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Coolant problem 05 ford freestyle

My 2005 ford freestyle has been overheating and running out of coolant very quickly. I’ve gotten it pressured tested twice and they haven’t found a leak. The coolant seems to not be draining out of the reservoir. It seems like its almost being pushed back into to the reservoir where it will boil dramatically then eventually all drain out. Anyone know what could be causing this?
Also I got my water pump changed about two years ago if that’s relevant.

Blown head gasket.


Check for water in the oil. Maybe stuck thermostat?

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A radiator cap that doesn’t hold pressure will let this happen. They should have tested the cap when they tested the pressure though. All the alternatives are more expensive, cooling fans not working, plugged radiator or worst of all a bad head gasket or cracked block or head.

It is funny, my first repair at 16 was a head gasket and it was a pretty easy job. Nothing to remove but the head bolts and head, scrape off old gasket, paint new gasket with Indian Head shellac, reinstall head and gaskets. Now it is a job that costs what a rebuilt engine just a few years ago.

Ray answered a question in one of his recent newspaper columns from a car owner with a problematic knock sensor. The owner was in shock over the estimated cost for the job. You’d think replacing a knock sensor wouldn’t be overly expensive. But I think the quote was over $2000. Not b/c the sensor itself was expensive, but b/c of the labor involved to get at it.

Does the car ever overheat? Does the dash coolant temp gauge ever show it going into the overly hot zone? If so, are the radiator fans spinning like crazy when that happens? It’s a pretty common problem reported here for a radiator fan to fail to turn on, and the car overheats only in stop and go traffic or when waiting in the McDonald’s drive through.

Coolant can indeed be lost from the radiator cap port or the overflow bottle port even though a cooling system pressure test doesn’t show a leak. That happens if the coolant

  • gets too hot b/c the fans aren’t working when they should or the thermostat, water pump, or radiator etc is failing
  • contains too much steam vapor from boiling b/c the pressure isn’t being properly regulated, usually due to a faulty radiator cap
  • the head gasket only leaks in the direction that allows hot, high pressure combustion gasses into the coolant. Usually this shows up as visible bubbles in the radiator. A chemical test for exhaust gasses can detect it also.

Edit: You don’t have a lot of white smoke coming out the tailpipe, especially during accelerations do you? if you don’t know ask a friend to follow behind watching your tailpipe while you accelerate to freeway speed on the nearest freeway on-ramp.

Had a friend with a similar problem, added coolant for 3 years, never had a problem with coolant in the oil. head gasket my belief, but not a death knell. He sold it for $500