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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everybody,

In the last few months I've been noticing that my coolant seemingly disappears without any logical explanation.

I am driving a 2011 Ford Focus Titanium (1.6 Ecoboost) with about 25k on clock.

I have taken the car several times to my trusted local mechanic/garage for other repairs and jobs and mentioned this to him and there were no signs of any leaks after they pressure tested the system.

What I've been doing in the mean time is topping it off with distilled water and have had no performance/overheating issues.

Here's what I know/what I have checked so far

No sludge on oil cap.
No odd coloured smoke from the exhaust
No signs of any oil in the expansion tank
No smell of coolant either

That is however until this Monday gone I noticed I had no heat coming through the vents despite the engine being up to temperature and the climate control was set to "HI". Checked the expansion tank and noticed it appeared to be empty [???:)][???:)] so topped it off this morning. I'm now getting heat again.

The odd thing is I have checked for obvious signs of a leak, so has my mechanic several times over yet we've found nothing.

One thing I did notice was the large rubber seal inside the expansion tank cap was very badly perished and had come away from it's housing. I have ordered a replacement Official Ford cap and it should be here on Monday.

I've attached a picture of what I mean for anybody who might know. Could it be that the coolant is evaporating/boiling away through the dodgy seal?

Really worried about this..
 

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Old Phart
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Bad seal on the cap could allow it to spew coolant at any time, and possibly allow overheating as well since the system wouldn't pressurize properly.

You need to add concentrated coolant equal to the amount of water added to get the system back to normal concentrations, too much water added reduces both the boiling point & freezing point of the system as well as possible added corrosion from large amounts.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies guys.

Replacement Ford Expansion Tank Cap came on Saturday so I have topped the coolant off as advised.

Filled her to the MAX line and have checked the tank when the engine was cold and so far so good.
 

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Thanks for the replies guys.

Replacement Ford Expansion Tank Cap came on Saturday so I have topped the coolant off as advised.

Filled her to the MAX line and have checked the tank when the engine was cold and so far so good.
By "as advised" I hope you mean you are adding antifreeze to the correct concentration like Sailor mentioned.

Have you tried leaving the car running, well beyond getting to operating temp, in your driveway and then checking for coolant on the ground? There aren't to many places that missing fluid can go. Either into your oil, into your exhaust or on the ground. Also, be careful not to let it get that low again; you run the risk of warping your head or other serious engine damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes as Sailor advised.

Tried that many times, including at the mechanics and nothing was coming out. I honestly believe it was down to the perished o-ring seals on the expansion tank cap.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Car is still losing coolant but albeit at a slow rate, so I've got her booked in to the mechanics a week today.

Getting an ever so faint smell of maple syrup coming through the vents when the blower is on but it seems to be totally random, not bearing any relation to how hot/cold the engine is.

Today my problems just doubled. After a few relatively short journeys with no issues my car was incredibly rough when starting up to go to work tonight. The check engine light was flashing.

Killed the engine for 5-10 minutes and fired her up again and not a single issue.... Coil pack and all 4 sparks were replaced in November as it was misfiring then. Could it really be those again?
 

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Kind of sounds like a heater core issue, might not have had enough coolant in the system before to notice the smell coming through your vents.

Would definitely check the area surrounding the core to see if you have some evidence of leaks. Not entirely sure where the heater core is in this car, but if it's anything like a Mk2 Golf/Jetta, have fun!
 

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Car is still losing coolant but albeit at a slow rate, so I've got her booked in to the mechanics a week today.

Getting an ever so faint smell of maple syrup coming through the vents when the blower is on but it seems to be totally random, not bearing any relation to how hot/cold the engine is.

Today my problems just doubled. After a few relatively short journeys with no issues my car was incredibly rough when starting up to go to work tonight. The check engine light was flashing.

Killed the engine for 5-10 minutes and fired her up again and not a single issue.... Coil pack and all 4 sparks were replaced in November as it was misfiring then. Could it really be those again?
Same car here in the - Non US

To cut it short:(Ford denies the problem being world wide)
Huge Recall in the US for cars with 1.6 ecoboost:Ford Escape (Kuga II) and Fusion.
Problem: the Engine may overheat and the car (Escape) can catch fire.

FIX:
-First aid - Updating engine software.
-Final fix - Replacing Cylinder Head to G version

Focus Ecoboost 1.6l cars, were sold in my country in very small numbers but i already know about 3 cars with same problem under 45k Km.
From my experience, the coolant level, drops with or without coolant residue being spotted on the cap or the top part of the expansion tank.

To know real engine temp - enter Test Mode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHQaGxJInpk

More Info:
http://www.examiner.com/article/ford-announces-fix-for-1-6l-ecoboost-engines-2013-escape-and-fusion

http://www.fordescape.org/forum/engine-technical-discussion/37978-long-term-reliability-1-6-l-ecoboost-engine-2.html
http://www.fordescape.org/forum/2013-escape-general-discussion-forum/17369-2013-1-6-coolant-leak-2.html
http://www.fordfusionforum.com/topic/13633-2013-16-coolant-leak/

GP
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Issue rumbles on.

When the mechanic checked her over a few weeks ago she didn't lose any coolant whilst the engine was up to temperature. No signs of any leaks according to my mechanic.

Their next plan is to leave the car with them over night, to see if it leaks when the engine, pipes and other parts are cold. Logic being that if the metal/rubber is warmed up it naturally expands.

Another thing I've noticed is that the levels in the expansion tank dramatically drop off (like 2-3 inches below min) if the weather has been cold/frost overnight.

My issues with the car continue. She now hesitates noticeably when accelerating to motorway/highway speeds (60-70 Mph). No engine lights come on but when it first happened it was VERY unsettling. If I keep on the gas the hesitation goes away and it pulls like normal again. There is no hesitation during town driving through the gears. Doesn't seem to idle roughly either. Could this be related to the coolant?
 
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the 1.6 L ecoboost engine is well know for having issues with weak castings of the cylinder head, that would micro crack.
have your tech pull the plugs. pressure test the system. use a bore scope down the plug holes to look for droplets of coolant on the piston tops. if found ford supplies "here in the usa anyway" what is known as a service long block engine as the fix, the head only is shown as a discontinued part use this! the long block
found this out when my 13 escape's 1.6 was doing the same thing, loosing but not seeing any leakage
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for your reply Charlie.

My mechanic did that and said they found coolant in cylinder #4 only. No leaks in any of the other hoses/joints. What I found strange was his reluctance to confirm if it was a crack in the engine block or a blown head gasket. Their receptionist even said it's not worth fixing!??! They were quoting me fees of £1500+ to get it fixed.

I'm taking her in to another mechanic on Tuesday morning to get a 2nd opinion on this matter.

If there is a crack in the engine block or head gasket surely there would be other things going on or is that not the case?

Engine is only 26k miles so is it common for the cylinder head castings to fail on a car of this age?
 

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Thanks for your reply Charlie.

My mechanic did that and said they found coolant in cylinder #4 only. No leaks in any of the other hoses/joints. What I found strange was his reluctance to confirm if it was a crack in the engine block or a blown head gasket. Their receptionist even said it's not worth fixing!??! They were quoting me fees of £1500+ to get it fixed.

I'm taking her in to another mechanic on Tuesday morning to get a 2nd opinion on this matter.

If there is a crack in the engine block or head gasket surely there would be other things going on or is that not the case?

Engine is only 26k miles so is it common for the cylinder head castings to fail on a car of this age?
You are doing the right thing getting a second opinion! If they cant even tell you definitively whats wrong, how can they quote you a price? Sounds like they just don't want to deal with it; they may lack the expertise.
 
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if they found coolant on one piston it could be 1 of 2 a head gasket or a cracked head either way the only way to be sure is to pull the head a major job, check for warpage, then magnaflux the head to look for the possibility of cracks,
the focus is not like the early 13 to 14 escapes with 1.6L ecoboost motors that had poorly cast heads that caused the many recalls so no one can say for sure why it happened.
 
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