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My highly reliable 1998 Taurus with 180k had an overheating problem a couple of months ago. It finally got so bad that I couldn't drive more than 5 miles without it running low on coolant. Rather than diagnose it myself, I took it to an expert backlot mechanic. The problem was a worn out coolant fan. He replaced the whole unit for $200. It now runs great again. So check that out before doing engine work.