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Burgundy17

Water Pump Failure Prevention

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I have a 2017 SEL FWD with 5000 miles on 3.5 engine. I decided to get the 3.5 because it has a longer track record. I knew before I bought it about the internal water pump design. Talked to the service department at my Ford dealer about it. They said they do not see an above average incidence of failed water pumps. When they do see a failed water pump it is usually over 150,000 miles.

 

For maintenance they suggest changing the coolant every 30,000 miles. I asked if the owners manual had a typo. The service schedule says change at 100,000 miles and every 5000 miles after that. They said they never heard of that. They always tell their customers to change it every 30,000 miles.

 

So that is the plan. I will change coolant every 30,000 miles and change oil every 5,000 miles with synthetic oil and use Motorcraft products. To everyone here does that sound like a good preventative plan for avoiding water pump trouble? I know nothing is guaranteed but I want to do what I can to prevent the problem.

 

I also want to understand the cause of this problem. I know when the water pump fails the coolant mixes with the oil and ruins the engine. But why does this happen? Do impurities in the coolant and oil cause the water pump to fail? Do the impurities degrade the seals and allow the mixing? Since I have a tow package does the larger radiator help prevent a water pump failure by preventing overheating?

 

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Mac has a fantastic tear down video of the water pump and shows exactly how it fails. Here's one of them:

 

Edited by fishx65
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As always, you can never guarantee that a water pump won't fail but you can do all you can to prevent it. I also do 30k intervals on my coolant changes and 5k intervals on Mobil-1 full syn and a Mobil-1 High Mileage filter. PTU is every 20k, RDU is 50k, and ATF is 30k.

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I have a 2017 SEL FWD with 5000 miles on 3.5 engine. I decided to get the 3.5 because it has a longer track record. I knew before I bought it about the internal water pump design. Talked to the service department at my Ford dealer about it. They said they do not see an above average incidence of failed water pumps. When they do see a failed water pump it is usually over 150,000 miles.

 

For maintenance they suggest changing the coolant every 30,000 miles. I asked if the owners manual had a typo. The service schedule says change at 100,000 miles and every 5000 miles after that. They said they never heard of that. They always tell their customers to change it every 30,000 miles.

 

So that is the plan. I will change coolant every 30,000 miles and change oil every 5,000 miles with synthetic oil and use Motorcraft products. To everyone here does that sound like a good preventative plan for avoiding water pump trouble? I know nothing is guaranteed but I want to do what I can to prevent the problem.

 

I also want to understand the cause of this problem. I know when the water pump fails the coolant mixes with the oil and ruins the engine. But why does this happen? Do impurities in the coolant and oil cause the water pump to fail? Do the impurities degrade the seals and allow the mixing? Since I have a tow package does the larger radiator help prevent a water pump failure by preventing overheating?

 

 

 

 

I think there are some differing opinions as to what can be done to improve the life of the waterpump - if that is even possible...

 

The reason the waterpump starts leaking into the engine is because the bearings wear out and the shaft starts to wobble / get loose. When the shaft is moving around that much the seals cant do their job, and since the cooling system is at a higher pressure than the crankcase, coolant pushes into the engine.

 

I don't have a waterpump in my hands to take apart and look at but it would seem logical to identify if the bearing is sealed. I believe it is normal these days for most waterpumps to have sealed bearings.

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Burgundy17, you cannot go wrong with the maintenance intervals you have specified. Yes, the tow package will help with the cooling system, but the fluid change frequency is still key. As far as impurities, those are created during the life of the coolant due to degradation of the additives (mostly). Bearing failure or death wobble is also a contributor to WP failure. So it is important to keep the timing system clean (regular oil changes with quality oil) so it stays in shape and thus it does not put undue stress on the WP bearings. Of course if you do a lot of sudden acceleration/slowdown, mechanicals being what they are, there will be moments of slack/uneven tension in the chains, putting extra wear on the WP bearings. So don't drive it like a racecar all the time, LOL. Rush hour traffic with fast speedups and sudden slowdowns can be heck too.

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Thanks for posting the video Fish. Very informative. ( Thanks MACT for making it in the first place :) My Ford dealer gave me a free oil change for my first change on this vehicle and I asked for full synthetic. The rep seemed exasperated but did it. I was told the blend is 85% synthetic already and full synthetic not needed. Don't know if that is true but afterwards it seemed the Edge was quieter and quicker or smoother. Is that just my imagination? Anyone else experience this? If full synthetic creates less impurities over the synthetic blend and helps forestall water pump failure I am ok with the extra cost.

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full synthetic oils do make a difference even in the naturally aspirated engines. if you plan on holding on to the Edge for a good bit of time, full synthetic is a cheap cheap investment. Go to any auto parts store. Look at the price difference between synblend and full synthetic. Plus Mobil1 and Pennzoil/Quaker State usually have some rebates running at some point during the year. Good time to stock up and save some green.

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I have a 2007 that originally came with the yellow coolant. I did not know that Ford stopped recommending this coolant shortly afterwards. I had 110,000 miles when it let go. If I knew about the new recommendation i probably would still have the original water pump. I bought this car at 75000 miles and should have had all fluids changed. I just did the tranny and all normal stuff without thinking about coolant. MY Fault. I'm at 125,000 and after the winter I will do the tranny and the coolant plus all other fluids. (Oil is about 5000 miles on Mobile 1) I can go longer on the oil but I won't. Thank God it's FWD and i don't have a PTO (POS) to worry about. All things considered I think this is probably one of the best cars I have ever had. No rattles No squeaks Nothing weird or unexpected. The only two repairs that are notable are front axles DIY for under $120 both sides and the really painful water pump.@ $1700. I like the fact that i have no monthly payments.(Guess I can live without a digital dash. I do have a new Nav head with built in pandora and all kinds of good hands free stuff.)

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Allowing the coolant to become old and acidic contributes to the break down of the rubber seals. I paid to have two water pump water jet cut in half. The seals on both had failed and caused water intrusion into the bearings. The bearings are not sealed but are lubricated with the engine oil. Lack of frequent oil changes with good oil and frequent coolant changes can dramatically cause the failure. Once one small nick occurs in the bearing or race the water pump will fail. The seal is a wire reinforced layer rubber seal pressed onto the shaft with a metal collar. The design has not changed from the 1st gen to the 1.5 gen and I will assume it has not changed for the 2nd gen 3.5.

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I put about 10000 to 12000 miles a year on my Edge with about a 80% city,suburban drive at 25 to 45 mph and a 20% highway drive 65 mph and above. With my planned change schedule of 30,000 miles is that too infrequent? Since the acids in the coolant cause the seal to break down, instead of changing the coolant every 3 years maybe I should change it every 2 years? How good is the Motorcraft coolant these days?

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This qualifies as special operating conditions/severe duty application. Coolant change (meaning flush) at 30K is fine, starting from the beginning, not waiting 100K for the first time.

 

Green and Orange MC coolants used in the Edge have had no issues. Only the Gold used in older MY vehicles caused any issues. If you do a coolant flush, you have the option of either Motorcraft or aftermarket extended life coolants that meet the Motorcraft spec. If you only drain/fill, stick to using the Motorcraft Orange.

 

Oil & filter ... you will want to track engine hours between oil changes and not exceed about 100 hours or so.

 

And definitely don't overthink this schedule, too easy to do :)

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My coolant is never new but never old. I drain and fill about once every 3-4 months and continue to do so. I drive a lot so 3-4 months might be year or two for some folks. Either way I am using Peak and the Ole LU still has the same Waterpump at 227,000 miles. I also have used about 15 or so different synthetic oils in LU. With even more to come. I use cocktail mixes usually 6 different oil brands each time.

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One possible negative aspect to using different brands of motor oils in the same engine at the same time is to provide an over abundance of certain additives.

 

Here's a good article from Popular Mechanics on motor oil. You might find the paragraph titled "More is Not Better" explains this better.

 

How To Pick The Right Motor Oil For Your Car: https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/a53/1266801/

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When it is time to change the antifreeze I am planning on taking it to Ford. They do a flush. When it is older and has more miles is a drain and fill preferable?

 

I do not see any information about the location of the 2.0 engine water pump. I assume it is external because it does not seem to cause engine failure problems.

 

Does the 2.0 have any situation comparable to the 3.5 that results in catastrophic engine failure?

 

From my reading the gen 2 uses a new and I assume improved coolant (It is a different color anyway). It also has new water pump bearings. I have not read anything about a new seal. How helpful will these new tweaks be in preventing water pump failure? Any guesses? Ford tweaked and tweaked the trans on the Focus but never totally fixed the problem.

 

Interesting rumor. 2020 Ford explorer will be RWD and will presumably have external water pump. The trans mounted 3.5 engine did not leave room for external pump in engine bay.

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Ford can make a good product. It just seems to be a roll of the dice. If you are unlucky enough maybe poor initial engineering and poor quality parts make for the perfect storm. We have a 2002 Ford Windstar with 190,000 miles. Original engine and transmission. Runs good. Has its idiosyncrasies. Power drivers window sometimes only goes partially up. Have to bang on the door to get it to go up all the way. LOL Anyway the Windstar has a bad reputation but it has been good to us. All recalls preformed. Biggest expense for us was replacing the lower control arms and some suspension parts at 170,000 miles. Our good luck with the Windstar is why we kept buying Fords. Rust now is taking its toll. I don't know how much longer we can keep driving it.

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The 2.0 water pump is external. Engine damage would be due to turbo failure most likely, but no noticeable trends.

Edited by WWWPerfA_ZN0W

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My 2011 3.5 with orange coolant went 142,000 before watrepump failure. Mine did not leak coolant into the engine. $1800 at the dealer and they replaced one short timing chain and some chain guides. Coolant was not flushed until 120,000 so it is probably wise to do it every 30k. The 3.5 is a very good design, with exception to this internal water pump design. Makes no sense to inernally mount a part that is well known to have a finite life span. I personally do not trust these new so called lifetime fluids- coolant and transmission fluid rated to go 5 yrs or 150k- 60 k max on both is enough. Sooner if severe duty driving.

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My 2011 3.5 with orange coolant went 142,000 before water pump failure. Mine did not leak coolant into the engine.

How did you discover it failing?

 

My local dealer discovered that my mkx still had green coolant and (very) strongly recommended changing. This was around 82k if I remember correctly. Said the green wasn't sufficient to prevent corrosion in the water pump and heater core. (Something Ford discovered after my 09 was built).

 

Service agent said changing by the manual was sufficient, I asked to speak with the technician and he said that he would change at 30k intervals.

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I think you mean you had the GOLD coolant prior, enigma. That is recommended to be updated with GREEN to thwart the corrosion issues.

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Ack yes, I had it basackwards. The car came with gold and they switched out to green. Appearently it affects 2007-2009 Edge's and MKXs.

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My daughter was only a couple miles from home and it started to leak onto the ground. She drove it home- grrrrrrrr- and advised me she thought it was overheating.

Luckily it did not overheat much. I did request the dealer do a compression test before repairs and it was ok. I do not recall the readings but they were within 5%.

She now understands that you NEVER drive an overheating vehicle so lesson learned.

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My 2011 came with Motorcraft Specialty Green Coolant. Would I be better off sticking with the Motorcraft or switching to something else????

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Everything I've read says stay with Motorcraft. One point, if you do change, do a triple flush. Never leave any of the old coolant as they don't play nice together and can even turn to goo and clog your heater core and do other nasty stuff.

 

Another thing to consider, if you ever have a warranty claim (extended in our case), and they find a different coolant than what's registered for the car, it's up to you to prove that complies with Ford specifications.

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Just called the stealership to see if they have the specialty green in stock. The concentrate is $38.00 per gallon!!!! Was there ever any theories that a certain Ford coolant wasn't lubing the water pump bearings very well????? If Prestone or Zerex offer better lubrication I wouldn't mind making the switch. I'm way out of warranty.

Edited by fishx65

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