my 1995 ford taurus gl 3.8 overheats !

ok i just got this car, drove it around for like 4 days, then it started over heating. Due to lack of backup transportation and the time of night it was, i
was forced to drive it home....slowly....after i got home there was a healthy cloud of steam and such comming from it...
I decided to try and replace the termostat.....but that seemed to have done no good, now im kinda lost...
i have check and the fan is spinning perfectly fine, but only when the car is running....it wont spin unless the engine is running....
Any advise on things to check would be greatly appreaciated...
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swepzz wrote:

heating. Due to lack of backup transportation and the time of night it was, i was forced to drive it home....slowly....after i got home there was a healthy cloud of steam and such comming from it...

The fan is electric and thermostatically controlled from an electrical sensor in the engine water jacket. This means the fan doesn't work until the engine gets warm enough to need cooling. The "steam" business doesn't sound good, and the engine has probably blown a head gasket. Take it to a garage to see if the engine can still be saved.
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wrote:

heating. Due to lack of backup transportation and the time of night it was, i was forced to drive it home....slowly....after i got home there was a healthy cloud of steam and such comming from it...

What you most likely have is a blown head gasket which was evidenced by the cloud of white smoke more commonly called "steam". The 3.8L engine of that vintage was well known for this type failure. The cooling fan has nothing to do with it overheating if your speed is above 40mph as the fan is turned off at that point anyway unless the air conditioning is running. The repairs you are likely looking at are head gasket replacement which typically runs between $900 - $1300 if you haven't already overheated it to the point of damaging the block. Another aspect is the high probability that the crank bearings have been damaged by coolant getting into the oil and will fail after the head gaskets are replaced. I don't know where you are but, in this part of the world, a '95 Taurus is not worth anywhere near the cost of the repairs.
Lugnut
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