1999 Mercury Cougar problem with vehicle overheating

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Engine Cooling problem
1999 Mercury Cougar 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Manual 170000 miles

I have a 1999 Mercury Cougar that is overheating at fluctuating intervals. At first I believe it to be a cracked head or head gasket because it was burning antifreeze and thick white smoke was coming from the tailpipe. I used some liquid stuff meant to stop the leak that I bought from Auto zone and it seemed to fix the problem.
It has been about a month and the engine is overheating again, but the gauge fluctuates. Also there is no heat coming from my vents no matter how long I let it run and even while the gauge says it is overheating. The radiator fluid seems to fluctuate as well, at one point it will be very low so I add fluid. Then after running it for a while the radiator fluid will be overflowing.
Any ideas on this? And is it a fix I can do myself or will I need to take it to a mechanic?

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Friday, January 23rd, 2009 AT 8:11 AM

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Check the thermastat, with putting stop leak in it may have caused the thermastat to stick, causing it to vapor lock. I would have a compression check done on the cooling system. This will tell you if you are still loosing fluid. If it is still leaking I would think that it is a blown head gasket. Depending how mechanically inclinded you are you can do the repair. I am not saying it is easy. If in doubt take it to a repair shop.

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Friday, January 23rd, 2009 AT 8:46 AM

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