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Old 11-22-2006, 11:45 PM   #1
tatao
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Blown Head Gasket???

Tonight I was driving down the road, and a friend comes up and starts speeding away. I was in fifth gear and started accelerating, since i wasnt catching up, I Downshifted into 4th gear. Then I look at the tach and when it was almost reaching 7000 RPM, I shifted back into 5th gear, I passed the dude, then came to a stop and we each went our separat ways. Reving the car all the way up to 7000 RPM is something I dont usually do.

So i went to drop off my girlfriend and on the way back I notice the car has lost some power. When I shift into 1st gear I have to rev the engine all the way up to 3000 to start feeling some power. About a mile and a half later, I shift into neutral and the revs would not drop. When they finally do, the indicator lights kind of flashed as I shifted into second gear and accelerated, I felt the smell of burning oil, but thought it maybe came from the car in front of me. The water and oil temp gauges show a normal reading and the oil pressure shows a normal reading. The car still feels like it's lacking power, but it goes up to 60MPH. About a mile later I get to a stop light and stop the car completely and the engine just died. So I turned the key and it looked like it was about to start, but didn't. So I pushed the gas pedal and the engine started. So I started moving and didnt stop for the remaining 2 miles. Then I get to this hill and the car had a really hard time going up in 2nd gear when it's usually a piece of cake. Then finally I got home. The gauges still showed a normal reading.

Again when I came to a complete stop the engine died and I felt the burning oil smell again so I thought it definitely came from the car. There was smoke coming out of the hood. I raised t he hood and it smelled like burning oil. So I got a flash light and the smoke seemed to be coming out of the valve cover gasket. So I figured it might be a blown head gasket. Then engine was really hot. There was no oil under the car or anywhere else. I checked the oil and it showed it had enough oil. It was right in between the marks. But since it-s 11 pm and the engine was hot, I didnt check the spark plugs.

Do you guys think it's a blown head gasket??? If so, is it possible the head warped or the cylinders warped therefore needing an overhaul??? Or can it be fixed just by changing the head gasket???(causing no internal engine damage)
Please let me know cause i'm really worried right now. Thanks guys.


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Old 11-23-2006, 02:40 AM   #2
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A surefire indicator of a blown head gasket is coolant in the oil (and vice versa,) I've heard of it looking like there's chocolate milkshake on the dipstick when you check it. Another way to find out is to run a compression test on all cylinders. I certainly wouldn't rule out your head gasket, but there are other things it could be, most of them pretty bad (stuck/bent valve, cracked head/block, etc.) I wouldn't drive the car or even try to turn it over, you could probably start with removing the valve cover (you're going to have to anyways to get the head off) and see if there's any obvious damage to the cams or valvetrain, and then go from there. You won't really know what's wrong until you get the head off, another route you could take is towing it to a shop and having them inspect the cylinders to see if you really do need to remove the head.

Removing the head isn't especially hard, there's just a lot of prepwork to doing it; you need to remove the timing belt, exhaust header and intake manifold, and you'll probably want to get some new head bolts for when you reinstall it in addition to changing your oil and coolant. This is probably a good time to invest in a Chilton's or Hayne's repair manual, in addition to a socket set and a torque wrench if you don't already have them. Good luck
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Old 11-23-2006, 06:35 AM   #3
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When I checked the oil it looked normal. It was dark brown and didnt look like chocolate milk shake. I'll check the plugs to see if they have oil. I didnt see any smoke coming out of the exhaust and I checked the back of the car and t here didnt seem to be any oil there. But then again, it was almost 11 pm.
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Old 11-23-2006, 07:53 AM   #4
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i would do an oil change. it will be better and easier to find metal shavings/coolant and such.
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Old 11-23-2006, 08:08 AM   #5
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the oil will just have a milky look instead of being just oil it will look like theres a pearly creamy look.
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Old 11-23-2006, 02:01 PM   #6
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I checked the plugs this morning and the tips are okay on all of them. There's no oil on the tip. The thread however has some oil for cylinders 1 and 4 and there seemed to be some oil where the plug goes. I couldnt find any coolant in the reservoir, but like I said, the temp gauges showed it was ok, right in the middle. The oil from the dipstick looks dark brown.
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Old 11-23-2006, 04:07 PM   #7
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I think it's too soon to even be thinking about the head gasket. It sounds like you ran the thing harder than usual, so certain things under the hood probably got a little hotter than usual, and if like you say, the valve cover is leaking, what you smell is likely some of that leaked oil burning off- no big thing. Since all the gauge readings are good, the oil and coolant look good, and there are no new noises, I think it'd be safe to drive (with respect to progressive damage).

So it becomes a question of poor performance. The fact that it revved up and was reluctant to drop back to idle suggests vacuum leak, but what I would do next is see if there are any codes. I would definately NOT rip the head off just because you reved it up once.
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Old 11-23-2006, 04:23 PM   #8
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If you have no coolant in the reservoir that can't be good. It should be around the Max when the engine is completely cool.
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Old 11-23-2006, 09:10 PM   #9
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I couldnt find any coolant in the reservoir, but like I said, the temp gauges showed it was ok
woah!!!!! check all your coolant hoses for leaks! you lost coolant. mine blew a heater hose and lost the coolant so fast it remained reading normal, but my oil temp guage pegged.
what you were experiencing is limp mode, it shut down 2 cylinders to only pump air and help cool the motor.

fill the resivoir, start the car and find the coolant leak. if you cant find one i can pretty much guarantee the thermostat housing cracked (mine just did this too) ithe resivoir will stay full till the coolant gets hot, then the thermo housing will start leaking from the pressure. let it get good and warm then feel the bottom of the housing up against the head, youll find antifreeze on your fingers...if you already didnt find a bad hose.
do not run it without coolant, you'll trash your engine
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Old 11-23-2006, 09:35 PM   #10
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For some reason when I did my themro housing the coolant level didn't drop. Went for a drive, it was low, filled it. Car cooled off, filled it up again. Went for another drive it was low, filled it, then it was good. Just keep an eye on your coolant levels for a few heat cycles to make sure you don't run out again.
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