1997 Mercury Tracer 97 Merc Engine Issues

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Just a hose, or something bigger?
1997 Mercury Tracer 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 64000 miles

I have a 1997 Mercury Tracer with 64,000 miles on it.
A few days ago, the "check coolant" light came on. After taking it in to my mechanic, he said that the radiator was leaking and needed to be replaced. He also thought the water pump was shot. However, after installing the radiator, he said he didn't think it was the water pump (much to my relief, because apparently the wp in this model of Merc is behind the timing belt, a costly job) because the car wasn't leaking. So, $300 later, the car drove just fine for about a day. While driving today I heard a popping noise, followed by the "service engine soon" light, some knocking that ceased when I slowed the RPMs and a slight burning rubbery smell.
Upon inspection, I noticed a small hose at the top of the engine had a puncture and was emitting steam. The oil also seems low. Is this hose just a little part that should have been replaced when the radiator was done, or are the radiator problems caused by a larger engine issue?

Do you
have the same problem?
Thursday, September 18th, 2008 AT 10:12 PM

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