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1997 Ford Thunderbird LX 2dr Coupe

1997 Ford Thunderbird
Trim Info:
Rear Wheel Drive, 2 Door Coupe LX, Mid-Size
18 mpg city / 26 mpg hwy
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April 22, 2011, 11:44 am


Question: Oil In Water

For three days I ran my car with the temp gauge going to the 1/2 way mark which is unusual for my car, it never goes over the 1/4 mark. I opened the hood and just looked at the overflow tank and it had plenty of water in it so I assumed the water/coolant was fine. I finally took it to my son on the third day (he's a mechanic) and he asked me if I ever looked at my engine. On the top radiator hose was a hole from rubbing up against the bolt on the air condition pulley. Mind you, my son was the one who replaced all my hoses not three months ago and admitted that he did a "rookie" move by not checking to see that the hose wasn't touching the bold and anything else. So, is my engine blown? What should I do to correct this? Flush the water system AGAIN? Help!!!

April 25, 2011, 2:28 pm

Ron W
Expert Mechanic

Is the oil in the cooling system or coolant in the oil (crankcase)? In either case, it sounds like the car overheated and blew either a head gasket or intake manifold gasket. You have to have some diagnostics done to determine which it is. DO NOT drive it in this condition as the engine can be damaged beyond repair.

To fix it will required some engine disassembly.

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April 26, 2011, 8:53 am


You are right on. It is the intake manifold gasket. There was no water in the oil so I assume that's why it was only the intake manifold gasket. Thank you so much for your help. Along with a few other minor things, it's an $1125 job. Then attempting to get money back from Purrfect Auto on Ann Road here in Las Vegas for a rear main oil seal that they DID NOT DO! They cleaned it up, put some type of sealant on it and painted it silver to look as if it had been done and charged me $700. Needless to say, I'm all over that one! Thanks again for your help.

Linda Stroup

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April 26, 2011, 11:05 am

Ron W
Expert Mechanic

Glad I could help. Thanks for the question.

1/1 users found this helpful.

April 26, 2011, 3:05 pm


National Auto kept all the parts for me including the ORIGINAL FORD rear main oil seal so that I can really go after Purrfect Auto tomorrow. It has FORD stamped right on it. The manager at National Auto also told me that they might have put brake fluid in the oil to slow down the leak and that's why I didn't see but small spots on the ground for the last three months.

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