really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
65,800 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace with metal manifold (1 reports)
1996 Mercury Grand Marquis cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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1996 Mercury Grand Marquis Owner Comments

problem #1

Oct 092007

(reported on)

Grand Marquis V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,800 miles


On Saturday afternoon, October 6th, 2007, I was leaving Sonora, TX after gassing up heading for Austin, TX. (I had left my son's hunting lease about 140 miles earlier in the afternoon. About 10 miles or so east I began to notice the cooling system wasn't cooling right and turned it off-- I knew something was going wrong and then found the temperature gauge was going up. I coasted to a stop and opened the hood seeing steam coming out. My first thought was a hose had gone but after thoroughly checking hoses they appeared to be Ok. Radiator fluid was all over the top of the engine, so at this point I didn't know what had happened. I tried to call my son back at his lease, but could only get a "no service" message at that time from my T-mobile phone (I remembered on the way to the lease I couldn't get a call through to my son or wife until I got to the west side of Ozona, TX).

At this point I thought I would just let the engine cool and try to make it to Junction a few miles at a time (I had water). A fine Highway Patrolman stopped and I told him of my problem and what I was going to try to do so he went on his way. At this point I tried to call my wife and was surprised to find I got her. I explained my problem and told her what I was going to try to do. I managed 3 stops and about 20 miles and saw that I would never make it to Junction by dark. My phone rang and my wife told me to stay there because she had called the Highway Patrol and they were aware of about where I was. She had them call a tow truck and told me to stay there where I was and call them if I could. I did get the tow truck driver and to please my wife I told him about where I was. The tow truck driver was out of Sonora. I thought he was coming from Junction. Anyway he towed me back to Sonora to a motel where I could try to get parts (hoses, thermostat or water pump) on Sunday or wait until repair shops opened Monday (or Tuesday --I hadn't thought about Columbus day). I then asked him how he wanted paid.He says $165 CASH ONLY. With no ATM I was in trouble. He wouldn't take a credit card and I had less than $70 cash on me. I knew my check book would be worthless. So he took my car and gave me a number to call when I got cash. I went to the motel and found they wanted cash only, also. So I called my wife and told her of my new problems. I'd have to go searching for another motel. I had seen several along Interstate 10 so I walked. First two were sold out. The third was across the freeway and there I found a smoking room, last available--I took it-- credit cards work sometimes. I called my wife told her where I was and told her to try to send me some money via Western Union. Their was one location in town, a grocery store, to which money could be sent and it would be open Sunday morning.

Sunday morning I was surprised to get my son at his lease. Since they were leaving the lease he said he would come by and see if we could get parts to fix it at the local Napa store. He arrived in Sonora at the grocery store at the same time as I finally got my cash from Western Union. We got the car after that from the tow truck driver (I had to ask for my copy of the receipt which I would need for insurance purposes), went to the parts place and found they would have to order parts if needed which would take until Tuesday). We decided we'd just remove the thermostat and they would follow me after stopping for ice cream; and then if necessary he would tow me to Austin. I made it about 7-8 miles before it overheated. My son showed up 10 minutes later and towed me to Austin. We got home just before dark (broke one towing strap in Fredricksburg) but made it safely.

Monday, midday, after taking my wife to a doctor I called our Mercury dealer where he didn't think it was a water pump and mentioned something I had never considered, an intake manifold problem, but he finally gave me a price for a water pump. I then took it to an auto service place I knew in Austin where I had a great deal of confidence. He thought it was the intake manifold also, but wanted me to take it to a friend who might do the work if that was the problem. His friend confirmed that the intake manifold was a FORD/Mercury problem. I had it towed to the Mercury place where they said it would cost $1200 to fix and that if it hadn't been more than 7 years old they could have helped with the price to fix it. I bought the car from my mother-in-lawless than two years ago. It now has 65,800 miles on it. I'm looking on the internet to see if there ever was a recall on this car! That is how I found this site to vent my grumpy nature. On the light side, I got about 380 miles per gallon coming from Sonora to Austin, I just wouldn't want to try it that way again.

A Grumpy Mercury owner.

- , Austin, TX, USA

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