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Fiesta Finesse 1.3 Duratec 52 plate coolant problem

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Hi, I am new to this forum and am desperate for help or suggestions. Car belongs to my son and has developed a major problem since being at garage. It went in to get the water pump changed as the old one was worn out. The garage had to fit a new ford thermostat housing as the old one

broke when removing pipes. They then could not get water to circulate and heater was cold. They found a thick creamy brown liquid in coolant system which it has always been like for the last 4 years of ownership. It was topped up with Ford antifreeze and the thought was this had a reaction with what was in there. Gentle air pressure was put through the heater and seemed to clear this. The heater now gets hot as before anything was done. The car however boils after about 8 miles and so the radiator was replaced as it was thought this may be blocked. After trying it this morning it is still the same. The top hose to radiator is warm and the bottom one is stone cold but the water in expansion tank is boiling. All parts were brand new, radiator, water pump and thermostat housing and the system has had about 30 gallons of water through it.The coolant now looks like it should do, but the garage has spent 10 hrs on it and frankly is at a loss for ideas. Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated as there is 11 months MOT and a bill approaching £600, so I can't afford to scrap it.

Would it be worth trying another thermostat housing or can the thermostat be removed t see if water will then flow through the radiator?

Edited by Rogg2
Not sure if this in the right forum

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On 11/01/2017 at 9:45 AM, Rogg2 said:

can the thermostat be removed t see if water will then flow through the radiator?

The thermostat on the 2003 1.3 engine seems to be a standard insert type, it should be a 5 minute job to remove it, Maybe the thermostat housing is wrong, or badly fitted and blocking movement of the thermostat?

They seem to have tried everything else. After thermostat, it comes back to water pump again, possibly. If the engine is boiling, then the heater should be boiling hot as well, if the pump is ok, I would have thought.

I am a bit surprised that they just topped up a sludgy brown coolant, rather than renewing it. The antifreeze is a vital corrosion inhibitor. The Ford OAT stuff is long life, but many are just 2 year life. If in doubt, change it should be the rule, corrosion damage can be very expensive! Heaters, radiators, cylinder heads etc.

Why they did not test or back flush the radiator rather than replace it, I am not sure, though at garage rates I suppose there may not be much difference. But they don't fill me with confidence. I once took a car of mine for a new radiator (under warranty) to a dodgy garage (the car was a bit cheap!), they emptied the coolant into a very oily & dirty tray, did the radiator, went out the back, and came back with a jug, and refilled the system with dirty oily gunk! I had to drain & clean it after I found what they had done.

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