1986 mustang lx hatchback 2.3l non turbo ATF low on fluid / white smoke


Asked by Oct 07, 2014 at 09:22 AM about the 1986 Ford Mustang LX Hatchback

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 198x mustang lx hatchback with the 2.3l 4 cylinder. The A/C system has been removed by a previous owner. I have noticed that every few days, my transmission fluid has been going down, and I have to top it off. I have white smoke coming from the tail pipe. I also noticed that my coolant starts to go low also. When the ventilation system is on heat, and I accelerate, I get some light white smoke through the vents also. I am thinking the vent smoke may be a pinhole leak in the heater core, but thought I would see wetness on the carpet which I don't. I don't have a vacuum diagram of the engine, and there are numerous hoses that are just capped off with screws and electrical tape. The car also pings under acceleration until your up to speed. I know this is a lot of questions, but Im unsure where to start looking. Any assistance would be appreciated.

2 Answers


The transmission fluid and the white smoke are two different things. The white smoke is most likely the head gasket. The transmission fluid is probably just leaking or getting sucked into the engine. Sad to say but it is time to consider putting the old girl out to pasture.

Tom Demyan

Agreed, you have a heater core leak too, and the pinging is due to overheating the engine. Far to many repairs and cost to fix.

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