Question about 1999 Ford Taurus

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Engine Cooling problem 999 Ford Taurus 6 cyl

Engine Cooling problem 1999 Ford Taurus 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 117675 miles
I've been doing extensive work with my 1999 Ford Taurus 3.0L Vulcan OHV engine. Extensive work is as follows: Replaced front bank cylinder head (cylinder's 4-6), both head gaskets, all engine gaskets from the head gaskets up, timing chain, front oil seal, timing cover (front cover) gasket, thermostat, radiator cap, coolant temperature sensor, lower radiator hose, coolant temperature pigtail/wiring harness, serpentine/drive belt. Services done: Multiple flush and fills (radiator works correctly), heater core by-pass, chemical flush of cooling system. When the car gets hot during driving, the cooling fans never come on. All the relays are testing okay and this model year does not have the Constant Control Relay Module. If I place the car in park, the fans turn on within just a couple of seconds-this has happened four times. Problem is not that the coolant is not reaching temp for the cooling fans to come on because when the engine is killed, the coolant rises rapidly into the expansion (recovery) tank and overflows like a glass of water left too long under a running faucet. You can see the water vapor escaping from under the radiator cap. When the CTS is unplugged, the fans run continuously (I've been told this is normal because it throws a code to the Check Engine Light while unplugged), and I don't have a problem with the overflow. This is starting to kill me because I don't know where to look next. The fans come on, but only when the car is placed in the parking gear.

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  • Joseph Weisenberger
    Joseph Weisenberger Jun 29, 2009

    Yes, the cooling system has been bled. I was reading about other problems (mainly electrical) being the fault of the TRS or Neutral Safety Switch, but none of them expressed problems with the cooling fan operation.

  • Joseph Weisenberger
    Joseph Weisenberger Jun 29, 2009

    If the cooling fans run continuously, the car doesn't overheat. If the fans only run in park (as is happening on multiple occassions), the engine overheats.

  • Joseph Weisenberger
    Joseph Weisenberger Jun 29, 2009

    Thought the NSS could be the problem because the fans are only working in park. Any ideas where else to begin looking?

  • Joseph Weisenberger
    Joseph Weisenberger Jun 29, 2009

    I have read that there have been problems with the TRS (NSS) in these cars causing electrical problems that don't make sense, mainly conributing to decreased quailty of driving, loss of power, and accessories only operating during certain gear selections. Shouldn't the fans run no matter what gear the transmission is placed into? I have been given a lead to look into the Vehicle Speed Sensor or the Transmission Range Sensor (Neutral Safety Switch). It is stated that the Transmission Range Sensor has replaced the Neutral Safety Switch used on older automatic transmissions.

  • Joseph Weisenberger
    Joseph Weisenberger Jun 29, 2009

    No offense taken, roniecon. I compared the new water pump with the old and everything looked to be in accordance. The impeller blades were facing the same direction and everything looked good. I am sure that the head gaskets were installed correctly (I spent 30 minutes reading and re-reading the instructions while orienting the gaskets for placement). Mechanically everything is sound, it's just wierd that a problem such as this would make the fans only operate (they only come on) while in park. I got a lead to check the ground wires and try to play with some relays, so I'll give all that a shot and see where it gets me. The sensor actually did come from Napa (I couldn't find it at Autozone or Kragen/O'Rielly- they apparently call it a temperature switch instead of a Coolant Temperature Sensor). Thanks for the leads, roniecon, and if you have any more information please let me know!

  • Joseph Weisenberger
    Joseph Weisenberger Jun 29, 2009

    Good question, emissionswiz, but Ford did away with the CCRM for the 1998-2001 Tauruses. There is a black box beside the battery that is able to be opened and has a series of seven relays in it. These relays can be replaced. I have check continuity (though I don't have any idea what these relays do and can find no information about them) between the legs, and the continuity tests okay-but I know that this does not mean the relays are okay.

  • Joseph Weisenberger
    Joseph Weisenberger Jun 30, 2009

    Looks like I finally figured this one out. It seems that it was the high speed cooling fan relay, and the reason that it would operate only in park was because it was sticking and the shifting in the engine compartment from drive to park would make it slip free and make contact. I put the relay from the Driver's Side Window into the first large square relay in a relay box (unlabeled and no information in Haynes' or the Owner's Manual, I have another next to the GEM that I don't know what goes into it, nor do I know the other six that go here) located on the driver's side of the battery. The fans started kicking on in every gear (P, R, N, D, (D), and 1). I let the fans cycle several times (about a 30 second duration when stopped-no matter what gear) and drove to the cigarette store. My girlfriend kept the car drive but kept her foot on the brake while I bought the smokes (the fans cycled a couple times while I was inside) and we drove back home. The coolant didn't overflow, but I think I found a crack in my expansion tank. Could help explain all the steam I've been getting. But anyway, it seems things are working now. I'll be checking the ground wires soon... over 104 degrees here today.

  • yadayada
    yadayada May 11, 2010

    has the CCRM been replaced.

  • yadayada
    yadayada May 11, 2010

    Nss has nothing to do with overheating.

  • yadayada
    yadayada May 11, 2010

    wow way to complicated for the free forum, good luck on getting an answer, try Live Chat or Premium question pay option.


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Have u bled the cooling system ?warm the car and cut the car off right before the fans come on ,let sit for 30-35 minutes,see if the coolant drops in res. if so repeat process untill coolant stops droping ,then drive car regularly if overheating stops ,but monitor it because it will drop somemore/there has been reports of new and rebuilt water pumps nt having correct propelar mounted on them/ backwards etc. if this helps let me know

Posted on Jun 29, 2009

  • Ronny Bennett Sr.
    Ronny Bennett Sr. Jun 29, 2009

    if u replaced the coolant sensor,then it could be still at fault,wher did u purchase it(may need to tryNAPA or dealer oem oringinal ford part,i believe u have done ur research and done it well ,sounds like u know what ur doing also that is a positive facter,the replacement waterpump could be the problem also,sounds like the car has a cooling problem in that area,some times the new or rebuit part could have been put together incorrectley propeller on backwards or the wrong prpeller,.If the fans stay on and never go off(i know,onlly in park)this most likely means the engine is not cooling down,,,also wher head gaskets installed correctley?,I think they have a left and a right on that model and where they put on upside down? ,,,just trying to help,not trying to get ur goat ,cause anything is possible even with profesionals


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