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Old 01-07-2013, 05:40 PM   #1
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'03 F250 using antifreeze?!

We took off on our trip several weeks ago and went up the mountain for SC to NC. I have towed it many times. This particular trip was a bit cooler than the norm.
As we made the summit, my check gauges alarm broke the laughing of the wife and kids off.
I looked and my temp was pegged. Pulled over, steam everywhere. Shut the old 250 down and opened the good. No blown hoses, water coming from around the radiator cap(1 year old), and the boiling noise.
After sitting for 20-30 minutes, we started down the hill into Tuxedo, NC. No problems. I made the gas station and they only had a gallon of Green antifreeze.
Waited for a few more to facilitate cooling. Limped into Hendersonville to WallyWorld. Bought a gallon of orange gold, Still low, back for two more.... Almost used all 3.
Point- no blown hose, slight smell of antifreeze shortly prior to uh oh, 3 gallons low. Reservoir appeared full at preflight. Where did that $&@"@&$ go?

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Old 01-07-2013, 05:48 PM   #2
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Kinda sounds like your radiator cap is not working properly?

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Old 01-07-2013, 05:52 PM   #3
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Which engine?

You mention lots of steam. That was probably where it went, but you will have to find the reason for the overheat (thermostat, head gasket, broken belt, etc.)

Your description of the internal boiling noise, and the amount of coolant that you lost means it got VERY hot, and possible internal damage took place.

It's very important to change the oil right away, as it gets badly cooked when you have a major overheat. Look for signs of any coolant in the oil when you drain it. If you see any "vanilla milkshake" when looking into the oil filler with a flashlight, there may be internal damage to the engine.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:01 PM   #4
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Problem I had with my 7.3L 2002 the coolant tank developed a crack right at the seam. Under pressure it would open up and let a little coolant vapor leak out. I finally found it when I had the tank filled above the seam level and had the engine hot. It was spraying a very fine mist from the seam.

Do not get a coolant tank from the local Ford dealer....BIG $$$$. I got the part number from the local dealer and then shopped it on line and found another Ford dealer that would sell it for about 60% of the local dealers price.....plus no sales tax.

If it is the 6.0L, get the coolant system checked. They have a bad habit of stretching head bolts and blowing head gaskets.


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Old 01-07-2013, 08:21 PM   #5
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If it is the 6L diesel, both the EGR cooler and the eng. oil coolers had issues.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:32 PM   #6
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^ X2, hope we're both wrong however.
The above post is just my experience/opinion which is worth exactly what you paid for it.

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Old 01-07-2013, 11:27 PM   #7
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Yup- the 6.0

I have replaced the oils and EGR coolers with the bulletproof stuff, a year ago. I am running Rotella Full Synthetic Oil.
Oil looks good, haven't seen any problems since that trip. Drove it to work this AM cause the Subaru sunroof stuck open 😡.
I will check the reservoir when it gets to temp and replace the cap again.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:47 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by HTFireMedic View Post
Drove it to work this AM cause the Subaru sunroof stuck open 😡.
No emergency close? Our Hondas have a crank to use in an emergency like this.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:12 AM   #9
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Nope- they replaced a fuse though. I looked for an hour for a fuse box for the thing- glad my buddy owns the dealership. Got out wo a charge!
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:08 AM   #10
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Bullitproof stuff is good and supposed to fix the issues, that said the coolant res. is a problem also, hope your problem is an easy and cheap fix.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:09 PM   #11
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Do you now have mixed color coolant?? See this web site for a discussion on different coolant and the problems that could develop. 6.0 Powerstroke Diesel Three F's... Fluids, Filters, & Fuel (Video 1 of 3) -- POWERSTROKEHELP.COM Had a Jeep that always lost coolant, never saw water on the ground or a leak anywhere. The problem, blown head gasket.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:23 PM   #12
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Might try Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com

Lot of info on 6L
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:39 PM   #13
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Ouch. Hope its something small.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:39 PM   #14
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I have a 2004 f250 with 42,000 miles not to many but, about 2yrs ago I was going down the road not pulling anything but,like your truck I saw it was running really Hot. So I lucked out the first time and was close to a ford dealer.It ended up being a broken hose clamp and it didn't do any damage about a year later it happen again and so happen I wasn't close to anything but, I had a cooler that was full of ice so I slowly put it in the radiator and made it to Advance Auto and did another clamp.I now check them very often.I was told at the Ford dealer you would have to just about have to let it freeze up to do a whole lot of damage.Good Luck and many safe travels.

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