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2002 Taurus Overheated Briefly


I caught my gauge rising. I could not pull over until it hit the H and then I got it turned off. After it cooled it started right up. Engine U

I gotta spend to fix it and don’t want to fix radiator on a engine busted. I checked my clean oil and it’s possible the drip was water off the stick. I could not tell for some reason if the level was higher. I can’t say it was milky. Should I sent the oil off for analysis? Or is there a simpler way to do it? Would dropping the oil after bottom dries give me a better look?


You might want to rewrite your post . All I can tell is that your vehicle overheated and you can’t determine if the oil level is correct. And apparently you have not checked coolant level either.

If you want to check if there’s water in the crankcase oil, you can always drain it out and put it in a clear container, and wait a day or two. Any water will separate out and appear as a layer at the bottom. It would be nearly impossible to spot this by looking at the oil on the dipstick. If you think the water and coolant might be mixing, start by looking at the top of the radiator. See layer of oil oil floating above the coolant? Next , is there any weird looking gunk on the underside of the radiator cap or oil fill cap?

If it only overheated a short period of time, probably all you need to do is fix what caused it to overheat.

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Why are so many people unable to write a coherent post that expresses what they are trying to say? I grew up in a poor rural area and English was always my worst subject, but they would not have let me out of 4th grade with a paragraph like that.


Reading comprehension is required

Dumping the oil is what I suspected. The buildup under the cap is a long term symptom. I don’t think it would apply in this case. Thanks

Sounds like you are OK… Crankcase Oil/Water contamination is not something you would need to wonder about because it will either look like oil…or a milkshake. Its that distinct.

Now moving forward… Unfortunately you need to repair the rad in order to really know what is going on. At this point there isnt much negative evidence that should prevent you from doing so and it must be done…asap.

Once the rad or leak is repaired and the cooling system properly bled of air…then you can test and see how things go. A bad head gasket usually manifests in two prominent ways. One is milkshake oil the other is the over pressurization of the rad/cooling system…which will push out coolant and accelerate more damage to the head and head gasket relationship.

For now…fix the issue and test is probably the best advice… Unless you have the money and another vehicle picked out and were just waiting for an excuse to buy it?

My interest is in fixing it. its great for my purpose. an old friend. but i do not want to fix it if the engine has been damaged and dumping the water out and waiting a few days for it to separate sounds like a good first step.

Then i will take it apart and see whats wrong. could be other things like the radiator, hoses, bottles, etc. and go from there. I do pre- maintenance on my cars and this year for that car in July I budgeted putting in a new water pump, thermostat, radiator, flush heat box and all hoses, fluids. i guess i was just not fast enough. 240000 miles. coolant was flushed last july
I could not remember what to expect from the oil/coolant. the botton was what i needed to know. thanks too

Wait…Stop or at least slow down here. What are you talking about draining the water out and waiting for it to separate? I am not understanding what angle you are trying to take here. That is a waste of time as you have nothing to separate as of right now…you didn’t suffer that sort of breach. No investigation into that needed.

IF you have coolant contaminating your motor oil…then it has already been sucked up into the oil pump and distributed to every internal engine component… IF coolant were present in the oil…it would have milkshaked…already…as in right now, this minute. If you see engine oil on your dipstick…then you have not suffered a cooling system/crankcase mix.

Like I mentioned prior…you now need to repair whatever leak you have in the rad that caused all of this overheat business to occur… You didn’t severely overheat it yet or have not divulged doing so. So since you have no milkshake oil…the only thing you do not know at this moment is whether the cooling system will be pumped full of air by a cylinder pressure breach of the head gasket. SO… you must fix the rad problem / coolant leak…and test the vehicle to know if it has that sort of breach. There are kits to test your coolant for hydrocarbons but…imho you didn’t do any damage as of yet. All depends on how honest you were with the overheat info. If you did not see steam then you are more than likely just fine. Again… “Overheat Honestly” here is crucial.

Fix rad leak…Test… Report…

i was as honest as one can be in this situation. i reported what happened. the coolant was steaming it went to H briefly. more specifically it steamed at the overflow jug lower hose and at the radiator where the thermostat hose enters the radiator. it could be the hose in both cases, or in one case or it could be the bottle, and one or two hoses. i cranked the engine today. all good.

what i want is to know was did the high mileage engine give up the ghost. i dropped my oil today into an oil pan and will look for water in a day or two, if there is none, i see none, i want to be as sure as i can be before i open my wallet and fix the problem. if a problem shows up later, it just shows up, i did all i could to check for the worst problem. i have a jug of oil and a new filter to spin on after a couple of days., i will refill and start taking things apart and looking for why steam was coming from the top hose and water and steam coming from the jug area. i dont feel like i have wasted anything. thanks for helping

Well you responded directly to my post and yet it seems you still didn’t fully absorb what I was saying. Your oil…if it looks like oil… does not have any coolant in it to separate out. If it did it would already be milk-shaked and you would visually see this instantly it would look like thick coffee and cream, tan. If it is thick and a light tan color…there is coolant in it…and there’s no need to wait for it to do anything, its self explanatory.

So, if your engine oil looks like normal oil, then you do NOT have crankcase and coolant breach and there is nothing to separate out or wait for or analyze. So that failure mode is out the window…One down, one to go. The OTHER failure mode is a cylinder compression leak into your cooling system…and you haven’t proven this failure mode out yet. You still do not know if you have a pressure breach… Aw man… just re-read my post so I can stop rewriting it, as I find myself doing at this very moment.

Or you can ignore this advice at your leisure. However you might say that I have a “little” experience with these matters and have correctly repaired untold numbers of head gasket failures. But this is a free country, just like this advice, so to each his own I suppose. I wont be upset if you decided to do your own test procedures. I am simply offering some help, if it is welcome.

Fix Rad leak, Fill and burp cooling system (important), Test, Report…

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