A new question is answered every 9 seconds

1998 Ford Taurus: It blows air but does not get hot.

Customer Question

I have a 1998 Ford Taurus. The heat does not work on it. It blows air but does not get hot. I took the car to a mechanic and he said there is a two-fold problem. First, he said that the intake hose to the core is hot and the outtake hose is ice cold, so there is a clog of some kind. He said it was about $800 to $100 to replace the heater core. However, he said that one of the head gaskets on the engine is "bad" or "going bad." He said that replacing the heater core would only serve to exacerbate the problem with the head gasket, causing more "pressure" in the gasket which will eventually cause major problems with the engine. He also said that there was a leak of some kind with the coolant. It was all very confusing to me, and as much as I tried to ask for details in layman's terms, I remained absolutely confused as to what to do. Right now, except for the heat not working, it is running fine, and no check engine lights are on. Can someone, in layman's terms, make any sort of head or tales of all of this information? I just don;t seem to be getting how all of this in related. Is this car doomed to die very soon? Can it survive the winter? Is it worth getting fixed?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Canadafix replied 4 years ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help you with your heater.

Looking at your question I think that you are wise to get a second opinion.
It appears the mechanic really doesn't know for sure about the head gasket either.

The best way to confirm head gasket failure is to do a "block test".
This procedure is done with the use of a solution in a tool that connects to the coolant reservoir or radiator neck. If the head gasket is leaking compression into the cooling system it creates bubbles. These bubbles will turn the solution from a blue to a yellow color. If the solution remains blue, all is OK.

If your Taurus is not pushing coolant out of the overflow, running well and not overheating I doubt you have a head gasket issue.

I have had good success in flushing out heater cores.
I remove the two hoses that hook up to the core and hook up two lengths of heater hose to allow me to add some cleaning acid. A product such as CLR should do it.
Wear goggles and protective clothing.
I let it sit for a few minutes and then flush it out thoroughly with water. Then I blow it out with compressed air.
It may take a couple applications depending on how badly it is plugged.

If you do not want to undertake a job such as this I would suggest a good local radiator shop. They should be able to help with it.

Your questions or comments are welcome.
Thank you.
Canadafix, Canadian class A certified
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1632
Experience: Canadian automotive technician.Class "A" certified
Canadafix and other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
One other question, if I may ... is the cap on the coolant recovery tank the same as the radiator cap for the purposes of doing a block test?
Expert:  Canadafix replied 4 years ago.

Yes you may

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here

On your Taurus it will have a reservoir tank with a pressure cap. That is where the block test would be taken.

Thank you.
Ask Canadafix Your Own Question
Canadafix, Canadian class A certified
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1632
Experience:  Canadian automotive technician.Class "A" certified
Type Your Ford Question Here...
Canadafix is online now
How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

What Customers are Saying:

  • AlvinC answered a question about my Ford truck that only someone with an in-depth knowledge of his subject would have known what was going on. Rich D USA
< Previous | Next >
  • AlvinC answered a question about my Ford truck that only someone with an in-depth knowledge of his subject would have known what was going on. Rich D USA
  • Because of your expertise, you armed me with enough ammunition to win the battle with the dealer. They are installing a fuel filter and fuel pump at no charge to me. Molly USA
  • I needed help with my car on Saturday morning....got a response in 5 minutes, and it was the perfect solution. Thanks again to your service. Jason V. Kirkland, WA
  • I do know, after going though this with JustAnswer, that I can somewhat trust my mechanic but I will always contact you prior to going there. BR New Jersey
  • I would (and have) recommend your site to others I was quite satisfied with the quality of the information received, the professional with whom I interacted, and the quick response time. Thanks, and be sure that I'll be back whenever I need a question answered in a hurry. Stephanie P Elm City, NC
  • used your service this weekend with "Trecers" help. thank you ,thank you, thank you. replaced an A/C fan motor. Local Auto Zone had part. $15.00 "tracer" fee and $40.00 for parts, I saved several hundreds of dollers at a shop. i will recommend you and use you in the future. David L. Richmond, TX
  • 9 dollars, 2 hours of my time, and I drove away. Your diagnosis was right on the mark. Thank you so much. Phil Marysville, CA

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

Meet The Experts:

  • Ron


    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FO/fordguyu/2015-7-7_172556_onnieew.64x64.jpg Ron's Avatar


    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/muddyford/2012-6-13_1204_1.64x64.png Chris (aka- Moose)'s Avatar

    Chris (aka- Moose)


    Satisfied Customers:

    16 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JM/jmcdo28/2012-2-23_01655_resized.64x64.jpg John Mc's Avatar

    John Mc

    Ford Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    19 years Ford Lincoln Mercury experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/wmarti7/2009-4-18_04332_Avatar.jpg Chuck's Avatar


    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    33 Years Experience,Ford Senior Master,ASE Master,L1 Advanced Engine Performance
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BL/Bluegorilla/2012-6-21_16298_cam.64x64.JPG Cam's Avatar


    Journeyman Automotive Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 14 years Automotive experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CR/crzydrvr00/2013-11-3_12123_246347.64x64.jpg Richard's Avatar


    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    12 years at a Ford Lincoln/Mercury and Jaguar dealer as a technician and shop foreman.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/baddad1/2014-4-1_23659_avatar.64x64.jpg Mike V.'s Avatar

    Mike V.

    Auto Service Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    25 years experience on all makes and models, Licensed NYS Inspector.