What would cause an 88 Mercury Sable to shoot sweet smoke out of the defrost vents and the temp gauge to spike

(Not sure how much of this is part of the smoke problem but here it goes.) --------------- All the fluids tend to drop quickly The battery light has been on for a few days now I only get maybe 12 MPG Always see oil on engine around seals ------ I just want to get an idea of what is wrong and how much it will be to fix it. The car has not had heat for at least a year

Asked By: Dr Gusgus - 3/30/2008
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Sweet smell is antifreeze, steam is the water mixed with antifreeze, - the spike in temperature is because you lost coolant for engine (extremely hot water steams... More
Answered By: guess78624 - 3/30/2008
Additional Answers (8)
Head gasket
Answered By: Jimmy G - 3/30/2008
Heater core is going bad, or a bad heater hose or bad diverter valve, that would possibly be the smell and the fluid loss. Battery light, have your alternator checked. 88 sable = bad gas milage...LOL 88 sable = 20 year old car, seals are going bad.
Answered By: shocked - 3/30/2008
Sounds like a leak in the heating system. The sweet smell is coolant. Your levels in the radiator should be low. Check when the engine is cold. Check at the radiator cap not the overflow. Coolant is getting into the heater core. You need to get this fixed before to overheat the engine.
Answered By: D J - 3/30/2008
That's not "smoke", it's steam. You most likely have a bad heater core. You are probably leaking and burning oil too. You could be looking at a new heater core ($500.00++) to a complete rebuild of the engine ($2500.00++) At 20 years old it could be retirement time!
Answered By: rottendog93 - 3/30/2008
sounds like leaking heater core for one a leaking hose under the hood. poor maintenance. when was the last time it was tuned up ????
Answered By: Shanty J - 3/30/2008
sweet smoke in the vents usually means anti freeze getting in the system(cracked head)spiked heat gauge is good indicater that ur overheating all the time,trhat would b ur reason 4 fluids dropping down (if ur lucky just a leaking radiator)battery light could b ur alternater is losing it's charging ability or ur battery... More
Answered By: tannrrs - 3/30/2008
sweet smoke out of the vents, sounds to me like antifreeze, you possibly have a bad heater core, or bad hose going to it (small radiator inside of the dashboard that supplies heat for the passenger compartment). As of engine oil that could be comming from anywhere!!! Now if you are leaking antifreeze, then thats why... More
Answered By: iaconosalvatore - 3/30/2008
sounds like its the heater core.check the floorboard for anti-freeze.
Answered By: baldie - 3/30/2008
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