Did I do any damage to my car?

Asked by May 26, 2012 at 02:34 PM about the 2002 Ford Taurus SEL

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Last night my friend and I were driving and the low coolant light came on in my car. At the time I didn't know what that meant, so I shut off the A/C and opened the windows. We continued driving. I didn't see any smoke or smell anything out of the ordinary. We passed her house and I tried to find a street in which to make a K turn so that I was facing in the right direction to drive home after dropping her off.

We turned up this long, uphill, narrow, dead end road, and finally reached the end, where I tried to do the K turn. It was really steep and because we were angled downhill we almost rolled into a ditch when I shifted from reverse to drive. I floored it and the tires screeched, pulling us out of the ditch and back onto the road. That's when I noticed that there was smoke coming up from under the hood and it started to smell like something was burning. The smoke and smell dissipated as we continued driving but I did not notice any smoke or smell until that point, as the windows had been open. I checked the temperature on the dash and the bar was between H and C so the car was not overheated. I drove her home, parked the car, and had her stepdad pop open the hood and take a look.  It appeared to be leaking coolant and radiator fluid, not oil.  When I maneuvered the car to get it further off the street it was still leaking on the pavement.

The car was towed on a flatbed and when it rolled off the flatbed there was leaked coolant on the flatbed, leading me to believe that it was leaking all that time and that I didn't overheat or do any damage to the engine or the heating core. I think that the water pump gave way, which caused the coolant and radiator to leak.

I hope that it just has to be flushed and some hoses replaced. I couldn't have driven more than 8 miles with the "Low Coolant" light on. Did I do any severe damage to the engine or heating core of my car?  Did I seize the engine or blow a gasket or is this an easy fix?

4 Answers

305

you prob won't know until you get leak fixed,but sometimes you can tell of headgasket failure by checking to see if engine oil is white/gray in color,this indicates headgasket failure

223,755

The smoke and smell might have been the coolant on the exhaust pipes. When you replace the water pump and hoses, replace the thermostat as well, and check your oil like James mentioned.

175

The thermostat may be bad, or your heater core could be bad. When this happes it gets hot, but not hot enough to blow your engine. It causes the coolant tank to crack and thats where your leak could be.

No you did not damage your car engine. You can add more antifreeze to the cold line. If you don't know what to do go to the nearest auto parts store and they will help you. It is common that coolant hoses wear out so they mabe leaking.I would look for leaks first.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • I added oil to the engine while running, it didn't react well, did I damage anything? 5 answers

    Car was down a quart, I was also checking tranny fluid which I know you have to do while running. Not thinking, I poured the oil into the engine, it immediately started running sluggish and rough, ...

    2002 Ford Taurus SEL

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • Car won't start 1 answer

    Only has water in reservoir and temp dropped and was frozen tried to start it and it stalled start it again and check engine light came on. Left it alone until water completely melted. Now car will...

    2000 Ford Taurus SE

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • Help!! What have I done to my car ? 7 answers

    Trying to get through ten inches of snow I was getting stuck so I floored my car to get it through the snow. Once I got to where I could park I had smoke coming out from under my hood .I popped the ...

    2005 Ford Taurus SE

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • How can I disarm my factory alarm on my 03 Ford Taurus? 1 answer

    I have a 03 Ford Taurus that won't start. The theft light is blinking. I found out that my starter was damaged so I replaced it, up on doing that, I tried to start my car but to no avail...please he...

    2003 Ford Taurus SE

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • Selling car with frame damage 1 answer

    My father has recently bought a car from a private seller. When asked about the car he said that it is in good shape and will pass inspection. When we took it to get inspected turns out there is ...

    Ford Mustang

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

Taurus

Looking for a Used Taurus in your area?

CarGurus has 20,464 nationwide Taurus listings starting at $1,500.

ZIP:

Search Ford Taurus Questions

Ford Taurus Experts

#1 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 3,570
#2 lightGear
lightGear
Reputation 1,860
#3 dandyoun
dandyoun
Reputation 1,830
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Chevrolet Impala
795 Great Deals out of 34,381 listings starting at $799
Used Ford Explorer
935 Great Deals out of 73,729 listings starting at $750
Used Ford F-150
2,693 Great Deals out of 211,512 listings starting at $1,000
Used Ford Mustang
362 Great Deals out of 44,353 listings starting at $1,000
Used Honda Accord
812 Great Deals out of 81,598 listings starting at $899
Used Chevrolet Malibu
1,003 Great Deals out of 85,673 listings starting at $1,995
Used Ford Focus
699 Great Deals out of 58,603 listings starting at $995
Used Toyota Camry
1,101 Great Deals out of 96,247 listings starting at $1,250
Used Nissan Maxima
345 Great Deals out of 25,216 listings starting at $1,400
Used Nissan Altima
1,085 Great Deals out of 82,542 listings starting at $670

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Ford Taurus SEL For Sale
412 listings starting at $24,443
2016 Ford Taurus SEL For Sale
4 Great Deals out of 3,874 listings starting at $16,997
2015 Ford Taurus SEL For Sale
15 Great Deals out of 471 listings starting at $11,995
2014 Ford Taurus SEL For Sale
15 Great Deals out of 611 listings starting at $9,444
2013 Ford Taurus SEL For Sale
18 Great Deals out of 582 listings starting at $8,998