Q: My car is smoking - 2008 Mercury Milan

asked by on

I've been having some issues with my car and the coolant resevoir, I believe. So when I'm driving my car is fine, but if I'm sitting in traffic for too long with my car running, after a while my car will start to smoke white smoke. I look and see that the coolant is gone. I have used water in the mean time but from calculating my drive from home to work which is about 45 minutes today, after filling the resevoir before leaving home, once I got to work it was half full. I'm so confused as to what the problem is. Of course once my car starts to smoke the themostat shows "H". Please help with some information I can use to find out something to do. I'm not sure if its a leak or what. I did come across the product Blue Devil Radiator & Block Sealer. I'm not sure if that would be for my situation or not but if able to give info on it I really would appreciate it.

My car has 81000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

You definitely have a coolant leak. Where it is leaking from is important in that it could be the radiator cap releasing pressure as it is designed. A vehicle that displays the symptoms you have described in traffic indicates that the cooling fan is not working. The cooling fan is there to push or pull air through the radiator when the car is not moving. When the car is moving, air is moving through the radiator and it is not necessary for the cooling fan to operate. Once you are moving slow enough, however, the cooling fan kicks in to move air through the radiator.

If the cooling fan does not turn on while you are sitting in traffic, your car will steadily climb in temperature. As the temperature rises, the pressure in the cooling system rises. I suspect the cooling system leak is the radiator cap releasing this excess pressure so something else in the cooling system won’t burst. This is one of several things the radiator cap is designed to do. So you have a leak, but it is most likely the cooling system protecting itself.

I recommend you don’t drive your car in traffic until the cooling system operation has been looked into. Either way, if you are seeing white smoke, or what is most likely steam coming from under the hood, then this can damage your car further and become a much larger repair. You should have this looked at immediately.

I recommend having a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, come to your location to determine why the car is overheating and suggest any needed repairs.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. My car is smoking - 2008 Mercury Milan

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Hesitation, stalling out

Hello. It sounds like the spark plugs are fouled and the spark plug wires need to be replaced. It is possible that the fuel filter is clogged up and needs to be replaced as well. Have a certified technician, like...

Q: Coolant Reservoir leak ??

Hello. Thank you for writing in. To start, the vehicle is reaching the "H" because its out of coolant and the heat transfer is not taking place. The smoke tells us the coolant is coming from somewhere high enough on...

Q: Vehicle will not start

Hello. It sounds like your vehicle's security system is activated. In order for your vehicle to start again the system needs to be reset or disabled. This particular model of vehicle may have a small black button underneath the dash,...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...