Ford Focus ST Forum banner
1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi guys,

2013 Focus ST3 175,000kms oil changed every 7000kms with syn and Motorcraft filter, Coolant and brake fluid just flushed at 170,000km with Ford fluids, bone stock.

It's currently -15c so the snow hasn't melted from the driveway, today I noticed a yellow slushy spot in the snow with a few small drips in line where I backed the car up. I lined it up with the rear tire mark in the snow and oddly it looks like it's dripping from the bend in the exhaust where it turns up to go into the muffler. This seems like a logical place for it to collect and drip. I confirmed by getting under the car to see the droplets. There were no other spots near the front of the car. Coolant tank has coolant but it's below the minimum, which it was when I picked it up from the flush (been meaning to top it up, but there is absolutely coolant in there.

So, where does this leave me? I suspect from the panicked searching I've done it's time for a new turbo as the seal is gone? The car runs normally, makes all the boost, fuel mileage and misfires are all within the normal range. Oil is clean and so is coolant, no blow by and no bubbles in the degas bottle. Hard to tell with our low temps if it's blowing white smoke as everyone car right now looks like it has a coolant leak haha

Am I ok to drive the car, keeping an eye on the coolant level or am I at risk of hydro locking or damaging the catalyst? I really don't want to wrench on this thing in -15c temps.

Thanks for any insight and sorry for the block of text.
 

·
Registered
2018 ST1 Magnetic Gray
Joined
·
829 Posts
If, it is the turbo seal, there is a possibility that you will be mixing coolant with oil. Check the dipstick for coolant/oil mixture. If, it is a cracked head leak you may not have the milk chocolate mixture, depending where the crack is located. But, it can grow and start leaking coolant inside the engine. Either way, not a good proposition. Needs a pressure test to find out the leak. Do not drive the vehicle if oil/coolant mixture is present. Coolant is not a good engine lubricant.
 

·
Registered
2018 ST1 Magnetic Gray
Joined
·
829 Posts
I should be able to tell on the dipstick if there's coolant mixing with oil eh?
Unless it’s a minor amount. But, you are saying it is going all the way to the back of the exhaust, so, it should be a substantial amount. Check the spark plugs too, in that case it could be a head gasket. In that case the engine should hesitate at some degree.
 

·
Registered
2018 ST1 Magnetic Gray
Joined
·
829 Posts
It looks like normal oil. So, I’m inclined toward the head crack by the exhaust port. But, I could be wrong. A 109,000 miles, not a showroom mileage but not too bad.
 
  • Like
Reactions: badwithcomputer

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
are you loosing a lot of coolant?
Well, not that I've noticed. I remember I added a bit when I first bought the car over three years ago when it was at minimum thinking it was low, but I've never had to add any since. Then I had a coolant flush done about a month ago, I got it back and it was at minimum and have been meaning to add some but it doesn't look like it's gone down much since the coolant flush but I think it has gone down. I can confirm I can still see coolant in the tank though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I would wait it out a couple days and keep an eye on the coolant level. All we know is something yellow landed under your car in an odd spot. For all we know a coyote relieved himself there one night.

Is your coolant or age or yellow?
haha I like your optimism! Unfortunately I did catch it dropping from the exhaust. The new coolant is the Ford Yellow.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,732 Posts
draw a line on the tank, compare with the engine at the same temp over a few days.

If you're seeing it out of the exhaust its either the turbo or the head, but you need to run a coolant system pressure test. If the system doesn't hold pressure something is leaking, then you need to somehow narrow it down to the turbo or the motor.

you have a lot of kms on the car, but not really all that many to be honest. Hard to say, you'd have to start ripping stuff apart to really know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
just an update, had a drain pan under the car all night in the spot it was coming from before, was bone dry, no other fluid in the driveway, coolant level still seems the same. Could it have been just a fluke that it got so cold so quick and a seal somewhere expanded letting coolant by?
 

·
Super Moderator
2014 ST3. Garrett GTX2860R Gen 2. FBO
Joined
·
7,180 Posts
So you need to top off the coolant NOW. Our systems only hold 5 liters, so we need all the thermal absorbtion we can get.

Also, something really strange i noticed a couple years back is when 409 exhaust pipe with a layer of rust on it gets wet, it forms a yellow drip.

Once you top coolant off and mark the resevoir as others have suggested, and drive a few days to determine if the level is dropping or not, I'd seriously consider the possibility that its just the weird yellow water dripping off the pipe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok so I completed a compression test, it went very well. See pics below:
#1
#2
#3
#4

These are my plugs, 4,3,2,1 gapped to .30
https://i.imgur.com/bZG68Es.jpg

The coolant was a hair below the minimum line, which I'm really not sure it was much higher when I picked it up from the shop. I topped it up anyway and marked it. I'll report back in a few days.
https://i.imgur.com/j1eJTIu.jpg

Thanks for the help everyone up to this point!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,732 Posts
Here's a short video of morning start up in -20c temps. Cloud clears up after about 1 minute. Would coolant vaporize that early on with the exhaust this cold? I would think the coolant would have a higher vaporization point and would appear later in the run time?
Its hard to say, that does look excessive even for that cold temperature. Though it seems to even out as it warms up.

next move would be coolant system pressure test, see if the system hold pressure. Are there bubbles coming up from the coolant reservoir with the cap off and the motor running?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Its hard to say, that does look excessive even for that cold temperature. Though it seems to even out as it warms up.

next move would be coolant system pressure test, see if the system hold pressure. Are there bubbles coming up from the coolant reservoir with the cap off and the motor running?
I'll check again now that it's topped up!
 

·
Super Moderator
2014 ST3. Garrett GTX2860R Gen 2. FBO
Joined
·
7,180 Posts
A video! And you say you're bad with computers!

This is normal. So, notice there is no steam when you initially start and exit the car. At this time the car is in catalyst warmup portion of the fuel strategy. Its running rich. There is no steam, only a very light haze of black smoke that you can see in person. When it transitions over to normal fueling strategy is when AFR goes Stoichiometric and the steam happens.

If you had leftover coolant collecting and burning off, it would begin immediately.
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top