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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, there:

I have a 2001 Mercury Sable. I have found that the coolant level gradually lowers. Also, there seems to be light smoke coming out of the head gasket when the car is cold.

Without an expensive open-engine repair, is there a particular brand of coolant leak repair that might work?

I don't mind try several brands, but it is important that they don't do any harm.

Thanks
 

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Fix it the right way. Those HG sealers are iffy at best and likely wont work for long if at all. Assuming you have a Vulcan HG replacement isnt that bad of a DIY project. Reman heads are readily available for reasonable prices.

Was the engine ever overheated? Overheated Vulcan = warped heads = leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi, Thanks a lot for your comments.

I have a Duratec engine that has never been overheated. In addition to the head gasket, should I be prepared for head replacement?
 

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Duratec head gaskets are a royal PITA to change. Also, Tec HGs are very robust. Personally never heard of a HG failure of any kind in a Tec.

Are you absolutely sure you have a HG leak?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
A mechanics told me that the coolant is slowly mixing with engine oil.

Also, I can vaguely see slight floating smoke rising from the head when the engine is cold. But when the engine is hot, there is no such floating smoke. That is why I am wondering whether adding any sealant into the coolant or engine oil could help.
 

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What does the oil look like? Any tan goo under the oil fill cap?

Does the "smoke" smell sweet?

I would get a second opinion on the source of the leak. As I said earlier, HG issues are very rare to non existent on the Tec. There are many other sources of a coolant leaks that are more likely than a failed HG.

If the problem is really the HG, you likely will be time and money ahead getting a used engine from the JY.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi, I double checked this morning. The engine oil is mostly black, no obvious goo in the coolant tank. The smell is not sweet.

In cold winter morning, there is more white smoke from the exhaust pipe.

When the engine turn on, the light smoke from under the hood more likely comes from the exhaust manifold or exhaust gasket?

Thanks a lot for your suggestions.
 

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Some things I would do if it were mine before I would consider a bad head gasket on a tec
  • verify if the coolant level is actually changing
  • pull the spark plugs and see if one or two don't look like the rest as far as carbon/residue
  • really examine the large coolant hose connection on the top of the block, you might have to remove the upper intake to really get to it but that can be done at the same time you are pulling the rear plugs.
  • from underneath really examine the heater hoses where they are mounted to the firewall. they have a metal section that is prone to corrosion and could leak.
  • consider getting a bottle of UV dye added to the coolant. if there is an exterior coolant leak it will glow under a black light and save a lot of time finding it.
 
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