Question about 2001 Mercury Cougar

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2001 Mercury Cougar overheating

A month or so ago my 2001 cougar started to overheat slightly. There was a slight leak in the water pump. I replaced that and the belt tension since the bearing was going out. This fixed the leak. My radiator cap top also separated from the bottom so i got a new one as well. Since then, if i drive the car for 30+ minutes, accelerate fast, or drive 45-60 for a few minutes it starts to overheat. It won't go to red, but 3/4 the gauge. If i turn on the defrost on high heat it helps a bit. If i stop and idle, it seems the car start to overheat again until i go about 30 mph, then starts to cool off again. As a whatever test, i took off my radiator cap and drove around like that, and the engine never overheated, sure i lost some coolant out the reservoir from it being open, but the car did not overheat or anything. I put the top of my old radiator cap on, it does not close the system but keeps a lot of the coolant from boiling out. I am currently driving it like this, but do not want to, as i do need to fill it with more coolant every night after work. I am horrible at diagnosing car problems, i'm not sure if it's just a new cap that is needed, though i just got a new one, or if the car just runs hotter than it should, which it seems like it does when i turn the heat on. The fans run constantly, i'm sure my system isn't blocked as i flushed every part of it, or at least i hope that's not it either. I'm pretty lost so would like some suggestions. Even if it as simple as getting another new reservoir cap.

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Did you by chance bleed the air out of the system?

Posted on Mar 20, 2014

  • 2 more comments 
  • Wes Wisz
    Wes Wisz Mar 23, 2014

    I did that, yes. Forgot to add this in my question.

  • yadayada
    yadayada Mar 23, 2014

    I would guess you have leaking head gaskets.

  • Wes Wisz
    Wes Wisz Mar 25, 2014

    Wel, i figured that before as well, but i do not have any antifreeze in my oil, or not burning any oil or any other symptoms of leaking, worn, or blown head gasket. I made sure to check that first.

  • yadayada
    yadayada Mar 26, 2014

    Take it to a shop with a gas analyzer and check the recovery tank for HC's, if they are present then the heads are leaking



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