I have no idea

I just bought a 1999 Mercury sable GL 2 days ago…
everything was fine I’ve driven it to do errands the last 2 days. Today I drove to the dentist about 10 miles (20 round trip) when I got home the car smelt hot, and the engine had a tad white smoke coming out of the hood. I ran the engine a after letting it cool and I can’t see any problems…

Everything is full, oil, coolant etc there are no noticeable leaks of any sorts.

On the dash the coolant says low… but the coolant itself is full…

I have no idea about cars and I’m really disappointed this has happened 2 days after purchasing.

Previous owner kept it in maculant condition.

Good for you for checking all the fluids, get into the habit of that.
Not sure where you are checking the coolant, but after the car cools completely check both the radiator and the overflow tank. The overflow tank may be full but the radiator may be low. Could be a bad radiator cap. Unfortunately you have a car that is almost 20 years old. Plenty of things can go wrong at that age.

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Your dash doesn’t have a low coolant light. It has an engine overheating light.
Re: the coolant being full, are you basing that on looking at the plastic bottle? If so, that’s an overflow bottle and can be full even if the engine’s insides are empty.

I’d recommend that you have a friend with some knowledge refill the cooling system and then take the car to a shop for a diagnosis and repair. Overheating will send the engine to its grave.


Thank you for the reply

The dash shows in yellow “coolant level low”

My brother is actually the one who checked the level it has a full mark of course and it’s betond above that mark almost to the very top.

As I was rubbing the vehicle today for my boyfriend to see we couldn’t see any smoke whatsoever?

Running****** not rubbing

If you are looking at a full and low mark, you are looking at the coolant recovery tank (overflow tank) not the radiator. Take the radiator cap off when the engine is cold. If it is not absolutely full, add coolant until it is. If the level keep falling and you don’t see a leak take it to your mechanic or a radiator shop to get it diagnosed.
Please do not go to a national chain Tire shop, Sears, Pep Boys, etc. Either go to a real mechanic or a local radiator shop.
Overheating can destroy your engine.

Thank you for all the reply’s. I did notice something the second time it was running to see where the smoke was coming from, i had a mechanic friend check it out and he said it looked like a head gasket leak. But we won’t know for sure until it’s fully checked. I appreciate the help!

This vehicle doesn’t have an overflow tank

The coolant pressure cap is on the reservoir, not the radiator

According to the owner’s manual, some Sables do have a “Low coolant” warning in the cluster. So apparently, op’s car does indeed have a coolant level sensor

Until I hear otherwise, I’ll assume this Sable has the more common 3.0L Vulcan engine. Blown head gaskets aren’t that uncommon on that engine, installed in a Sable or Taurus.

A block test would give a definitive answer

I’m wondering if the fluid in the reservoir looks like moccha frapuccino . . .

Is this friend really a mechanic? Or really a friend who has done some work on a couple cars?
Could be a valve cover leaking on the exhaust and a faulty coolant level sensor. Why jump to something like the head gasket which would cost more than the car is worth.

He owns his own business.

We haven’t taken a full look as he didn’t have the time but today he made some room in his schedule to do so. You’re right, I’m hoping it’s a not so costly

That ain’t good. It suggests that the coolant is not returning to the radiator & engine as it cools or, worse, the engine is blowing combustion gasses into the water jacket forcing the coolant out into the reservoir.

I strongly recommend that you get this checked out by a competent shop ASAP.