'97 2L petrol - symptoms of water pump failure? - Waino
Oh dear, it's the old Mondeo this time!

I've noticed over several months that the temperature gauge has been slowly rising when I've been in slow traffic. Then this evening, after about 20 miles of a 30 mile journey (freezing cold weather), the temperature of the air from the heater seemed to drop and the temperature indicated by the gauge started to rise. When I arrived home, I lifted the bonnet and the fans cut in, though a few seconds later when I looked at the gauge again, it was in the middle of the dial. The expansion tank felt cool.

The car has done 145k miles, and I wonder if this is likely to be a sign that the water pump has packed up.

Any opinions would be very welcome. Many thanks, Waino
'97 2L petrol - symptoms of water pump failure? - Screwloose

Possible loose pump impeller; could, just about, be caused by a sticky thermostat as well.
'97 2L petrol - symptoms of water pump failure? - Waino
Thanks, SL. I'll let you know how it develops.
'97 2L petrol - symptoms of water pump failure? - Waino
Oh dear! I had a look in daylight this morning and the water reservoir was empty. On my local trusted independant's advice I filled it with water (it took almost 6 pints), started it - it seemed fine - and ran it over to him. The 'long way round' gave it a 9 mile run.

He strongly suspects a head gasket failure as there was an excess of steam present at the end of the exhaust pipe. On Monday, he will check for CO levels in the water reservoir to confirm HGF. There were absolutely no signs of any 'external' leaks.

I hesitated at the likely cost of ~£600-650 as it will shortly need a replacement cambelt - but, when he explained that he'd be doing the cambelt/kit at the same time, I reckon I may as well go for it. I know the car is a bit ancient but it has been running pretty well - 37mpg etc!
'97 2L petrol - symptoms of water pump failure? - DP
The water pump is driven off the auxiliary belt on the Zetec-E engine, so any leaks from it should have been visible when your mechanic inspeacted it. Unlike on my diesel where it's tucked away behind the timing belt covers and soaks the cambelt and the inside of the covers first (and then snaps or chucks off the cambelt when it seizes or the bearings collapse!)
Also, when the water pump started to go on mine (diesel) there was an audible fairly low pitched "chattering" noise at idle, which seemed to go quieter with revs. And that was over the din of an idling 1.8TD so should be much more easily heard on the quieter Zetec.
The test your mechanic is doing on Monday should confirm whether it's HGF or not.
It must be the season for mk2 Mondeo cooling systems to act up! :-(


'97 2L petrol - symptoms of water pump failure? - Waino
I picked the old Mondy up this afternoon.

After the 'sniffer' test for CO and other investigations, the HG was found to be leaking on to no 1 cylinder. Fortunately (or, "unfortunately" as my wife would say - 'cos she wants me to get a new car), I had spotted it in time so the engine didn't cook.

The total cost including a new water pump, cam belt, pressure testing/re-facing of head, labour inc vat came to £784. The cam belt was about due for a change, anyway.

Only time will tell if I did the right thing in getting the work done on a car of this age. If the weather is inclement tomorrow and I can't get out to work, I'll tot up the running cost figures + depreciation on the Mondeo vs those on SWMBO's Focus. I've a feeling that these costs are running neck-and-neck when comparing the newer, still-depreciating Focus with the higher maintenance costs of the old, already-depreciated Mondeo.
'97 2L petrol - symptoms of water pump failure? - DP
If you like the car, and it's otherwise in good nick, you did the right thing. Yes, 784 notes is a lot to lay out on a car of this age, but what would that buy you if you added it to whatever you could sell the car for? The answer is nothing significantly better, and every chance of taking on someone else's old problems.

When you're dealing with an older car, knowledge of its history, and experience with it are everything.

I still think the petrol mk2 Mondeos are some of the nicest driving and most solidly made cars for anything like the money.

'97 2L petrol - symptoms of water pump failure? - crunch_time
I had a similar problem. The sniff test confirmed a slight (slow to register) hg leak, and the engine was overheating on short journeys.

Against my natural instincts I added a bottle of K-Seal and it's cured the problem - so far anyway!


Value my car