Are the head gaskets blown or heads or block cracked?

20

Asked by Jan 26, 2014 at 05:11 PM about the 2002 Ford Taurus SE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Car quit running sat a couple weeks. Found
radiator to be bad so we replaced. Found no
water on dipstick, but found water in
bottom of pan when I pulled plug. Also
seems like plugs where wet. No fluids
leaking anywhere from the engine. Can not
get it to start again. Any ideas?

28 Answers

20,885

First we need to know if it is not firing or not getting fuel. Take the air filter top off and spray some starting fluid in it. See if it runs for a few seconds. Even if it had blown head gaskets it will start unless the cylinders are full of antifreeze and then it won't crank either.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
10,975

Unless it's a major leak it is next to impossible to find out which one of the three it is without disassembling. But quick question??? Does the coolant system pressure up while running? If not you might get lucky with an intake manifold gasket leak? What motor does it have.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
10,975

Before you hit it with either try pulling all of the plugs and drying them and trying it. Only use a small amount of either it is hard on gas engines. If it wont start with one, one second blast down the intake while turning over I wouldn't fog any more down there.

20,885

I think you have a starting concern not a cooling system/head gasket problem.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
116,585

Water in the bottom of the oil pan? If that's what you found I would not be trying so hard to get it cranked. I would fill coolant system and remove all the spark plugs. The do a pressure test on the cooling system. Allow it to stay pressurized and untouched for a good while. If the pressure on the gauge drops then start hunting for where the coolant went to. Check oil again and check spark plug holes. If coolant found in either it is probably a head gasket blown.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
20

The engine is a 3.0l v6. I have noticed there is a little water dripping from exhaust just in front of cat converter. Not sure what that means. I have new plugs that I can put in it, the old ones look pretty worn.How would I go about doing the pressure test? So far I have replaced the radiator, to my knowledge it was not overheating before it stopped running, and have replaced the oil. Which as i said had water in pan but not showing on dipstick, also had water in the oil filter.Was going to replace plugs but is it worth doing that?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
10,975

As the car sits the oil and water will seperate. Water in the oil filter is bad that means it was flowing through your lube system. Do not run untill the source of the water is found. Buy or rent a coolant system test kit.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
20,885

My point dandy was that they never had an overheating problem. It just wouldn't start. Don't forget condensation build up after sitting for a while. If he saw water in the oil it should be mixed together not separate. That's why I think the engine is ok. Put a set of spark plugs in it and see if it fires up. If it blew a head gasket (which I have seen from starting it cold) they immediately blow antifreeze out the tail pipe. 3.0 is a much tougher engine than the 3.8. Not known for blowing head gaskets. Put the spark plugs in it and fire it up.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
20,885

And if he cranked it a lot it may be gasoline coming out first before the oil. If it had a blown head gasket (going in the oil) it would be milky oil & antifreeze and would not separate.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
116,585

Agreed. I my opinion Don't bother putting the new plugs in it. Your local auto parts store should have the pressure test kit. And some will even loan one to you. Directions with it is very straight forward and easy to do.

116,585

Honestly tuff I sure hope you are right. It would be a lot cheaper and better for Steve.

20,885

Well I think everyone may be jumping the gun on this one.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
116,585

I sure hope we are for Steve's sake.

20,885

Hey it's a first. We disagreed

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
116,585

Yes but unlike some folks on here we can agree to disagree. Lol

20,885

absolutely

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
10,975

Steve I've blown many motors up. Some on purpose and some by accident. Water in the oil is a good way to kill it. If the ratio of antifreeze to water is low it will separate easily and there will be very little milky residue if it's sat for awhile. Also certain oils cause less of the milky residue to form. Super 30 for ex. but I doubt they are running that. I would not run it. A coolant system pressure tester is a helluva lot cheaper than a motor. Atleast you can then determine how bad the leak is (if there is one) and go from there.

Best Answer Mark helpful
20

I will try the pressure test and get back to you all with results. Thanks.

10,975

Perfect. Your max system pressre should be in your manual and most rad caps have the pressures written on them. This will find 95% of the leaks. There are certain circumstances and oddball motor designs that allow some leaks to only be present at operating temps or higher (thermal expansion!) Lets hope you do not have a leak or if you do that it's a small one that can be identified and fixed. I've had one evil leak that I chased for days, I feel your pain.

20,885

Let us know. I am very curious on this one.

10,975

Yah. If you pressure it up and it holds then let us know and we'll help get it started.

240

I have a 2003 Pontiac Gand Am its in the shop hasn't been look at yet last week the tempertaure hand up and back down once it went all the way up on red like it was running hot but no steam coming out i pull over waited a min it went bk down to 200 and stay there the heater blowing cold air no hot air at all could this be a blown head gasket or a thempoast problem please help

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
10,975

@Kelly. That sounds more like your low on coolant in the motor or completely airlocked. Usually you'll have a small leak and loose fluid. Eventually you get to the point where the water pump cannot circulate the coolant continuously through the motor and/or allow fluid to be drawn through your heater core. It causes the temp to rise fast when it's not pumping and fall quickley when it starts pumping again. So, You or the shop needs to find out were the coolant is going. Look for any signs of a leak. Rad, rad hoses, heater hoses, intake manifold, throttle body (and it's hoses). If no residue is found I recommend a coolant pressure test. If the test fails and you cannot see an external leak then proceed with the bigger checks. Check the oil, check for the milky residue on the dipstick. And Crack the drain plug. Oil floats on water, the water would come out first you'll notice a color change.

240

Thanks for the advice we will do tht

10

I have question .my mom bought a ford Taurus it keeps overheating I'm not sure why. its having issue starting .overheating.I'm asking ppl that know cars.I'm not very good at them.know general idea

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
30

2005 Ford Taurus , ran hot had a hole in the water resivoir anyway , we replaced that the car cranks and runs but blows water a lot of water from the tail Pipe as we was putting water in we noticed that , also the oil is milky is this a head gasket or would it be a busted block ? Second if it is a head gasket could I put the gasket stuff in radiator and fix it ?

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Serious trouble probably head gaskets .

I have a 1995 Ford Taurus sho 3.2 liter it has water dripping from tail pipe. It broke down on me last week it just died going down the road. No milky residue in oil. It did start back up after I got it towed home but it will idle til car warms up then when I hit the gas it dies and won't start back up til next day. I've check and it is getting gas and spark. What could this possibly be someone please point me in a direction

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