Temp gauge reading hot 98 Ford Explorer

Ford ExplorerSo the other day the temp gauge was reading hot. So I refilled the radiator with what must have been almost the full amount of water. Around 3 or 4 gallons at least if I had to guess.

The car was running fine and dandy after I drove on the highway about 20 miles. Then I saw that there was some fluid dripping when I backed out of my parking spot the next time I drove. I guessed this could have been water that I spilled trying to put in the radiator fill area. There was no fluid underneath when I looked the next location I parked.

So last night I was on the highway. And I had to give it a lot more gas to keep the speed up and it eventually died out on the freeway.

I thought it was the oil so I added 2 quarts of oil. I also refilled the water in the radiator. After that the car cranked and I drove another 5 miles, it started struggling again then died.

I did some research but cant figure out what the issue is. I’m guessing there may be a crack in the radiator and there is a slow leak?

The car will crank up and turn over if I rev the engine and give it some gas. But you have to keep revving the engine or it cuts out and dies.

I am having the car towed to a mechanic. And just want to have an idea of the issue before I go there. I know sometimes they can try and sell you on a lot of things when there really only needs to be a minor fix. I bought the car for 1200 dollars and have had it for a while so I am in a position where I have to weigh the options financially.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Temp gauge reading hot

Good thinking wanting to see your mechanic armed with knowledge. You stated you filled it with “water”. If you do not use 50/50 water and coolant the engine will overheat every time. From the sounds of it the repair may end up costing you what you paid for the car. If the engine was overheated bad enough, it may have blown a head gasket. So you would be looking at that initial repaired followed by the cost for whatever was leaking in the first place. Once you have the car diagnosed and are presented with a quote, post it below and I’ll take a look at it.