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Discussion Starter #1
3.8 overheating

well more overheating problems.... this time i lose heat sometimes, but sometimes it works.. usually around the time i lose heat the car temp starts going to the red and tells me to check gauges. but i have overheated this way without the heat on at all. so i popped the hood and the overflow tank cap had been popped off an coolant was overflowing out. what could this be? headgasket? or thermostat. or something else


my car is a 3.8L cougar 1994
 

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sounds like a good 'ole headgasket to me. My friend had to same problem with the temp fluctuating on his bird so I gave it a look and sure enough both headgaskets were bad and he also cracked a head and warped the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
any idea how much this is going to cost me? will a mercury dealership charge me more than if i take it to some regular mechanic
 

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You have to decide if you cougar is worth saving because that is atleast a 1grand job
 

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x182dan said:
You have to decide if you cougar is worth saving because that is atleast a 1grand job
Dealer, at least that... I did the head gaskets on my father's '98 Windstar (3.8), and the cost was just under $200 for all the gaskets and bolts from Dan....
 

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if you can do it yourself its not bad but if you pay someone labor is going to be a lot
 

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Discussion Starter #7
yeah i dont know how to do it myself.. i think the car is worth 1 grand tops after fixing it.. so if i get rid of it soon i can just break even,,, i think i need to take a mechanics class or something, i cant keep affording repairs all the time cuz i dont know how to fix it myself
 

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my 93 bird is doing something similar....i'll let it warm up for 10-15 minutes but the temp gauge won't move. i drive for a while and the heater blows cold air on me. after a while the temp gauge starts making it's way all the way to the top and the heater finally blows warm air. eventually the gauge will return to normal. very odd, but the car runs just fine.

i'm taking it to ford tomorrow /me prays it ain't the headgaskets

<----poor college student
 

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Discussion Starter #9
drumtboy said:
my 93 bird is doing something similar....i'll let it warm up for 10-15 minutes but the temp gauge won't move. i drive for a while and the heater blows cold air on me. after a while the temp gauge starts making it's way all the way to the top and the heater finally blows warm air. eventually the gauge will return to normal. very odd, but the car runs just fine.

i'm taking it to ford tomorrow /me prays it ain't the headgaskets

<----poor college student

that is EXACTLY what my car did... an it was the headgasket.... one thing to check is ur overflow for the anti freeze... mine built up so much pressure that it blew the cap off an was spilling anti freeze all over the place..
 

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im sorry, if you are building pressure enough to pop your overflow cap, then you need to make sure your fan is coming on, if your h/g is blown, then the coolant would end up in the oil, more often than not ... as far as the heating issue, if there is no coolant in the heater core, then it won't heat the air ... when cold, put a coolant system pressure tester on it, and pump it up to 15 lkbs, if it holds, then your problem may be in your radiator cap ... if it doesnt, further investigation is required. .... typically, you might find a leak somewhere in the cooling system, namely freeze plugs, radiator, or possibly even the heater core ... dont freak out yet, chances are real good it could be something silly ... i have been battling my freeze plugs in my Stang for awhile now .... check your oil for presence of antifreeze, and do the pressure test .,... oh, and pressure test your cap too, just to be safe ... worst case scenario is a popped H/G or blown heads ....
 

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update to my previous post: i took it to ford today and it turns out i had an air pocket in the cooling system. don't ask me how it got there, must have a small leak somewhere...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
thumphed said:
im sorry, if you are building pressure enough to pop your overflow cap, then you need to make sure your fan is coming on, if your h/g is blown, then the coolant would end up in the oil, more often than not ... as far as the heating issue, if there is no coolant in the heater core, then it won't heat the air ... when cold, put a coolant system pressure tester on it, and pump it up to 15 lkbs, if it holds, then your problem may be in your radiator cap ... if it doesnt, further investigation is required. .... typically, you might find a leak somewhere in the cooling system, namely freeze plugs, radiator, or possibly even the heater core ... dont freak out yet, chances are real good it could be something silly ... i have been battling my freeze plugs in my Stang for awhile now .... check your oil for presence of antifreeze, and do the pressure test .,... oh, and pressure test your cap too, just to be safe ... worst case scenario is a popped H/G or blown heads ....
well i took it to have it fixed an the mechanic said it was the headgasket so he did all that. hope he was honest after reading this..i already replacaed the radiator cap before this was taken to the mechanic.. i think he used some guage on the exhaust an said it was losing compression? i dunno.
 

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the compression tester hooks up through the spark plug holes, they disconnect the ignition and crank the engine over. the compression psi should hold if everything is ok. if compression is lost it may be piston rings, valves, or head gaskets.
-mike-
 
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