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Coolant gunk

(1999 Ford Taurus)
in San Mateo, CA on April 26, 2010
I recently found my engine coolant tank empty. I filled the tank with Prestone antifreeze (and didn't dilute with water).
Later, I checked the tank, intending to add water, but found about 3 tablespoons of brown gunk at the top of the tank. I spooned this out, and added water, but realize I have a problem.

Apparently I have loosened up some rust in the engine? How can I best recover? Is it possble to flush the system, or must I also replace the radiator. Or is the problem hopeless, and maybe I should simply junk the car.

The car has 90K miles on it, and also has an oil leak, A/C problems, needs brake work, and soon will probably need a timing belt.
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Popular Answer
on April 27, 2010
This may be a sign of oil in the cooling system from a leaking headgasket, intake manifold gasket or oil cooler. I would get this diagnosed before doing any other repairs, you may be looking at a big repair (head gasket job) and it's best to address that first before other repairs.
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