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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

89 Ford Aerostar, Milky Motor Oil
Q: My ‘89 Ford Aerostar started overheating. I checked the oil level and found the oil looking milky. It turns out that water is mixing with the oil. How is it possible for water to get into the engine? Can this be repaired or is the engine permanently damaged? What is the solution?...Manuel

A: The first thing to do is set yourself down in a good chair. The type with arm rest and a high back. Then check your checking or charge card balance. Why? Because one or the other, maybe both, are in for a pile of hurt and I don’t want you falling and hurting yourself at the same time! Water in the engine oil is a sign of colossal engine problems!

It only takes a drop or 2 of water in the right place to damage an engine. The question is did that drop or 2 make it to the right places?

Before you spend any money on the engine for this vehicle you "must" evaluate the vehicle’s true value to cost of repair ratio.

The concerns; a vehicle that is 12 model years old, has a low resale value. What condition are the other components ( the body, transmission, steering and suspension and brakes) in? Your vehicle type is a labor intensive vehicle. It is difficult to madding to work on the engine of your vehicle. The extent of the engine damage will not be known until the engine is dissembled.

Because of the vehicle’s age the engine is likely to have other parts that are worn and in need of service while the engine is apart. Issue of concerns are the condition of the cooling system (hoses, radiator, water pump), engine mounts, tune-up parts and emission controls.

Performing engine work on a vehicle of your age could easily run over $2,000 and it is likely that $3,000 would disappear pretty quickly. Keep in mind that the vehicle will not be worth any more after repairs then it was before the problem occurred.

So before deciding on repairs, take a good look at your problem and maybe invest a small amount of your hard earned money into a vehicle evaluation and possible exploratory on the engine. Then compare the real cost of repair to the vehicle’s value.


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