. I turned on the heat, I expected it to have been hotter in this weather, but it wasn't, it was mostly warm, and I had to have my hand close to it to feel that, but I think it always did that, the more you drove, the hotter it got. Oh, after I turned off the car there was a drop of cool coolant in the spot where I think the leak is, nothing else came out. Takes days to get an appointment with a mechanic, so I guess I'm just SOL.


Check / test your thermostat . If it hasn't failed and caused overheating it will probably be damaged now . You could always run without a thermostat as a temp measure to check . The wet on tank MAY just be from overheating so don't limit where you check for leaks . Check engine and all cooling system .Pressure testing cooling system usually shows external leaks and if needed a block test will check head / gasket leaking and creating build up of pressure showing in header tank leaking and water loss. Oil loss is a worry but the excessive temp thinning the oil wouldn't help . Operate heater and see if working o.k and let coolant fully circulate , then check level again when cold .If needed though not normally , bleed coolant system if still having problems .
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I got it fixed today, the mechanic said he checked everything, but the head gasket, and it was just a faulty reservoir, it was replaced on warranty.

However, he got antifreeze on the belt and then tried to rinse it off, the chirping is so embarrassingly loud.

It's a new belt, but I feel like I need to replace it now lest it cause damage, but am having a hard time wanting to bring it up to him, he has tried to help me in the past.
 

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If he really wants to help you out he will agree with you and replace the belt. You arent asking for much just a $10 belt.


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It'll be a minimum of $65 to have a belt replaced, the cheapest belt is $27, plus labor. I know that it's his responsibility.


If he really wants to help you out he will agree with you and replace the belt. You arent asking for much just a $10 belt.


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Im sorry but charging labor on a belt install, thats a little rediculous. I know he needs to make money but since hes been working with you and Im assuming knows how much trouble this van has given you, youd think he’d waive the labor for a belt install at the very least.


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I don't think he will charge me, I hope not, I was just saying it's more expensive. He can't see me until Monday, which means probably Tuesday, I just hope it doesn't cause any damage.

Im sorry but charging labor on a belt install, thats a little rediculous. I know he needs to make money but since hes been working with you and Im assuming knows how much trouble this van has given you, youd think he’d waive the labor for a belt install at the very least.


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I doubt itll cause any damage. I hope he replaces it for free since he spilled coolant on it. But I understand, youve had quite the experience with the car.


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Discussion Starter #14
I hate to keep on with this, but I'm wondering if it is just the belt, or if a pulley was damaged, or something else.

When I start the car it's soooo loud, when I step on the gas it gets louder. Then it goes back and forth, no noise when I'm coasting, or lightly on the gas, to loud again, no noise when I'm just sitting. Then when I think the noise it gone you can hear, very low, a sound. And I can't tell if it's the belt/pulley, or something else rattling.
 

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It could be either one really. To eliminate it being a pulley you could spray them down with wd-40 one at a time then rev it to see if it quiets down.

And dont worry youre not bothering us, thats what the forum is here for. We’re here to help!

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With the belt off you will have to check everything driven by belt for wear / play be it water pump , alternator , power steering , tensioner , crankshaft pulley etc . Check the bearings on each unit not only for wear but for noise or roughness when spinning .With the problem you had initially , double check water pump .
 

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Discussion Starter #17
With the belt off you will have to check everything driven by belt for wear / play be it water pump , alternator , power steering , tensioner , crankshaft pulley etc . Check the bearings on each unit not only for wear but for noise or roughness when spinning .With the problem you had initially , double check water pump .
This is frustrating, everything was good until he replaced the reservoir, now all this.
 

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You could be wrongly assuming the noise you are getting is related to the belt , it COULD be something else alltogether .It's very hard to advise on noises when you are not there to witness on start up and when it is doing it . A good experienced mechanic can often pinpoint the cause exactly just by listening to the engine . Some noises can seem worse than they are and may be a simple fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I went to the mechanics today, it didn't go very well. It was the tensioner. So I was looking online for the price and it was an average of $35, but the part they got was $50. So as they were finishing up I asked for the total and they said $50 for the tensioner, and $50 for the belt. I asked why was I being charged for the belt since he got antifreeze on it, she said she didn't know about any of that and went to talk to the owner. She came back and said because it was the tensioner, not the belt, that the antifreeze had worn off. So then I was like why not put that belt back on, why are they putting on a new belt. So she went to talk to the guy again, came back and said they had to cut the belt off. So, not sure if you all know I'm a girl, but I was crying from the moment they gave me the price, two repairs, $300, in a week, took all I had. So the owner came in, said charge her for the tensioner and an hours labor and don't make any more appointments for her. He was banning me. So I was waiting to speak to him cause i realized something went wrong with the communication.

Basically he was mad because he goes out of his way to help me, and that his secretary had told him "To expect a problem from me with payment and that I said I wouldn't pay for the belt." I did not say that, I didn't say anything even remotely close to that, and I told him that, but blood is thick and I don't think he believed me.

I was upset because I didn't have the whole story. They didn't charge me for the belt, but I'm going to pay it anyway.

Yeah, I knew this belt was going to be a big issue.
 
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