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I have a 1994 Mercury Cougar. It has been running rough for awhile. I took it in for a tune up and was told I needed head gaskets, because of the large amount of smoke coming from the exhaust.

Getting a few more opinions on the car, I was told it wasn't the head gasket. There was an oil residue in the tail pipe, and since the oil wasn't foamy, and there was still anti freeze in the container, I was told it is a piston or seal problem.

Should I get a compression test, and also one of the mechanics told me I should just get a new engine.

This car is really nice, it does have high miles, but when it runs good....it runs great.

Any ideas ir suggestions?
 

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If this is a 3.8 I might tend to agree with a head gasket or cracked head. Those engines were notorious for those issues. If the heads cone off make sure they get checked for cracks and replace gaskets only. I have had repaired many 3.8's over the years at my shop with these symptons. it does not take much coolant going into the combustion chamber to produce smoke so do not put to much into coolant reservoir not very low.
 
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