1995 Ford Escort Wagon - 96K miles. When accelerating up a hill there is a gurgling noise that comes from the engine. It does not sputter and maintains power - just the gurgling. then when on a flat surface it goes away. Any idea what it is and if it can be fixed for little to NO $$. Thanks !
Could be a defective radiator pressure cap.
I would guess some air in the coolant. If that is correct, you do want to get it taken care of. It should not cost much and it may prevent your engine from overheating. It also could be a sign of a coolant leak. Have you had any work on the cooling system lately?
Air is in the cooling system. If the cooling system hasn’t been worked on, the air is probably replacing coolant which has leaked out. If so, have repairs (pressure check, etc) performed. If the repairs have already been done, drive the front wheels upon ramps (or, a high curb), and take the radiator cap off the cooled engine. Fill the radiator with coolant, if a little low, and the overflow bottle about half full. Drive and listen. If there is still gurgling, seek a mechanic.
Is there a bleeder screw/valve on the thermostat housing? It should look like a small bolt with a hole in the middle. If so, loosen this (with the engine COLD) and add coolant to the radiator until it starts flowing out of the bleeder screw, then tighten it up.
It’s definitely air in the system. I usually get a bit of this when I have to open the cooling system for some reason; a couple of driving trips later, I top off the radiator and it’s good to go. If you’re getting this and the cooling system has not been opened or worked on, you’ve got a leak somewhere and should have a pressure check done.