Question about 1996 Ford Mustang

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Steamy car window

Heat was funky 2 weeks ago-took a while to do it's thing-smell of radiator fluid-funky heat but still heating-radiator fluid blowing out of cap,leaving a dribble trail sometimes-now leaking onto drivers foot a bit and steamy, really steamy when getting on freeway-no leak on passenger side-may leak radiator fluid from hose on the bottom of radiator-engine did get "cooked" a bit awhile back-car stopped counting mileage as well recently-bought a Heater Core bypass connector, not sure if that's the way to go,could be a blown head gasket doing the "using up radiator fluid method of death". Summer is near and it would be Great if I could get 6 Months more out of my car. Engine can be a bit "chuffy" when started until I gun it a bit. I bought an Air Filter as well and feel it wouldn't be bad to get a new Radiator Cap too.

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  • Ford Master
  • 45,659 Answers

I would not waste money on a radiator cap. The motor is shot ( probably a blown head gasket or cracked head) You probably will get weeks or until it blows up and the highway patrol puts you off the road with a hefty fine to boot.

Posted on Mar 29, 2014

  • 4 more comments 
  • Brooke
    Brooke Mar 31, 2014

    Hello Bill, I was wondering if bypassing the Heater Core would help at all. Drove again today starts up nice has good power was fine until the return home and started to steam again from upper heater vents, radiator fluid drivers side and passengers this time. Looked under car and fluid seems to be coming from firewall and is on undercarriage as well. No blast of radiator fluid top of engine, could this mean Heater Core (yeah) or Head Gasket (boo). I plan to bypass HC in the morning and I guess if it is a Head Gasket I can fix that but not a cracked Head.

  • Brooke
    Brooke Mar 31, 2014

    PS I pulled right off the Freeway, before-didn't really get on it and won't do that again unless it is just the Heater Core. No release of Radiator Fluid from cap, and top Radiator Hose was soft not hard. Thanks for the first answer.

  • Bill Boyd Mar 31, 2014

    2 things to do Have a pressure test done on the cooling system to find the leak. Probably a bottom hose or the bottom tank split. As to the heater take a hose of the heater core and reattach it to where the other heater hose is attached to the motor/ head. Next have a compression test done to check for gasket or cracked head

  • Brooke
    Brooke Apr 02, 2014

    So, I bypassed the Heater Core and no more steam machine but as I was getting to know my engine I noticed a small hose that has broken off. The hose seems to have come with two female connectors attached-1 unit. It is the size of Perciatelli Pasta,funny but true. I have looked this up in my Chilton Guide and on line multiple ways. Went to auto parts store nothing matches- no hose no connector. I took one of the nipples in for matching got a hose that might work if I could adjust the nipple part-tossed it in my bag to work on when home, when I was driving off my brakes were super stiff so I put the nipple back on and brakes were back. The connector has a hole in it-followed the hose to the second connector which is on the passenger side. What is this hose and should I re-connect them? Thank you

  • Brooke
    Brooke Apr 02, 2014

    This hose comes from the top of the engine-driver side- runs next to firewall-connects to passenger side upper mid engine.

  • Bill Boyd Apr 02, 2014

    if it affected your brakes ,I am thinking a vacuum line to the brake booster. the other hose may be for the vent controls under the dash



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Check to see if your water pump is leaking radiator fluid through the weep holes, or maybe a wore out drive belt. good luck.

Posted on Mar 09, 2009

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SOURCE: Coolant Problems

Hi there. It sounds like you have done the most obvious checks and I can assure you by-passing the heater core will have no effect. There are three possible causes that you need to investigate further and you will need specialist equipment for it - you either have a hair-line crack in the head or cylinder wall or it might be that the head bolts are stretched and therefore weakened and so need replacement. To help you identify these aforementioned possible problems, you might need a specialist fluid that you put into the cooling system which changes colour when combustion chamber pressure enters the cooling system, you need to contact your local Ford Dealer for this - but then you still have the three possible problems to deal with - cracked cylinder wall/s, cracked head or stretched head bolts. Hope this helps, Scottech.

Posted on Jun 17, 2009

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