I've had a '92 Taurus GL Wagon for about 10 blissful years, but today after a
quick trip to the store, white smoke started coming out from under the hood
after what sounded like a loud grinding along with a sparking/sizzling sound.
This happened while I was idling in the parking lot before heading home. The
car had been running maybe three minutes, with the windshield defogger on. I
turned the car off immediately, popped the hood and smelled something burning.
There was an oily/wet look to the lower left hand corner of the engine, where
the yellow P/S tank is (I say tank, I really have no idea what it is, the
reservoir?). I checked the coolant and oil levels, tightened the P/S cap and
took the chance to wait a while and drive home.
While the "spitting" and smoking didn't start again, the engine is still warm to
the touch after four hours. The drive to and from the store is only about a
mile and the car rarely gets that hot.
So what could this be? I've never been to any of my local garages other than
for emissions inspections and am officially piss poor at the moment*, so I have
to be careful what I'm doing here.
I fear getting my hands mangled in the belts, so I probably won't be doing any
repairs myself, but I really would appreciate any ideas and help.
Also, in the past ten years I've only had the belts changed once, the oil
changed every year (I don't drive much) and the transmission line was changed
about two years ago. Nothing, other than the work done by Ford for the recalls,
has been done to the car, so any ideas on what I should be getting changed would
*Since new years, I've had a water pipe freeze/burst in my laundry room, the
fill line to our furnace deteriorated and had to be replaced, which meant an
excavation in the yard, and only last week we spotted termites swarming around a
window in the house. Plus I'm paying still off my pet's medical bills and my
tuition, while being in a debt consolidation program and my tuition, I need
something to go right here. :)