Question about 1999 Ford Taurus

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Expansion tank tests

Are there any tests to perform on an expansion tank to ensure that it is within limits? Can the expansion tank warp after engine overheating? How can I tell if mine is bad?

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  • Joseph Weisenberger
    Joseph Weisenberger Jun 21, 2009

    yes

  • Joseph Weisenberger
    Joseph Weisenberger Jun 23, 2009

    What does it mean when the radiator cap hisses softly, but no steam is escaping. The coolant reacts as is typical of heat soak. Is the whistle/hissing normal? Sounds like pressure relief. Does the cooling system relieve it's pressure when the engine is disengaged?

  • Joseph Weisenberger
    Joseph Weisenberger Jun 24, 2009

    Thank you so much, co7196. You're an ace in my book. I've just been having lots of problems with the coolant recently, and this concerned me even though the heat soak and coolant rise are acting normally. We were having a problem with rapid rise of the coolant and then overflow without boiling or steaming. You've alleviated my concerns.

  • Ned C Cook
    Ned C Cook May 11, 2010

    expansion tank? meaning coolant recovery?

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  • Ford Master
  • 3,433 Answers

The coolant recovery tank doesn't really have specification per se' . The heat from the coolant overflow won't affect the tank in the manner you are speaking of. Its purpose is to simply catch whatever yhere is in overflow and retain it for reintroduction into the radiator as it cools. normally they have aroun a two quart capacity and the only true concern is if it leaks. good luck

Posted on Jun 21, 2009

  • Ned C Cook
    Ned C Cook Jun 23, 2009

    Yes, the hissing and sometimes whistling is normal.. yes, the pressure controlling continues throughout the rise and fall of the coolant temperature. High pressure relieved displacing some coolant and low pressure(vacuum as the coolant cools is due to a valve in the cap allowing the coolant to return and prevent a vacuum collapse of the cooling system componants like the radiator and heater cores.The faster the coolant or air is being vented the higher the pitch of the sound. Due to the presence of pressure and coolant being suppressed from boiling, It is advised that caution be taken when in the engine compartment after the engie has been running.. Hoses should not be moved around or squeezed, and the radiator cap never loosened or opened. Once the pressure is relieved in the cooling system the coolant can flash boil instantaneously turning to injury causing stean as well as hot water burns.Coolant level;s should always be checked at the recovery tank, this is the reason for the see through capabilities.. The recovery tank is not a pressure vessel and cntains no pressure.The function and operation of the cap can be observed as the initial purge of pressure occurs and the drawing back into the radiator the coolant as the engine cools.

  • Ned C Cook
    Ned C Cook Jun 24, 2009

    You are very wecome and thank you for the compliment. Should any other questions arise, feel free to e-mail me @co7196 @yahoo.com. One thing I had mentioned I would like to add to. The pressure in the radiator raises the boiling point of the coolant. For each degree of pressure the boiling point is raised 2 degrees. The numbers are engineered to be appropriate annd safe for the system and its ability to hold pressure. There is a limit and for many years that limit has been 15#s release . Installing a 20 # cap can result in blowing out hoses and even spliting the radiator. I hate when that happens. Point is, keep everything at manufacturers specifications . Thank you again. Happy motoring.

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It would be worth your time to check your coolant level, then look for leaks. If you are also noticing that your heater doesn't work it would help to confirm this diagnosis.

Could be several things causing a lack of circulation: a blockage in your coolant lines somewhere, your water pump is not functioning, or you have a blown head gasket or warped cylinder head. An engine overheat can also cause the blown head gasket and/or warped cylinder head as well, so you would be best served by driving your car as little as possible until you've diagnosed the problem.

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