Question about 1997 Mercury Villager

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1997 mercury villager mini van

74,000 miles
problem was a few days ago, we checked the fluid levels, it was low on coolant, so we added that. After driving some and coming home all coolant leaked out on driveway. Wasn't a whole lot in driveway, but enough to wonder what happened. While driving it started to overheat. But was able to get home not a problem. Checked and the coolant lid was popped off. Filled coolant back up, put cap on tight, rechecked that. Drove again and w/in 3 miles van overheated and then started to stutter. I would imagine the fuel pump wouldn't work if the computer is overheated, causing it to stutter. Pulled over, turned off car, checked engine, cap was still on this time. Let it cool off for a couple minutes. Tried again, turned the heat on full blast, however only cool air came out, no heat. Car would stutter if you tried to give it gas, drove home at 5-10mph for 3 miles to get it home. My thought is the thermostat needs to be replaced. Anything else it could be? Should it just go to a shop and let them start throwing parts at it that it may or may not need? Can't really afford that. Would like to replace parts myself, but not sure where thermostat is or how to get it off and back on. Does it need a gasket kit or not?
Thanks if you can help

Posted by on

  • emmedix Nov 22, 2008

    Here is what happened thus far. I found 2 "mechanic's". They took out the old thermostat, put Blue Devil in it, which was not cheap, 60 bucks. After that, they let the car run for an hour w/ the heat on. Said they would be back today to put the new thermostat in. But we could run it for short trips if needed before they put that back in. Well, not long after the car ran for the hour, we went about 2 miles and it started to overheat again. But this time when we put the heat on, it did drop a little bit, but we still drove home just to be safe. The guys are to come back and hook up the pressure tank to it to check for any leaks that the Blue Devil wont seal. Then we will take it from there.

    But thank you so much for the above information, it sure is helping us!

    Michelle in FL

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I proceed with cauation when advising the owner to repair when they have never repaired before. Yes, your problem may very well be a thermostat, but it could also be a blown head gasket.

With the engine running, check the tail pipe to see if there are any water dropplets coming out. if there is, it is A good sign of a blown head gasket.

Replacing a thermostat is not a simple as one would think. Even before changing a thermostat or anything for that matter, you need to have a pressure test done on the cooling system. This is a small pump that one attaches to the radiator and applies pressure to the cooling system to see if there are any leaks.

I would recommend this. Take you van to an independent repair shop and talk to the manager and tell him that you want a correct diagnosis first, even if you have to pay for it. Many shops will diagnosis the problem and charge you a standard fee. It is then up to you to decide what you want to do from there.

Remember, the correct approach to any problem is a correct diagnosis.

Do not tell the shop owner what you think is the problem or what you think should be changed. Just tell them how it acts and then let them earn their money, but above all, emphazise the fact that all you want is a diagnosis.
Bill

Posted on Nov 19, 2008

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Wouldn't hurt, expense wise, replacing the thermostat, probably other problems also, but good place to start. The thermostat should be near the front of the engine. You will usually get a new gasket with the thermostat but make sure you check.

Posted on Nov 19, 2008

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