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Running rough then dies
1999 Mercury Villager

Running Rough then dies

(1999 Mercury Villager)
I have a 1999 Mercury Villager. Car had been running a little rough at idle for quite a while. Months. Not to bad, then once going - no problem.

Then quickly it would start running rough at any speed, then rougher and then die. Would start and run rough right away and then die. If I let sit for approx. 5 hours it would start and run ok for a short while and then die.

If I left overnight and started up, ran great, then rough and then die.

I suspect there is coolent getting into one or more of the cylinders.

Car does not overheat.

I did notice the reserve resavoir was low. Added fluid to it and the radiator.

If I start and let it idle the Hot air from the heater never gets hot, even though the radiator is full.

Any ideas?

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Popular Answer
The most accurate way to test for a blown head gasket on a gasoline engine is to test for the presence of carbon monoxide in the cooling system. Snap-On, Matco (part # CO 2000), and Napa sell a tool to check to carry out this test. Another link to a supplier of this tool is http://www.etoolcart.com/combustion-leak-detector-lis75500.aspx. Carbon Monoxide is only present if there is a blown head gasket or cracked cylinder head. http://www.arrowheadradiator.com/head_gasket_or_combustion_leak_test.htm I think the napa part number 700-1006. http://www.blockchek.com/instructions.htm . Signs of a blown head gasket are coolant loss (frequently have to top up the coolant level of the engine without seeing an obvious leak), experiencing over heating or rough engine running or the presence of white sweet smelling steam from the exhaust. A badly blown head gasket may allow engine coolant and oil to mix.
Your engine has an ignition distributor. Take the cap off and look for oil or burning marks inside the distributor its self, the cap and ignition rotor.
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General Diagnosis
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The most accurate way to test for a blown head gasket on a gasoline engine is to test for the presence of carbon monoxide in the cooling system. Snap-On, Matco (part # CO 2000), and Napa sell a tool to check to carry out this test. Another link to a supplier of this tool is http://www.etoolcart.com/combustion-leak-detector-lis75500.aspx. Carbon Monoxide is only present if there is a blown head gasket or cracked cylinder head. http://www.arrowheadradiator.com/head_gasket_or_combustion_leak_test.htm I think the napa part number 700-1006. http://www.blockchek.com/instructions.htm . Signs of a blown head gasket are coolant loss (frequently have to top up the coolant level of the engine without seeing an obvious leak), experiencing over heating or rough engine running or the presence of white sweet smelling steam from the exhaust. A badly blown head gasket may allow engine coolant and oil to mix.
Your engine has an ignition distributor. Take the cap off and look for oil or burning marks inside the distributor its self, the cap and ignition rotor.
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