Just purchased a 1995 Crown Vic. Paid what should have been a good price. Car is nice and straight, no rust, a little dirty from sitting for a couple years. Had a dead battery, put in a new one and car started right up with no evidence of dead cylinders or smoke. Oil looked good, no coolant contamination or other evidence of problems. Radiator was low on coolant. Guy said it ran warm climbing hills. I had had an '85 Lincoln Continental about 25 years ago that did the same thing...turned out to be just a plugged radiator. Got that car for about 1/5 the going rate...drove the hell out of it (after fixing the radiator) for several years.
Bought the Crown Vic. Drove it home, about 15 miles. No issues. Temp gauge ran about 1/2 way. Next morning started scrubbing out the interior. Checked coolant...reservoir was empty. Checked oil...looked like coffee with milk. Yuck...I like my coffee and motor oil black (in the case of oil, clear is fine). OK...so I was had. So...
First thought was head gaskets. However, there was no sound of dead cylinder(s) on cranking the engine. Although I'm sure there could be a path for coolant to reach the oil without necessarily entering the combustion chambers. I've also read that there could be an issue with the intake manifolds...could this be what I am experiencing?
My big questions are as follows:
1. I have a task for which I need this car. I need to drive about 15 miles. I'm going to change oil before driving this car again. I've been reading about various snake oil concoctions that are supposed to repair head gaskets. Would one of these be adequate to get the car through a 15 mile trip without damaging the engine more than it may already be damaged?
2. What is the likelihood that there might be some other problem other than the heads or intake manifold (e.g. damaged block) that I might be looking at?
3. After this short trip, should I replace the head gaskets, or cut to the chase and find a good used engine?
I realize it is difficult to give very specific answers without actually looking at an engine, but I'm hoping to draw on the general experience of those who are here.
The reason I purchased this car was because my wife is large and has severe mobility issues, and she remembered having to ride in this model car a couple times, and that it was much easier for her to get into and out of, and was more comfortable than other cars, including our Mercedes.
Thank you in advance for any advice.