Re: 1990 Taurus LX engine problem
Most times if you have a blown head gasket, you will see it in the oil. Pull your dipstick and see if the oil looks milky. If it does, thats typical of a blown head gasket. Other signs to look for is temperature not holding steady no matter what speed you're moving. I had a '92 T-Bird that had a 3.8 in it as well. I don't know if its the same engine but I would have to imagine that they are very similar and those engines are notorious for blowing head gaskets. When mine blew, I couldn't keep a steady temperature on the guage. It would go all the way from the bottom to the top and then back again. Some less expensive things you could check would be the thermostat. My girlfriend has a '90 Sable with the 3.0 in it. It gets very hot and I suspect that the thermostat is stuck closed. As for your coolant leak, we would notice that my girlfriends car would leave a little coolant puddle in the garage under the passenger side as well. When I opened the hood, I discovered that coolant had sprayed all over the place. I hosed off the engine bay at a car wash and then drove the car for a little while to see if I could spot the leak. I had guessed previously that it was a leaky radiator cap and after I had everything cleaned up I was able to see that I was correct. $5 for a new cap and that fixed it. Let me know if theres anything else I could do to help and good luck.
94 Thunderbird LX