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Mike V.
Mike V., Auto Service Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 25349
Experience:  25 years experience on all makes and models, Licensed NYS Inspector.
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Why is the fluid in my coolant resiviore bubbling and

Customer Question

Why is the fluid in my coolant resiviore bubbling and gurgling
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

Is the car running rough or overheating?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No it runs great! No overheating! I know you are leaning toward head or head gasket! So was I it just is acting very strange! Temp gauge up and down, intermittent heat! New thermostat, temp sending unit, flushed radiator and heater core
Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.

Actually it sounds like the is air in the cooling system. This will cause the gauge to fluctuate and give you the heat issue. If you are 100% certain all the air has been properly bled out of the system, then a head gasket is possible, but I would do a combustion test on the coolant to see if there are any exhaust gases getting in there. Also, a pressure test to make sure there aren't any leaks in the system. If there is a small leak some place then what will happen is that coolant will be replaced with air and cause the bubbling and the loss of heat. Sounds to me like you have an air pocket in the heater core.

Please let me know what more I can do to assist you today. Also, please remember to rate my answer, Just Answer does not compensate me for my time and resources. Follow up questions are included in the price of your question.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Whats the best way to bleed the system
Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.

What year and model is this? Engine size would be helpful also please

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1999 ranger. 3.0
Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.

Heres the bleeding procedure for it.

  1. Bleed the cooling system as follows:
    • Select the maximum heater temperature and blower motor speed settings. Position the control to discharge air from the A/C vents to the instrument panel.
    • Start the engine and allow it to idle. While the engine is idling, feel for hot air from the A/C vents.
    • CAUTION: If the air discharge remains cool and the engine coolant temperature gauge does not move, the engine coolant level is low in the engine and must be filled. Stop the engine, allow it to cool and fill the cooling system.

Start the engine and allow it to idle until the normal operating temperature is reached. Hot air should discharge from the A/C vents. The engine coolant temperature gauge should maintain a stabilized reading in the middle of the NORMAL range and the upper radiator hose should feel hot to the touch.

  • Shut the engine off and allow it to cool.
  • Check the engine for coolant leaks.
  • Check the engine coolant level in the radiator coolant recovery reservoir and fill it as necessary.

If you have done this, then I would be looking at the combustion test to rule out exhaust getting into the coolant. Head gaskets aren't a common issue on this engine so it's not likely. But still you may have to rule it out.

Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if there is more I can do. Also, please remember to rate my answer. Thanks so much!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Any good way to check my waterpump
Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.

Not really, I mean you can check and make sure the bearings are good and that it's not moving up or down or leaking coolant out of the weep hole at the base. The only other option is to remove it and make sure the fins are good.

I do not believe it's the problem however. Bubbling indicates air.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ive done all that the combustion test was positive! So I have a bad head gasket, head or intake Gasket correct? Anyway to tell which one?
Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.

It's a head gasket if you have exhaust gases present in the cooling system. It cannot be the manifold because you don't have exhaust running through the intake manifold or coolant in the exhaust manifolds.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I know this is a generic question and hard to answer but what will fix cost
Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.

Ballpark for both heads is 7.0 labor. I would have a leak down test done to determine which head gasket is leaking. This cuts the labor to about 5. hours per side.

I think a rough ballpark for both would be about $1200-$1500 including the parts. Please understand it's a ballpark

Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.

Please remember to rate my answer.

Thank you