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Taurus over heating with brown gluck in cooliant

i am a female and recently took my car into be fixed over heating and i still hvae the problem now worse, it’s an 03 ford taurus the fan isn’t working and the car is over heating with brown gluck in the resivoir, scared to be taken again with bad ca repairs does anyone have any suggestions as to what may be going on with it. thank you

“brown gluck” could be antifreeze that has gone way past its useful life, or it could be oil getting into the cooling system. If its oil, it will float on top of the coolant and feel like oil. If you just have brown coolant, then you need to have the coolant changed ASAP.

When the coolant has reached this point, it may be clogging the radiator up. I would remove the radiator and do a reverse flush off the car. The bad news is that by now, this repair may run into some serious dollars, damage has been done.

What has been done so far?

The first thing needed is to fix whatever is causing the radiator fan not to work. This will cause the engine to overheat, esp when in stop-and-go traffic or idling, like when stopping at the drive-though at Mc Donalds for a burger. Overheating – even one time – can do permanent and expensive damage to the engine. So it needs to be addressed asap. And the driver should monitor the dashboard temp at all times until this is fixed. If the guage goes into the “hot” zone, turn on the heater and heater fan to full on, if this doesn’t immediately bring the temp guage back to “normal”, then pull over and stop and the engine.

I’d guess the problem is likely the coolant temp switch for the fan, usually inexpensive to replace. This is a common problem. After that, what I’d probably do is simply drain out all the old coolant and replace it with fresh coolant, then take a wait and see attitude, monitoring the coolant level and appearance. With any luck, that’s all that will be needed.

Thanks to you both for your speedy reply I will use your advise, much appreciated.

@EllKay … you seem to have had negative experiences with repair shops. You’ll do yourself a big favor on future repairs like this to find a good independent mechanic, someone who has experience with your make/model, and stick with him/her. The best way to find a good one is to ask co-workers, friends, church-goers, anybody you have a personal relationship with, for a recommendation, who they use. Then interview two or three of these recommended mechanics. Choose who you think is best for you. Be sure to tell the mechanic you choose that you didn’t just walk in off the street, that you were recommended to them, and by whom.

How does the oil look?
Hate to say it but it could be a breached head gasket and oil and coolant are mixing.

If the above suggestions don’t appear to help, get it checked to make sure. A blown head gasket can do a lot of damage.

@GeorgeSanJose - for many people, negative experiences can simply mean expensive experiences. In this case, it doesn’t sound like the OP is going to get off without an expensive repair, but that is mostly due to the fault of what sounds like neglected maintenance. Even a good indy mechanic is probably going to charge $$$ for repairs if the car needs more than just a coolant flush and radiator fan temp switch.

I can’t believe how many times I see it, over and over again, people not spending $50 or $100 now and then being shocked when the same problem costs $500 or $1,000 6 months or a year down the road.

Just an FYI

I chased a similar probelm on a 1998 Taurus. Spent a lot of time trying to figure out why the fan didn’t come on. - and just like the OP, lots of brown gunk in the over flow.

Head Gasket!! Once that was fixed, all the other symptoms disappeared - including the fan not coming on. I’m guessing that even with the temperature of the hot gases, it wasn’t enough to heat the antifreeze to trigger the fan switch. The boiling over was caused by the volume of gas entering the radiator system.