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1998 Ford Explorer Question: Leak, over heating, gauge lights on, stalling

 

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Netteb3, 4.0L V6, Pueblo, CO, August 01, 2011, 22:37
 Rookie

My 98 Explorer is doing several things at once: runs from a normal temp to HOT within seconds, overheats immediately, blows wgite smoke from under the hood, check engine light is on (was not in before), "check gauge light stay on when overheating (I hVe only seen this for low fuel), pours out coolant or water, oil gauge flips to low. I topped off the oil and coolant to be safe with no luck. Coolant is sprayed all over engi 0e n once radiator was cooled, filled it with water, ran the truck to identify leak source but it just pours and is hard to tell. When I came to a stop, it stalled. I was able to start it up right away but it sounded like a diesel engine and felt like it wanted to stall again. I have previously had a new radiator installed, new water pump, new connectors, and new battery. What could the problem likely be? Single mom and don't want to be fooled by an untrustworthy mechanic.

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    patrick mannion from Greg Solow's Engine Room, August 01, 2011, 22:46
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     Master

    I wish I could give you an answer but it is so hard to say whats wrong without being able to basic diagnostic tests or be able to experience the problem first hand. It could be a stuck cooling system thermostat but it sounds a lot more serious, the source of a coolant leak must be identified and repaired but if the vehicle has overheated badly have a simple chemical test called a "block test" down it is cheap and simple. It looks for the presence of carbon monoxide in the cooling system which would only be present if the head gasket was blown.

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    Netteb3, August 01, 2011, 23:01
     Rookie

    Oh yippie! Would a repair like that even be woeth it? Or would it be best to retire the vehicle and stop dumpingoney into it while I'm ahead (In your opinion)?

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