greg pettit wrote:Disclaimer: I have never worked on a Contour.......
Many newer cars are using a water pump with a plastic impeller that is pressed onto the steel shaft. This impeller gets brittle with heat and age, and can break, crack, or otherwise become disconnected from the water pump shaft.
Disconnect the upper radiator hose with the cooling system topped off. Fire up the engine. If you get water flow out that top hose, the pump is pumping.
Any way you look at it, though, that engine's days are numbered. Assuming it has a 3.0 V6, the head gaskets are not only due for a failure from normal use by now, but they have been overheated big time.....they may already be toast.
Thanks Greg! I finally did a google search on overheated Contours and you're right...it's almost got to be the water pump. I've worked on a lot of cars, but I've never done a water pump on anything newer than probably a 1990...what, a plastic impeller? WTF
. I'd never seen a water pump with a plastic impeller before, so I just wasn't thinking the water pump would just break like that. Ahhh, modern technology
. It's not the 3.0, it's actually the 2.5 six...same engine family I think. The car actually runs and drives just fine...it just overheats. But, with 122K on it, who knows how many miles it has left on it. On the bright side, most of those are actually highway miles...I used to have a 40 mile round trip commute I made with that car, and it racked up a lot of miles pretty fast.
I think I'll just fix the water pump and go with it...if it dies, oh well. I've gotten a lot of good use out of it.
Thanks for the tip though, I think you're right on the money!