i have a 1996 3.8 232 for mustang i was driveing down the road when alot of white smoke and anti frezze came pouring out my exhaust and anti frezze check engine light started flashing and it was not r

Asked by Aug 01, 2013 at 06:31 PM about the 1996 Ford Mustang Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

what could it be

14 Answers


Hey Kevin, You are now the proud owner of a boat anchor !! You blew the motor and the scenario goes like this, the engine overheated and the head gaskets gave way and once the warm coolant got to the hot reciprocating parts (pistons, piston rods, crankshaft) , WELL KEVIN ITS BOAT ANCHOR TIME ! Sorry Kevin, but that is life and why sugar coat it by saying it can be fixed for little money. Figure 1000 to 1500 if you can find another engine cheap but look it over good and look at the oil or even hear it run before you buy a replacement 3.8

ther is no collant in my oil so how did i blow the motor

the car still runs its just runs ruff

my car did not over heat eather

the car was not even hot yet


It happened today, give it time to cool down completely and then you will get your answer. There is only two ways the scenario you stated "Coolant coming out of exhaust" can happen = #1 - A head gasket blew out or the head got warped or a crack while at temp, allowing coolant pressure and engine pressure to force coolant from the cylinder head into the exhaust system, or #2 - You cracked the cylinder head right in the area where the exhaust manifold bolt, "bolts" into the cylinder head. Though this is less then millimeters in space, the coolant pressure is causing engine coolant to blow past the threads of the bolt and into the exhaust system. This condition is extremely rare and I have only scene it once in 30 years due to a longer then required bolt, put into an aluminum cylinder head for the exhaust manifold attachment. Tomorrow after letting it sit all night go out and see if there is a milky substance on the dipstick, the tell tale sign of antifreeze and oil mixture. Final question - How do you know the thermostat is any good ? Let me know what you find,


Now that I think of it Kevin ! Does the 3.8 have a EGR coolant plate ? You will know this by a 3/8 inch diameter rubber hose attached to the same manifold plate the EGR and the ISC is attached to, just between the throttle body and the intake manifold. If so this could have sprung a leak and that would account for the coolant in the exhaust system but no coolant in the engine oil.

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Well Kevin, it's possible that the engine's in trouble but let's look at a couple of things first: I've repaired many 3.8L engines that have the same symptoms as you - sometimes the heads got cracked but usually - it's just age, wear and crappy design. The 3.8L is a great, durable engine. I have to snicker a little about someone asking if a Ford is equipped a certain way - how long you been a Ford tech? Kevin, a compression test is in order although, by the way you describe the failure, it sounds like you just blew a head gasket - boat anchor my-eye! I'm willing to bet that it won't EVER have water in the oil. Compression test to verify a head gasket failure - pull both heads, have them checked for cracks, leaks valve and seat condition and surface. Change the plugs, thermostat and the fluids, make certain that the engine cooling fan works and enjoy your car. Boat Anchor my-eye.

1 people found this helpful.

Here again "Tracy" you need to learn when to "be quiet". The first generation of Ford EFI did not have a "EGR Coolant Plate" installed on them. It wasn't until later in the production that they determined the EGR was getting too warm and causing faulty codes and poor running conditions. Its also obvious by your comment " I'm willing to bet that it won't EVER have water in the oil", that you have no real automotive experience working on engines or autos at all, but are only "book trained".


Uh yeah, 35 years of experience, Master Tech Certification through Ford and ASE make me a real dumbass.

1 people found this helpful.

NO your attitude makes you one !

1 people found this helpful.

Get a life.

Can an engine with low or no compression be fixed by timing chain? My car when out Castillo cranks but won't turn on. Only did when it was pop started on 1st gear. It's a 3.8 stick shift. My mechanic told me timing chain is out and says if the valves aren't bent it shid run. I feel he only wants to charge me for the replacement of timing chain but doesn't know forsure because I kno my engine has valves parallel to pistons so they only get pushed back not hit. Is it worth trusting his word for it? I've replaced thermostat. battery. Crankshaft sensor. Spark plugs.

I have a 3.8 mustang with a blow head gasket or crack block idk I just know radiator fluid is showing on the right side of the head everytime i crank it then it goes away after I left car sit plus my car isn't reading any type of oil & I replace oil pump & sending unit an it still taping like it dry also in asking how could it be a blow headgasket when no oil & radiator fluid mix?

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