whining/wheezing/seezing sound, explorer wont start, radiator and reservior dry, had stripped bolt in water pump. reservior drained daily.


Asked by May 11, 2013 at 01:40 PM about the 1997 Ford Explorer 4 Dr XLT SUV

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

my 1997 ford explorer was draining water from the back flow reservoir  so i had to fill it daily, even twice a day. according to my roomate, he forgot to fill the reservoir even once.
on the 3rd day the truck sputtered and died on the highway. it did not over heat according to him, it just died. when he depressed the gas pedal it didnt seem to take any gas, it slowed down then stalled. all gauges were good & no check engine light was on. when he tried to start the vehicle, the engine tried to turn over but had a seizing /weezing/whinging sound. when he tried again the same. it would try to turn over than the same sounds. i got back and found the reservoir and radiator were bone dry! water began to spew from the front part of the engine. i was thinking the water pump because the last mechanic to work on my truck put the wrong size bolt in and had to fill the hole w/blue shit (forgot the name, think it was gasket sealer) before he put the right size bolt in.?..?? ive heard it could be a blown gasket, piston damage, the water pump... i am new to the area and dont know a reliable mechanic that will honestly answer my questions.

4 Answers


From your description it sounds like the engine is fried, remove the radiator cap, get close to the opening see if you can smell a slight burnt odor from the radiator. If the engine was consuming coolant as you stated it already had problems.

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Was it leaking externally? That much water/coolant leaking had to be noticeable. Either by clouds of steam out the tailpipe or a river underneath it. -Jim


The two most critical elements to the proper operation of an engine is oil for lubracation and coolant to keep it from overheating and frying itself. If you simply filled the reservior with water daily, it was performing a slow death. The engine requires coolant, not plain water. It's probably fried. When the prez did the 4G buyback thing for new cars years ago, the trade in had to be destroyed and not sold. To accomplish this the engine was brought up to operating temp then a chemical was added to the radiator to plug up the cooling system. The engine was left at idle for maybe ten or so minutes and it seized. Sounds like you're ready for a new engine.

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Best Answer

I want to thank everyone for their timely responses. I appreciate it and they were very helpful and I appreciate it!

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