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The Internal Water Pump ?

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by Cleon V. Wells, September 14, 2017.

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    1. Cleon V. Wells

      Cleon V. Wells New Member

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      If you’re buying a used car I would,


      Look at the oil dipstick for milky colored oil.


      Look under the oil filler cap for the same milky color.


      Shine a light into the oil filler opening and look for any signs of this milky colored oil.


      If there are no signs of water in the oil ( milky looking oil ) the water pump could be OK.


      I would put a black mark at the water level in the water reservoir when the engine is cold and a red mark when the engine is hot. I would check these levels and the look of the milky oil for several thousand miles.


      We have two Explorers at 2012/100k miles and a 2017/1500 miles ( both base models ) I just marked both tanks after watching this Utube video. I assume that Ford has improved the bearing and seal of this pump.



      Cleon Wells
       
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    3. Turdle

      Turdle I bake stuff Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I would add a dye to the coolant. If there was a problem the dye would show on the oil dipstick using the special light and goggles.
       
    4. Cleon V. Wells

      Cleon V. Wells New Member

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      Jon, I'm not familiar with this product. One thing I did not mention on the 2012 Explorer is the coolant level on the tank, it's about 1.5 inches below the low level factory mark on the tank, this after 5 years and 100K, I assume this is normal.

      Cleon
       
    5. Turdle

      Turdle I bake stuff Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    6. Cleon V. Wells

      Cleon V. Wells New Member

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    7. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Welcome to the Forum Cleon.:wave:
      Thank you for your input. Have you seen/read the following thread?
      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums...ter-pump-failure-leads-to-dead-engine.424482/

      Peter
       
    8. Cleon V. Wells

      Cleon V. Wells New Member

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      Yes !


      Our daughter is driving the 2012, the other day she texted my wife with an attached image of the car display that shows engine temp ( which looked normal—I think she inadvertently touched a button on the steering wheel ).

      I started to search coolant problems and found this link you mentioned.

      Well at this point I’m having chest pains 8>), so I drive up to her house to see if the sky had fallen…….Well every thing was/is OK, but I’m a little concerned. I also own a 2003 Honda Pilot with 175K on it and yes I spent 1300 on the belt and water pump and a couple of coolant hoses @ 100k.


      I hope this Ford engine does not need a similar 100K costly service.


      Cleon
       
    9. Turdle

      Turdle I bake stuff Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I cannot imagine "expecting" more than 100 k miles from a water pump and overhead camshaft drive components, to be honest. After this amount of miles and time it is a gamble to ignore the replacement.
       
    10. Cleon V. Wells

      Cleon V. Wells New Member

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      I wanted to see the water pump Weep Hole that’s located behind the alternator, so I bought an Endoscope on Amazon. The brand name is Depstech and the Part# is 855-5M and the price is 28.99. This camera connects to my computer and allows me to see the Weep Hole on my 2017 Explorer, the hole looks clean. I will check out our 2012/100K Explorer in a couple of weeks and hope to see nothing other then 5 years of dust.

      It’ s interesting that the design of the water pump Weep Hole seems wrong, the fluid exit seems upside down, the hole to the atmosphere is at the top of this ½” diameter port plug (the plug looks like a small freeze plug) not at the lower part of this port plug, this seems to be a mistake. But what do I know.


      Cleon
       
    11. Cleon V. Wells

      Cleon V. Wells New Member

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    12. ERUSH97XLT

      ERUSH97XLT Active Member

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      It seems there is a handful of good "checks" here to make sure coolant isn't diluting the oil - and if it is we can observe it and arrange a repair. I'll have to keep this in mind to periodically check the coolant levels and oil quality. My '13 has about 75k miles so I'm starting to sweat anticipating a pump failure.

      What do you all think of periodically pressure testing and observing the weep hole? I understand there are o-rings that insulate the pump from the crank case as well as the pump from the weep hole - not sure if a pressure test could cause a failure - maybe if the pressure gets too high.
       
    13. sheltonfilms

      sheltonfilms Active Member

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      That's why you only pressure test up to like 15 psi. Cooling system gets pressurized by running the engine. If it wasn't coolant would boil at a lower temperature.
       
    14. Cleon V. Wells

      Cleon V. Wells New Member

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      The problem with a pressure test and watching the Weep Hole for coolant is that you have to fill the water pump Weep Reservoir first before seeing a coolant leak. This Reservoir is created by having the outlet hole on the "top side" of the coolant Reservoir freeze plug. . ( but what do I know and now I know) , 8>) This Reservoir is a Green idea that keeps the occasional water pump coolant drip from hitting the ground, this Coolant Reservoir allows a small coolant leak to just evaporate in the side of the engine block.

      I got the 2012/100K Explorer home last night for its trip to the dealer for the recommended 100K coolant change. I took some time and looked at the Weep Reservoir outlet with the endoscope and was pleased/relieved to see no evidence of a coolant leakage. I also removed some coolant ( a red tint ) from the radiator reservoir , it looks clear/transparent/new.

      I just talked to the dealership about the 3.5 water pump problems and they said that they have only seen this water pump problem on the police vehicles with high mileage / driven hard. I wonder if there are more problems with the Eco engines then un-boosted engines because of high RPM (faster is better) causing water pump cavitations , causing a pump shaft seal failure, causing pump shat bearing failures causing a greater seal failure causing ----- ?


      Cleon
       
    15. sheltonfilms

      sheltonfilms Active Member

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      Yeah but you can still check for a pressure drop.
       
    16. Cleon V. Wells

      Cleon V. Wells New Member

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      good point on the pressure drop, but I assume it would be a sizable leak to see a change in the pressure gauge and with a larger leak there would be coolant coming out of the Weep Reservoir opening.
       
    17. ERUSH97XLT

      ERUSH97XLT Active Member

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      I had a slow leak in my Ranger that I thought was the water pump based on the sludge around the weep hole. Pressure tested it and it turned out to be a cracked thermostat housing. Huge pressure drop when tested and coolant was bubbling out of the crack.

      I would expect a very slow pressure drop with a pump bearing seal failure depending on the severity. I would think that consistent examination of the dipstick, oil cap, and coolant reservoir would be a good proactive practice. If you're extra diligent, a pressure test at every oil change could catch it, too.

      I had a highalnder once that consumed about a quart of oil a month, and I've gotten used to checking the dipstick at each fill up. Not a bad idea while you're standing around waiting.
       
    18. sheltonfilms

      sheltonfilms Active Member

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      A super tiny leak is very apparent when doing a pressure test and leaving it for 30 minutes.

      Since the pressure is mainly from the very tiny amount of air in the system (since liquid doesn't compress) a small leak is quite significant on the pressure reading. You see a big pressure drop on leak with a small tank vs the same leak on a large tank.
       
    19. reserved50

      reserved50 Well-Known Member

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      if theres no coolant left in the overflow, you've done damage or going to. If theres still liquid in it you caught it early. For the external leak you can see it dripping on the a/c compressor and onto the ground, internal leak you will see a vanilla shake like white substance on the dipstick after its been running and the water and oil have mixed. STOP driving:thumbsup:
       
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    20. ERUSH97XLT

      ERUSH97XLT Active Member

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      THAT'S they key once you've confirmed coolant in the oil.
       
    21. ERUSH97XLT

      ERUSH97XLT Active Member

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    22. thefranchise713

      thefranchise713 Well-Known Member

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      ^ It's a good tool but cost prohibitive with every oil change.
       
    23. ERUSH97XLT

      ERUSH97XLT Active Member

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      I'll spring the trap. Is a used oil analysis (UOA) cost prohibitive or cheap insurance? :dunno:

      Here are some thoughts.

      Assuming all the repair work is done by the dealer, it's well discussed that an engine replacement is about $7000, and a water pump replacement is $2000, a difference of $5000.

      A single UOA from blackstone is $28 (unless you buy in bulk). Assuming two oil changes a year for the sake of math, that's $56/year extra per oil change for the analysis. This figure could likely be a little more or less depending your driving habits and if you follow the OLM or time/mileage for oil changes.

      If my math is right, for a UOA investment not to pay back, it would take just over 86 years to spend $5000 on UOAs, suggesting it is more cost effective to have a UOA on each oil change to determine water pump failure.

      For example, if it takes 10 years for a pump to fail and failure is determined by observing glycol in the oil, the total cost would be UOA investment and water pump replacment cost, 10*56+2000 = $2560 total cost, which is well under half the cost of replacing the engine. It would be up to the owner if this cost is worth it considering the vehicle depreciation after 10 years.
       
    24. blwnsmoke

      blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Once it starts leaking internally, you are very short on time before it blows. Unless you catch the timing perfectly, no way an oil analysis is going to save you.
       
    25. ERUSH97XLT

      ERUSH97XLT Active Member

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      So it sounds like by pure luck you could catch it early by observing coolant levels, weephole inspection, milky oil, glycol in a UOA...

      Not much can be done until it's too late...:dunno:

      I wonder if the pump design could be improved by insulating the bearing seal from the crankcase, similar to the old belt driven pumps, forcing only external leaks which would be easier to catch and less catastrophic? Seems this would be difficult given the pulley's location.

      All in all, it seems an internal failure is relatively rare based on discussion.
       
    26. Odrapnew

      Odrapnew Active Member

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      That's what I've gathered. Failure is quick and by the time you find out, damage is done.

      Yes to your first line.
      If you check oil dipstick often, you could probably catch the milky oil, but again, when you have milky oil, it could be too late already.
       

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