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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday my wife brought to my attention that the heater was no longer blowing hot air and she wondered if she accidentally hit something to turn it off.

I took the car for a drive and confirmed that on the highest fan and heat setting it was only blowing cool air. I checked under the hood and found that the antifreeze/coolant reservoir was completely empty. Of note, this is a 2015 MKC Reserve with just over 3000 km's on it.

I brought the vehicle by the local Ford dealer and they added over 2 litres of coolant to top up the radiator and reservoir. They told me to drive it for the weekend and keep a close eye on the fluid level. The heat did return to the vehicle once the fluid was added.

I did not notice any significant movement on the temperature gauge and did not get any sort of warning indicating a low coolant level.

Obviously I have some sort of leak because antifreeze does not magically disappear in a closed system. I haven't noticed any orange fluid in the driveway which leads me to believe that I may have a small leak in the engine (head gasket perhaps) and the fluid is getting burned out the exhaust. This is a worst case scenario for a coolant issue.

Has anyone else experience anything similar? I'll keep you all posted.
 

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Couple of things geezer; When you're driving the car, are you smelling a sweet smell inside the cabin with the heater running and fan at medium speed? You can actually taste it through the cabin air... Also, have you noticed and strange "fogging" on the lower inside windshield? (smears when you attempt to wipe it off).

If you answered yes to any of those 2 questions,you may possibly have a heater core or/inside hose connection leak.
Do a stone cold test: making sure the car has set overnight (you want the engine to be stone cold), open the hood and open the antifreeze reservoir ....rock the car back and forth a few times while keeping your eye on the reservoir and see if you notice any air bubbles coming up to the surface ( after the dealership topped the antifreeze,it should have been bled to remove excess trapped air in the system).

Using a Marker, put a small check mark on the plastic reservoir where the antifreeze level is, close the reservoir lid...and go for a drive, make sure the system has come up to full temps before you return back to your garage....while out driving, cycle through the heat settings; feet area only,middle, and top (defrost), and run the fan on high while doing this....this will help remove ANY remaining air in the closed loop system.
Head back and park the car and leave over night again,(obviously, on level ground) the following day, pop your hood and take a close level look at where the antifreeze is sitting compared to the marker you put on the day before...if the anti freeze level has gone down anywhere between 1/8" to a 1/4" it might be a blown head gasket (highly doubt it). report findings to your dealership if that is the case for further investigation.
Hope this help you out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for taking the time to reply Candy.

I marked the level this morning and took the car for a 15 minute drive. Temperature gauge was up to the normal (middle) range. Ran through all the heat options with the fan at full. Once I returned home and opened the hood I could smell coolant but could not notice any obvious leaks. The coolant level dropped about 1/8". I'll be contacting the dealer on Monday to book an appointment.
 

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beginning to sound like a blown head gasket....did you notice any steam rising after you parked and opened up the hood? that would indicate it's NOT going in the cylinders.
 

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Well, they need to pressurize the system and see how much it drops/hr...( leak down test) if it is a blown head gasket drop would happen fairly quickly.The feed hoses would be clamped and tested first...that would clear weather it's a clamp/hose leak....if that passes they would usually pressurize the entire system, if the drop is rapid they would most likely look at the head gasket...a full visual inspection would first take place (under pressure)...first and foremost the water pump and connections...they may proceed with a green fluorescent dye test. They need to first rule out if the leak is external ( hoses, clamps, water pump, heater core and reservoir ) or internal (head gasket, water galley,)...it's hard to assess without proper diagnostics geezer.
Have you noticed any temp spikes on the temp gauge while you were driving? When I mentioned "steam" I also meant opening up the hood and smelling that sweet smell of antifreeze OR minimal steam rising to the front of the motor (left side).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Have you noticed any temp spikes on the temp gauge while you were driving? When I mentioned "steam" I also meant opening up the hood and smelling that sweet smell of antifreeze OR minimal steam rising to the front of the motor (left side).
We haven't noticed any spikes in the temperature gauge. It's cold upon start-up and settles into the middle once warm. Yesterday I did notice an antifreeze smell upon opening the hood.
 

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Then I would first take a closer look at the water pump....after it has reached operation temps....sensor readouts are a bit less than actual "core temps"....core temps usually are closer at a 20 minute drive, where the engine block has reached max temps.....anti freeze thins out making it more "watery" at it's highest temps, this is when a leak (with the added closed system pressure) will produce or show a leak...I've seen water pumps that showed zero leaks,then shut engine down and you'll notice droplets coming out either by the bearing or the weep hole(s)...which is why a florescent green dye is your best bet at locating them...
These 2.3 eco boost engines are not that high compression to start with ( turbo application usually calls for lower compression) so short of a defective head gasket I cannot see how with normal driving, you would blow a head gasket.
Something tells me it could very well be your water pump.....what is your original mileage?
I also have seen perfectly good condition radiators spring a bottom leak, either due to a bad solder air pocket or a flying rock striking a rad core copper hose...I'd start with the most obvious and as a last resort, head gasket.
geezer... you could try and go over the engine bay compartment, with a good flash light, look at the water pump,look at the very bottom of your rad....run your hand over hoses,a close inspection of your thermostat housing...just make sure the car has been running for a while and everything is warm....when you shut it down,wait a few minutes before you examine the water pump.....everything is pretty tight (seals) so it will take a minute or two before liquid start to go through the seals,and at best, a sporadic odd drip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Overflow refilled on Feb 22 to the max level. Empty again this morning.

Brought into dealer today. I'll keep you all posted.
 

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Please do,geezer...did they add a fluorescent dye to the refill? When you do a startup, have you smelled the exhaust for any smell of anti freeze? (sweetness).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Please do,geezer...did they add a fluorescent dye to the refill? When you do a startup, have you smelled the exhaust for any smell of anti freeze? (sweetness).
Pretty sure they just topped it off both times. I have smelled the exhaust and haven't noticed any sweet smell. I have however smelled antifreeze under the hood after shutting it off and opening it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
A pressure test on the cooling system was done and a large leak was located at the block heater where it connects to the block. Block heater assembly and wire replaced under warranty. I guess the sound dampening in the undercarriage kept the coolant from dripping into the driveway when parked.
 

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Glad to hear it got located and taken care of,wow block heater....that unit goes inside the block to keep the rotating mass somewhat warm, and keeping the oil from turning into thick grease,usually there is a cork gasket between the two,glad you're back on the road geezer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just an update...

We received recall notice #16S14 for blocker heater replacement. Keep an eye out for it. It was likely the cause of our issue.
 

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Glad to hear it got located and taken care of,wow block heater....that unit goes inside the block to keep the rotating mass somewhat warm, and keeping the oil from turning into thick grease,usually there is a cork gasket between the two,glad you're back on the road geezer.

Last thing I saw with a cork gasket was the rocker covers on my 1963 Buick Riviera!
 

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I just had my block heater recall done last week......and FINALLY yesterday my Mustang GTCS got the Takita airbag replaced! Amen to that nightmare!
I guess nowadays instead of cork they use an "O" ring blankster!
 
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