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Hi, I was really hoping I could get some help on hopefully diagnosing my car. Here's the story...I recently bought a 92 Mercury Sable from my grandmother that had been sitting in her driveway for about a year. The car has previously had the waterpump replaced. When I got the car we immediately got an oil change. For about 2 weeks I had heat in the car but it took a long time to heat up. The needle showed the appropriate tempature. Then all of a sudden I had no heat. I know nothing about cars, so unfortuantley I waited about a week and half before we put antifreeze in the cold fill section. After that the car had heat for about 2 days. Then, out of nowhere the car did not start. We had a stranger try to jump the car with a portable jumper? It didn't work so my fiance tried to start it again and it worked but then we noticed there was no heat coming out. The next day we replaced the thermostate. The car still took some work to start needing gas at the time of ignition and then there was a huge amount of exhaust. We took it the next day and got a power flush and the technition said there were air bubbles they had to work out, but it was looking good. When I went to leave the shop the car did not start and they jumped it. When I left I still had no heat, but the temp gage was not good but okay and I still had a HUGE amount of exhaust. I let the car run for about 45 minutes the next day and as I pulled out of the drive the car died again, but restarted. The exhaust is still huge and smells like antifreeze. I know this is a lot of information, but any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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what engine do you have? if it is the 3.8 essex it is sounding like a head gasket failure they are notorious for this
 

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From the info and history you supplied, I'd have to guess that you have a blown head gasket.
From what you said, it sounds like the cooling system had not been purged. There is an air bleeder located on the engine at the thermostat housing. Since a water pump cannot pump air, the engine couldn't circulate water thru the engine or the heater. This explains the lack of any heat. When you drove it, it probably got hot enough to warp or crack one of the heads.
Or, when the water pump originally failed, the car was ran hot. Causing the head gasket to blow.

You can have a shop perform a "Cylinder Leak Down Test", which will determine exactly where the coolant is escaping from. For coolant to exit from the exhaust, there has to be a failure in the head gasket between a water jacket and a cylinder (warped head), or a failure between a cylinder and a water jacket (cracked block), or a failure between an intake port and water jacket (cracked/warped intake). A failure between an exhaust port and water jacket results in water out the exhaust, but not a lot of steam.

For a quik self-check. remove the spark plugs one at a time. Any plug that is unusually clean (water will de-carbonize a spark plug and clean it), or any plug that comes out wet, is a sure sign of trouble.
Also, make sure the oil has not been contaminated with the water. It will look like a chocalate milkshake if water gets in there (gasket failure or crack between an oil passage and a water jacket).

Lefty
 

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A '92 Sable would more than likely have the 3.8 so if the car has low mileage on it it's almost certainly a head gasket.
 

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^^^^^ +1
 
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