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Chris (aka- Moose)
Chris (aka- Moose), Mercury Technician
Category: Mercury
Satisfied Customers: 47945
Experience:  16 years experience with Mercury
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I have a 99 mercury cougar 2.5L. The engine seems to heat up

Customer Question

I have a 99 mercury cougar 2.5L. The engine seems to heat up pretty quick within first few minutes of drivng (from cold to normal operating temp). And afte driving for a 10 min I get this burning smell and sometimes smoke from the engine compartment (like overheating smoke). But the temp gauge stays at normal - never goes above normal. I've tried check coolant temp on the display (diagnostic mode) and it reads as high as 226 at times. There's coolant in the reservoir and there's no smoke from exhaust. Engine light is on.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mercury
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 1 year ago.

Do you know what codes are stored?

Have you tried a new thermostat and coolant flush?

Do the cooling fans work?

Have you checked for any debris on the exhaust system possibly to blame for this smoke?

You want a excellent 5 star answer & I would like to be rated the same for providing it. Consider I don't know your skill level & I can't see, smell, hear, or touch the vehicle. It may take a few back and forth replies. Try your best to respond with good detail so I can do the same. I normally log in at 3pm and work late. A rating is required. Your rating me, what I type. I am not an employee of this website, nor have control over the fees or the time it took to get a response. If you rate negative or not at all you still paid, but I get nothing. I want you pleased with me and my efforts, so let me know if your experience here has come up short.

Thanks Chris

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The thermostat had been recently replaced. Fans work. When engine starts to heat up - such as waiting in drive thru line, smoke will come out (sometimes), but as soon as fans kick in, no more smoke and smell clears up. No obvious debris in the engine compartment. No visible coolant leaks. Parked, after reving engine for a couple of minutes (already hot), I can get it to start smoking - smoke seems to come up directly from top of engine - intake manifold. Can't visibly pinpoint where its coming from -- there is no obvious point of origin. Again, temp guage gets up to normal temp and doesn't get passed that. I don't have a code reader, that will be next step. I've worked on 4 cyl cars before and it's much easier to find problems like these, but this V6 makes the engine compartment very tight. When running AC on normal (not max), the burn smell comes into the passenger compartment. When set at max, AC is fine with no smell. Have read that could be head gasket, but car only has 86k on it and there's no smoke from exhaust. Any thoughts?
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 1 year ago.

I am going to need to know what the smoke is from. It has to smell like something. It almost has to be coolant or oil to blame.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Smells like plastic/coolant - like when a car is overheating
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 1 year ago.

You need to look under the intake and try to see if there are fluids visible from a leaking valve cover or intake gasket.

I doubt it is plastic since that would eventually stop or actually flame up, it would have to be on the exhaust to melt and burn plastic.