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?
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: Is a Mercury Sable or Ford Taurus reliable?

Hi there, thanks for writing in. As with any car, they are reliable when you take care of them and keep them properly maintained. I would recommend having an expert from Your Mechanic perform a pre-purchasing inspection on any vehicle...

Q: How do you know which side to fix?

Hi there - beside eyes, ears and a stethoscope (yes, really), our mechanics are trained to understand how, and from where, sound and vibration originate when there is a problem. I recommend a [https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/grinding-noise-when-key-turns-in-ignition-inspection) performed by a mobile, professional mechanic,...

Q: Engine light goes on and off

Usually there are two instances where we see a check engine light appear on and off as you describe the first involves the Check Engine Light coming on and staying lit. The vehicle will drive as if there is no...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...