Leaking Antifreeze somewhere

I own a 97 ford taurus...It's got about 147,000 miles on it... FOr the past month i've suddenly had an issue with it. After 2 years of owning it. The
problem started 3 months ago when i drove from my parents house to mine a good 2 hour drive... my car ran fine. Stopped at the house to drop my luggage off and left to do some errands. While i was driving to the grocery store i noticed my car wanting to overheat. I checked and i had no antifreeze in my reserve tank... SO i filled it up... The guy at the hardware store i went to said maybe i have a leak so he gave me some stop leak product... Said to run it through. I did that and my car seemed to run fine for the next couple of mnths. Now about 2 weeks ago i had left to go to work but realized i forgot something came back home and shut the car off so i could use my keys to get inside, came back out and my car wouldn't start. I waited about 30 minutes before it finally started... And once again it acted like it wanted to overheat. I more antifreeze in it and seemed fine.. well at the middle of last week i noticed that it is leaking the antifreeze out steadily. I put some in it yesterday morning, in my reserve tank, let my car sit for about an hour and when i came back out it was half empty. would this not mean that the leak is probably in my reserve tank or in a hose leading to the radiator? I'm curious for advice b/c i know from experience most mechanics see me as a naive 23yr old female and try to tell me things are wrong when their not... I know enough about cars to know that a hole in your muffler will not cost you 500 like one mechanic told me before~! If you could help i would appreciate it~!!
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puddle of water under your car) the coolant is probably leaking INTO your engine and being consumed during the combustion process. A leaking head gasket will display the symptoms you describe. The head gasket is the gasket between the head and the engine block. If it leaks it can allow engine collant to enter the combusion chamber(s). Oftentimes, this will cause the car to overheat. You might see smoke (actually steam) coming out your exhaust pipe. Anyhow, there are some straightforward (and cheap) methods to determine if this is your problem. It could be more serious but this would be a good place to start. Good luck and post your results. jor
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lucky_clover82 wrote:

Fill it up and look for where it's going while parked. You describe a large leak and not other symptoms, so I don't think it is a head gasket consuming the coolant. Do you smell antifreeze and is your windshield foggy on the inside? If so, the heater core is leaking. Check the passenger side carpet for wetness. A leak that big should be easy to spot even for a novice. That is a very expensive heater core to replace. A dealer could charge $1,000 for the work and an independent might do it for $400.
PS. Just a muffler should not cost $500, but an exhaust system with a converter could easily cost that much.
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in many cases, it is simply a small leak at the hose clamps. just tighten the hose clamps, or maybe replace if necessary.
I own a 97 ford taurus...It's got about 147,000 miles on it... FOr the past month i've suddenly had an issue with it. After 2 years of owning it. The problem started 3 months ago when i drove from my parents house to mine a good 2 hour drive... my car ran fine. Stopped at the house to drop my luggage off and left to do some errands. While i was driving to the grocery store i noticed my car wanting to overheat. I checked and i had no antifreeze in my reserve tank... SO i filled it up... The guy at the hardware store i went to said maybe i have a leak so he gave me some stop leak product... Said to run it through. I did that and my car seemed to run fine for the next couple of mnths. Now about 2 weeks ago i had left to go to work but realized i forgot something came back home and shut the car off so i could use my keys to get inside, came back out and my car wouldn't start. I waited about 30 minutes before it finally started... And once again it acted like it wanted to overheat. I more antifreeze in it and seemed fine.. well at the middle of last week i noticed that it is leaking the antifreeze out steadily. I put some in it yesterday morning, in my reserve tank, let my car sit for about an hour and when i came back out it was half empty. would this not mean that the leak is probably in my reserve tank or in a hose leading to the radiator? I'm curious for advice b/c i know from experience most mechanics see me as a naive 23yr old female and try to tell me things are wrong when their not... I know enough about cars to know that a hole in your muffler will not cost you 500 like one mechanic told me before~! If you could help i would appreciate it~!!
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I just had to replace the overflow tank in my 2000 Taurus, it developed a large crack and since it's under pressure, the fluid will leak out on the road, you may not notice right away. I'm not sure about the 96 model, but the 2000 model has the overflow tank as part of the whole system and under pressure. Something to check.

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