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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

'97 Ford Pick-up, Troubled -- Waters

Q: I have a '97 Ford pickup, and what I thought was the battery, turned out to be water in the engine My question{s}How costly is this to repair, and can I do it myself?

- Sherri

A: My question is was it water or coolant? There is a big difference in what it takes to correct the problem. I can see the heads shaking now wondering what I mean by water or coolant. Apparently the reason you thought it was your battery at first was because the engine would not crank or turn over. This condition is a result of hydrostatic lock. What's hydrostatic lock? In basic terms, liquids cannot be compressed. Under the right conditions if a liquid enters the cylinder of an engine, the piston will stop in its tracks. You can put a 10 foot bar on the engine and jump up and down for all you're worth and the engine will not turn. From the driver's seat the engine will act like the battery or starter is bad. Back to water or coolant. If coolant is entering the engine then the engine will have to be disassembled until the source is found. If it is, in fact, water then you must look at the cowling (the finned part in front of the windshield) as the source and the intake manifold gasket or fuel injector seals as the path into the engine. I can hear the "yea rights" now, but I have to tell you if you remove the spark plug and clear water exits you better be looking at the intake or injectors. Today's engines use alloids and gasket materials that change at amazing rates with temperature. Water is one path, coolant is another.

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