Car People: What does Rusty & Bubbly Antifreeze mean?

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Miracle
06-26-2004, 11:32 AM
So my 2001 Mercury Sable w/~45k miles on it had rusty antifreeze when it was changed. (The mechanic also thought it may be bubbly). What does that mean? Keep in mind, I'm no car expert.

It gets below freezing like 2 days out of the year here in Washington, so if antifreeze has anything to do with freezing I don't think my car has been strained very hard.

But it may have been quite some time since the antifreeze got changed, so I'm wondering what rusty/bubbly antifreeze means. Is my engine damaged?

ZurN
06-26-2004, 11:35 AM
IT means the mechanic wants to **** you in the ass

New Account
06-26-2004, 11:37 AM
well, think about this.

Antifreeze goes through all these little bloodvein type things in your engine and then go back to the radiator to get cooled down.

Where would the rust in the antifreeze come from? Perhaps these tiny capilaries in which water flows through cooling the engine? If they get blocked then your engine is toast & u gotta take it apart to clean it.

The mechanics a ****tard if he cares about bubblyness, he drained it out so he has no clue.

iNVAR
06-26-2004, 12:03 PM
it's probably not rust. it's either engine oil or transmission fluid.

check your coolant again before you drive it. if it changed color again, stop driving your car because you'll really **** something up if you don't fix it immediately.

Horatio Balderdash
06-26-2004, 12:08 PM
If the car is overheating then worry about the antifreeze. If not, then don't worry, be happy. Fill it back up and keep driving until the rad springs a leak. Check the coolant level once in a while is all I would do.

I used to drive a Taurus, trust me, your tranny will gay out on you long before your engine will stop running...

edit: Then again, Invar's scenario sounds plausible too. But short of letting the mechanic take the engine apart, how you going to be sure of what's going on?

BeavisNuke
06-26-2004, 12:11 PM
it means dead iraqi babies are dead

iNVAR
06-26-2004, 12:12 PM
Sorry, but everyone's advice here sucks so far except mine. :shrug:

Also, check your tranny dipstick and engine oil dipstick and see what color the fluids are. If the tranny oil is a weird milky color, that's bad. Same with the engine oil dipstick. If either of them have a weird milky substance, it means coolant is leaking into your tranny (likely that your transmission coolant lines are leaking) or your head gasket is leaking.

Mr Jimmy Pop
06-26-2004, 12:24 PM
if you haven't changed your antifreeze in many years it will most certainly be rusty colored. have yourt radiator flushed, change your thermostat and radiator cap and you should be fine. well unless your system was in such bad shape that the actual flushing dislodges chunks that clog your systems smaller tubes up like the heater core. then your ****ed.

If oil is in your coolant you will not mistake it. It is a nasty looking baby**** brown lumpy goo with the consistancy of mucous on a cold winter day. The mechanic should be able to tell by looking at it if it is oil. if he can't, get a new mechanic.

FiENDx
06-26-2004, 12:57 PM
oil in the antifreeze is the usual answer.

The question is, did he say how much there was? pretty vague for a mechanic.

as for a long time between changes, **** man the car is a 2001. 4 years might be a bit long but not overly long, depends how many miles. I do mine every 40K miles along with the tranny.

typically you will get a foam buildup at the top of the rad and in the overflow as well as a foam in your oil so just watch em both and if you dont see anything, don't worry too much. just check it every couple weeks.

if you start to see something within a 2 weeks then change the oil and coolant and go trade it in to a dealership heh.

Twi$ta
06-26-2004, 12:57 PM
you need some NOS, 2 bottles, the big ones

Reverend Zero
06-26-2004, 01:01 PM
it means dead iraqi babies are dead
Which would make them...Iraqi Zombie Babies!

FiENDx
06-26-2004, 01:01 PM
^ its a almunium engine and rad, the rest is most likely plastic and very little rusting metals in there. ^

.SHiFT6.
06-26-2004, 01:05 PM
was it rust or a real dirty brown color, cuase a couple trucks ive seen had a bad ground and there was an electric current running through the coolant system, which made it a dirty brown color.

Watahboy
06-26-2004, 01:05 PM
Isn't the factory antifreeze in lots of cars red, so that would explain the red color, hows your radiator doing? (just a guess.)

.SHiFT6.
06-26-2004, 01:12 PM
do you use extended life or normal antifreeze

aScotiA
06-26-2004, 01:12 PM
Did you put a lot of water in your car instead of antifreeze if/when you ran low? Is it the 3.0L 4V duratec engine? They're all aluminum, but the other engine(s) in Taurus/Sables have a cast iron block if I'm not mistaken...

Did the car sit for a long time without being run? Or does it sit for longer-than-average durations between driving?

amRam
06-26-2004, 01:50 PM
well, think about this.

Antifreeze goes through all these little bloodvein type things in your engine and then go back to the radiator to get cooled down.

Where would the rust in the antifreeze come from? Perhaps these tiny capilaries in which water flows through cooling the engine? If they get blocked then your engine is toast & u gotta take it apart to clean it.

The mechanics a ****tard if he cares about bubblyness, he drained it out so he has no clue.

Bubbling is actually a huge problem and is a symptom of a blown headgasket... any competent mechanic can tell you that. If bleeding and refilling the system doesn't make the bubbling go away, and a cap pressure test shows good results, your headgasket(s) is/are gone.

Miracle
06-26-2004, 01:52 PM
LOL I'm car-dumb but thanks for the tips.

Whatever it was, the mechanic wanted the car brought back in a few days after driving it around some --- so he could check if something was okay.

The engine isn't the Duratec . . it's a step down (whatever the weakest one is). So its prolly cheap/all steel.

I got the car in late 2002 with about 38k on it; it was formerly a Hertz rental car. Seemed pretty well maintained.

My Dad has a '90 sable with 150k on it that runs pretty good, so I'm mainly wanting mine to last that long.

Moker
06-26-2004, 02:00 PM
it's probably not rust. it's either engine oil or transmission fluid.

check your coolant again before you drive it. if it changed color again, stop driving your car because you'll really **** something up if you don't fix it immediately.
gonna have to disagree with you on this invoor

yeah, he should check his dipsticks to see if either have white goo, then yes, your original thoery is correct, but i'm betting he has no white goo and that it is in fact rust.


btw, i'd go to a different mechanic if i were you morical, the guy you're using sounds like an idiot. bubbles wtf

aScotiA
06-26-2004, 02:08 PM
The regular 3.0L 2V, which is probably what you have, has a cast iron block. That means there's a good chance you could build up rust if the car has sat for extended periods of time with coolant that has high water content.

Like amram said, if there is a constant flow of bubbles in the radiator, and you're not certain if it's rust or oil in the coolant, it's probably your head gasket (buku bucks). Rust in a 3-4 year old sable isn't very common.