Low coolant light but temp gauge reading ok

DJM1972

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2000 ford taurus 3.0 dura tech
These are all the specs I have right now I'll try and get more when I get the car down here.

We gave in to my girlfriends daughter a few years ago and gave her this car. Big mistake they did everything to it except cetch it on fire. They almost caught it on fire too.
Yeah its destroyed and now it seems I get to rebuild it.
Getting to the subject: I had to drive 100 miles yesterday to fix a Y connecting coolant line. After driving, going to the car store and jump starting the car and test driving it that was all I could do yesterday.

After installing this coolant line Y connector and warming the car up and driving it for a few miles while trying not to run out of gas,
I noticed a low coolant light on. But the temp gauge continued to read ok.

My 1st take is that the low coolant sensor or wire got damage from all the idiots working on this car since we gave it to her daughter.

Who knows
 

kev2

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excuse the question - you did not say IS the coolant low?

sensor is in tank- they stick if coolant is low for a long time-
 

NickD

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Son's 2000 Taurus went to its final resting place last summer with 256K miles on it, but lot more was wrong with it than just the low coolant light being on. For the most part, received TLC. Besides taking a major toll on my son's dad, Mr. Oxidation was also working on it. Really didn't shed a tear when it did finally leave. A miserable vehicle to work on.

What to you mean by a complete rebuild? Ever check the parts cost on these things? Even with free labor? How many miles on it? Are you in a road salt area? Care to post a photo of it? Just curious, also curious about your skills, asking about a low coolant sensor light.

Ha, after raising four daughters and six boys, not all my own, girls are far worse on vehicles, often wondered why their insurance rates were so much lower than boys.
 

DJM1972

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2000 ford taurus 3.0 dura tech 24 valve 90,000 miles. Yeah I’m in a road salt area.
I had the codes ran at advanced and this is what came back:

1. P0136 O2 sensor ciruit bank 1 sensor 2 (the guy at advanced said this is the upstream sensor?) (P2270, P2271)

2. P1131 The code tester at advanced did not have a discription for this code. Vehicle specific code. No definition found.

3. P0302 Cylinder 2 Misfire (coil or wires) The guy at advanced said its more than likely a loose wire. And they were messing around with them. I think someone said they changed the plugs and wires. Its possible they didn't get the wires back on correctly.

4. P0174 O2 Sensor Bank 2 system too Lean (downstream)


Suposedly the other people changed the spark plugs & wires. So this is the 1st thing I’m going to check.
I hope this is why I’m having a cylinder misfire. That’s another thing, I changed the spark plugs on this vehicle without removing anything from the intake. Well of course they said they had to remove something from the intake to put the new plugs in.

I did a quick search and its saying that code #2 has something to do with the oxygen sensor or possibly the injector.
How do I know which is cylinder #2
Any one else have any ideas before I begin possible irreversible damage
 

Jim Fairbanks

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The #2 cylinder is the middle one on the back side...towards the firewall....check the plug wire to see if it didn't get put back on.....The 02 sensor codes are for a lean condition on that bank.....when they changed plugs and wires they might have left a vacuum hose off......sounds like you might have a plug wire off or not on right and a vacuum leak from a hose left of or pulled loose....Jim
 

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kev2

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work the P0302 first as Jim mentioned a misfire likely causes- the P1131 is a probleem with B1S1 the reading is frozen.
were those p2170 and 2271 active?
with a scanner that sees data not to bad to do -

p0136 bank 1 sensor 2 post cat-
p0174 is bank 2 and the upstream before cat.
 

NickD

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I don't like to remove anything more than I have to, but can only wonder how you reached those three back spark plugs without removing the upper intake manifold. Suckers are buried deep. Would aid the intake manifold with non-hardening Permatek, but after a bit, the gaskets had to be replaced or will get vacuum leaks, and maybe one or two dropped out or was pinched. Have to be careful with these.



Typically will get an O2 sensor code with a misfire, way too much oxygen in the exhaust, how can it switch?

Coil on plug:



Adds up if you need all six, tested each one with a spark gap tester, those connecting pins have to be clean. Would also do a compression test to get this out of the way.

I think I can remember when my son's only had 90K miles on it, but that was a long time ago. It was a very comfortable car to both drive and ride in. And did make the equivalent of ten trips around the earth, was also a 30+ mpg vehicle.

Did have some good points, never had to drop the tank to change this:



And never had to pull the injectors, but did change the oil every 3,000 miles and treated the gas tank with a can of Seafoam before each oil change.
 

DJM1972

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Ok so I switched cylinder #2 coil pack with cylinder #4 coil pack. Erased the old codes and ran the scanner again and only one code came back, cylinder 2 misfire.
While I was switching the coil packs around I left the engine run and noticed that cylinder #2 coil pack was shocking me so you wouldn’t think there would be anything wrong with it.
So I bought a set of plugs but only put one in cylinder 2 and it didn’t make a difference.
So this really put the brakes on me.
After this I started looking around and noticed the air cleaner plastic bottom mounts were broke. So I took the plastic thing over the air filter off and noticed a oily substance coming back out of the intake. Maybe oil and a hint of coolant.
I remember them saying they over heated the car. And if it happened once there’s a good chance it happened more than once. I’m starting to think this could be more serious than I thought.
Its possible they drove on this misfire for 10,000 miles. I used a mirror and a flash light with the spark plug out of #2 and could see the top of the piston and it looks like its been dead for a while.
That’s the best description I can give so far. The cylinder 2 is just dead.
 

kev2

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My experience is a piston/ combustion chamber with a coolant leak appears clean what I call steam cleaned-
also the plug is much cleaner than the others...
some thoughts- pressure test coolant system- with #2 plug out bump the starter if coolant was leaking A) the pressure test will show B) coolant will come out of #2 plug hole...
The missfire is as likely to be FUEL as ignition a bad injector.... I am always an optimist
lastly a compression test...
 

billr

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"lastly a compression test..."

Ah, a rare chance to disagree with kev2... for me a compression test is always one of the first things to do!
 

NickD

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billr said:
"lastly a compression test..."

Ah, a rare chance to disagree with kev2... for me a compression test is always one of the first things to do!
Agree, 100%,can make your Ford dealer rich in buying replacement parts, will always find a bad way overpriced sensor, coil or something, that won't do a darn thing if you don't have good compression. Never liked the EGR system on Fords or maybe they don't like me.
 

DJM1972

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Well I thought I was going to be able to do this compression test without bugging you guys again but apparently not. I went down to advanced and bought their cheap compression tester and ask the guy how to use it. He said I had to undo the fuel relay fuse. So I went home and used the Manuel and located 2 fuel relay fuses under the hood 16 and 30. Took them both out and the car still started and ran without them.
This has been my most ill conceived effort to this point.
How do I get the car to turn over without starting. I really don’t want to turn the harmonic balancer with a wrench.
And the directions that came with the compression tester were for ignition with a distributor. Why am I getting 20 year old directions. They don’t still make cars with distributors do they. Lol
Anyway I guess I’ll do a little more searching since this wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped.
 

billr

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Oh my, so many things to cover here...

1) You really can get a somewhat meaningful compression reading the way you did it. If you pull one spark plug, install the compression gauge there, and then start the engine, the reading on that one cylinder will be approximately correct. However, that isn't the best way to do it...

2) The proper way is to remove all spark plugs, then test each cylinder; it sure isn't going to start with all the plugs out! You do this with the throttle held wide-open and have a fully-charged battery (at least at the beginning of the compression testing). Let the engine crank for at least five compression strokes on the cylinder you are testing. Many folks will say more strokes, and that can be OK, but if you don't get decent compression by five strokes you probably have a problem. More strokes discharges the battery more and, if you haven't disabled fuel (see below), puts more fuel into the air and on cylinder walls.

If compression isn't up to spec on a cylinder then you can do a "wet test" by putting about a table-spoon of engine oil in through that spark plug hole and then re-testing. If compression comes up significantly with the oil, then it is an indication that the piston rings there are not sealing well. If compression doesn't come up with the "wet test", then that hints that a valve is bad.

It is best to disable the ignition, or at least provide an easy ground path for the coils/wires, to minimize chances of causing a fire or shocking you or damaging some component due to high-voltage hunting around for some place to land. Likewise, it is best to disable the fuel to avoid fire and washing oil off the cylinder walls with fuel. It is not mandatory to disable ignition and fuel, many, many engines have been test without doing so, but is usually so easy to do that it is common practice (and common-sense!). I can't tell you exactly how to disable those, could be removing fuses, relays, or connectors; there are a lot of ways. One of the easiest may be to disconnect the CKP (crank position) sensor, without a signal from that the PCM will no command either ignition or fuel pulses; and usually those CKP sensor connectors are easy to find and disconnect.

3) If it is very difficult to reach all the spark plugs and you are interested in just one cylinder, then that can be tested with the other plugs in place; but the engine will crank slower and it will be harder to count the strokes on the cylinder of interest. Both effects mean you won't get quite as accurate or consistent readings, but good enough to tell if there is a major compression problem. Of course, if you don't kill fuel/ignition the engine will probably start and you are back to (1) above...
 

NickD

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Ignition module applies a 12 V pulse to each coil pack. With all six coil packs removed really doesn't do any harm to use the ignition switch to crank the engine, and it sure won't start. Not good to leave the coil packs plugged in, generates a high kick back voltage that can wreck the ignition module.

I just use my starter remote switch and hook it directly to that #10 terminal on the starter solenoid because usually, nobody is around to use the ignition switch. The outside large terminal goes directly back to the battery. Ignition key isn't even in the ignition switch. On other vehicles where difficult to hook unto the starter solenoid, I find the ignition module and and disconnect it. Mu gauge is of the screw in type with a Scharder valve release, so just reach in and turn the key. It holds the peak pressure reading.

All the plugs have to be removed first as their compression really loads down the starter, and the engine will not spin fast enough to get an accurate reading. TB throttle valve should also be tied full open. Compression test basics, 101, ha, been doing this since I was ten years old.
 

DJM1972

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Well since I couldn’t figure out how to turn off the fuel system I checked only cylinder #2 and the engine was warm. This engine cylinder spec is: 10.0:1. Not exactly sure what that means but I’m headed out to my friends and maybe he’ll know.
Engine test:
It seemed like I got the most compression when I initially started the engine. At 1st I was doing this by myself and during that time I notice very sporadic readings. Sort of speak one time 110 psi again maybe 80psi again, this time it might say 130psi. Then my dad came out and helped me. And the reading seemed to stabilize @ 120psi at say 3 starts.
Then I released the pressure with the relief button while the engine was running and after a few minutes it seemed to stabilize at about 70psi.
One more thing why do I need throttle wide open? Is this like my Saturn if you push the gas petal to the floor boards it shuts off the injectors.
 
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