Quaker State HM 5w/30 4,872 OCI Ford Windstar 3.8L

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Jun 25, 2009
Would love any insight. This is my first UOA. The report mentions possible coolant. Curious if it is coolant shouldnt Boron also be high or possibly water? Also what else could cause the high sodium/potassium? Typically I do around 5k OCI but admittedly the oil filter change was an every other change so the filter had nearly 10K miles on it which I can see was not a great idea. Thanks for any input.

Were you low on coolant at all?

As you can see from this one with same oil Sodium and potassium are almost nothing.
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Originally Posted By: ZZman
Were you low on coolant at all?

Nope coolant levels looked good. Nothing added when I checked for the oil change.
Come to think of it, I did add 1 can of Seafoam, 1/2 in fuel and 1/2 via pcv valve due to a 1537 code. I had the manifold removed and cleaned but still was tripping the code and did use a can of Seafoam. Doesnt that have high sodium and potassium in its mix?
Nope. Ford 3.8's are known head-gasket eaters. You might be seeing this coolant leak just as it is starting, and no AF loss is noticeable.

Before doing a repair, you want to make sure, so I'd run a couple more 3-4k OCI's, with UOA's, to monitor for coolant.
There weren't many of these engines that didn't have head gasket problems. Unlike GM's issues with intake gaskets that rarely seemed to create any engine damage if fixed, the Ford 3.8's were known to fail catistrophically, taking out the engine as they dumped the antifreeze into the engine (I remember seeing one that must have just blown driving on the highway...a cloud of white smoke pouring out of the exhaust...driver was clueless or simply intent on driving it until it stopped...my guess is they only made it a few miles at that point). Once this happens the engine is toast. Owners of the engine I know that managed to have new head gaskets installed before the worst happened reported that the new gasket lasted only a short time until they started to go too. There was a real design problem here that Ford never really resolved (updates to the engine in the later 3.9L and 4.2L versions used in the Freestar are OK as far as I know). Like GM, Ford kept cranking these out for years and never accepted responsibility for the obvious design defect and the associated cost to owners...the failure rate was extremely high. I'm a minivan lover from way back but avoided these vans due to the engine issue. If you do a little Googling regarding the van (or engine) you'll see how bad it was (the engine was also installed in the Taurus, Mustang and other vehicles). I don't know if Ford (or someone else) ever developed a head gasket for these vehicles that would hold up.
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