Frozen/Locked Motor Mercury Sable 1995

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My son has a 1995 Mercury Sable that he uses at college. Yesterday as we were driving the car stopped and had to be towed home. There was oil all over the engine and the car will not start. My husband thinks that this is a head gasket issue but doesn't seem have the same characterstics of what I've been reading for a blown head gasket. The car has been running just fine up until this point. Any insight as to whether this really is a head gasket issue or any other ideas as to the problem would be appreciated. I know I haven't provided alot of info but know nothing about cars.



posted by  jenksie

Engine oil "all over the engine" is an indication that at least some of the engine's lubricating oil has leaked out. It does not take a lot of oil to make a big mess, but you also cannot know how much oil was left behind as the car was driven. Either way, the first step here would be to see how much oil is in the crankcase, and to try to determine where the leak is located.

It would take a pretty severe head gasket leak to let loose that much engine oil, and I would therefore expect some other indications to be present as well. That not being the case (or at least not having been stated), I suspect that the leak is elsewhere.

It is possible that the engine stoppage is as a result of lubrication loss, and if that is the case, the damage could potentially be severe. If the car has an oil pressure idiot light, did it come on prior to engine stoppage? If there is no light, how about the oil pressure gauge? Did it read low pressure prior to the engine quitting? Does the engine crank but won't start? Or will it even crank?

Is there any oil showing on the dipstick now? If not, start out by adding engine oil as needed to bring the oil level to its proper range on the dipstick. How much is needed? If it takes more than a couple of quarts, be prepared for major damage...

posted by  cpprioli

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