Antifreeze? Where did it go?

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On 12/2/2015 8:04 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

The only time the van runs rough is when it's low on antifreeze, I've noticed, lately. Otherwise, she starts up right away. We put a new battery in a few months ago, too.
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Maggie

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Refresh my memory - what year, model, and engine size?
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On 12/3/2015 11:46 AM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

'98 Ford Windstar 3.8L 6Cyl
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Maggie

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On 12/2/2015 2:15 PM, Retired wrote:

I'm adding this to my list of things to check. Thanks!
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Maggie

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Most common cause of "mystery dissapearing antifreeze" is bad hose connections. Loose clamps etc. The entifreeze only comes out then it is hot, and evaporates right away. The "tell" is white (or pinkinf, greenish, or yellowish) deposits and sometimes gooey deposits around the offending connection. Sometimes a bit of "sweet"smell under the hood with the engine warm.
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On 12/2/2015 7:58 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

OK That's something I can actually do myself with a mechanic. I'll look for any of those signs near the hoses. THANKS!
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Maggie

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On Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at 12:09:38 PM UTC-8, Muggles wrote:

If you had coolant getting into your oil, your dipstick would look like it had baby shit on it. More likely, as in a Lexus ES300 I had here recently, it's getting into the combustion chamber and going out yur tailpipe. Head gasket problem.
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On Thu, 3 Dec 2015 10:12:37 -0800 (PST), shade tree guy

Head gasket on a 3.8 Vulcan will put the antifreeze into the oil too. No way an internal leak in one of those won't do damage..
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wrote:

If your windows are fogging up, it could be a bad heater core.
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On 12/2/2015 8:10 PM, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moc wrote:

After I put in the antifreeze, the heater started working again, so the defroster took care of any fogging.
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Maggie

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The fogging from a bad heater core is sticky and sweet-smelling (and tasting if you do the finger lick test) It doesn't clear with the defogger.
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On 12/3/2015 11:55 AM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Sorry, I meant to say the windshield had fogged up because it was cold. The heater was only blowing cold air so it wasn't working to defog the windshield until after I added the antifreeze, THEN it took care of the fogging.
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On 12/02/2015 2:03 PM, Muggles wrote:

...
I'll bet you do have a gasket leak; probably intake manifold. Had identical symptoms on '98 Chebby pick'em-up V8. Let it go for several years and never got large enough to ever see the actual leak as it evaporated from engine heat as fast as it seeped but finally took it to the guy in town before a road trip to even more remote ground in NM for a fence-building weekend last July 4 weekend--figured if it were to fail catastrophically that'd be the time and that would _NOT_ be the place!!!! :)
Anyway, he did discover it was the intake manifold gasket leaking an there was no leaking into the crankcase, it was all external (not that it always is, just that it _can_ be).
OBTW, if this fits your case, don't use the standard GM replacement gaskets; use the "upgraded" of "heavy duty" ones from Felpro or another quality 3d-party vendor; they have a metal interface shim whereas the originals don't...
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Is the van a 3800 (3.8) V6 GM?? If so the intake is a real possibility.
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On 12/2/2015 8:10 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

mmmmmmm It's a '98 Ford Windstar, the bigger engine ( I forget the size. )
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3.8 ford Vulcan engine.
Check the front timing cover gasket, but particularly the intake manifold gasket on that engine. If antifreeze was getting into the oil you would know it - it would be rattling and knocking like crazy.
Also check for a small metal pipe under the throttle body between the upper and lower intake manifolds. It is brazed from the factory and the braze sometimes cracks, lettin steem or water out. Can be rebrazwd or replaced - dealer generally has the part in stock (common failure mode)
Also check the bypass hose between the water pump and manifold. It gets hard and cracks, or gets gooey and leaks.
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On 12/02/2015 8:10 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

...

IME the far more likely culprit on the 3800's is crack in or bad o-ring on that plastic elbow on the heater return...have had at least one (and often two or three) 3800 or its descendant 3900 from since their introduction and never had any other coolant leak on them...it is, however, generally not long before it's large enough to see the damp spot.
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wrote:

I had a car many years ago that leaked coolant into the cylinder, noticed a loss of coolant, eventually I found out that I was laying a smoke screen behind my car. A huge cloud of vapor was pouring out the exhaust. Was told that if enough water leaked into the cylinder when the engine was stopped, it could have caused a lot of damage when attempts to restart the engine as it tried to compress liquid coolant.
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On 12/2/2015 3:51 PM, dpb wrote:

OK Adding your info to my list. Thanks!
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Muggles laid this down on his screen :

Pull and check the spark plugs for contamination. If you find a sign of coolant, you prolly have a blown head gasket. There are several other places to check, so start with the hoses or signs of a leak anywhere in the engine compartment. Do you get a sound like a leak in the exhast?
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