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Brad, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 2366
Experience:  ASE Certified Master Technician
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2001 Ford Taurus: overheating..coolant in the tank..leaks..awhile

Customer Question

My 2001 Ford Taurus keeps overheating. I have coolant in the tank but it''s spitting it back out through the filling tank from time to time. It appears there are no leaks when I fill it but then after driving for awhile it builds up pressure and starts spitting some coolant out. What could be wrong?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Wrenchtech replied 9 years ago.
Sounds like a blown head gasket.

What you will have to do is pressure test the cooling system with a;ll the plugs removed and leave it under pressure for a good bit of time to see if any coolant gets intpo any of the cylinders. they have a chemical test for that also but it's not that reliable.
Expert:  Brad replied 9 years ago.
Before condemning an expensive repair on this like a head gasket, try removing the coolant bottle and checking it for cracks around the bottom side of the seam and the bottom edge of the tank.

This uses a pressurized coolant tank, and once under pressure the coolant can spray out of these cracks, making it look like it is spitting out because of an overheat. Pretty common problem on these.
Expert:  Wrenchtech replied 9 years ago.
You have already stated that there are no leaks until the engine has run for a while. That pretty much defeats the idea of the tank being cracked.

I don't think there is much chance of that with your description of this problem. the blown head gasket is still the most likely cause of this problem which likely developed from a previous overheating.

Expert:  Brad replied 9 years ago.
Perhaps, however the fact is that coolant is leaking from the tank. This can be due to one of two reasons:

1> Excessive pressure is building up due to an overheat or a blown head gasket, forcing the coolant to bypass the cap (to relieve the pressure)


2> The tank itself is leaking. Often when this happens the tank only leaks under pressure (the engine has to run for awhile to build up cooling system pressure). It does no harm to remove this tank to verify whether it is cracked or not. Being this is a common problem with the Taurus, it's definitely worth checking into.