Edmunds Answers

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  • avatar MrShift@Edmunds 05/10/08 12:52 pm PST

    This sounds a lot like a bad head gasket. I'd suggest either you or your mechanic pressurize the cooling system with a pump then extract the spark plugs and look for evidence of coolant on them. Also check for water intrustion into the oil--this may appear as a milky substance on the dip stick or inside the oil filler cap. Also, rather than in the oil, you might see oil in the coolant when you look into the radiator. Any of these is possible. The "steam" is probably water vapor being burned along with your coolant.

Answers

  • MrShift@Edmunds 05/10/08 12:52 pm PST

    This sounds a lot like a bad head gasket. I'd suggest either you or your mechanic pressurize the cooling system with a pump then extract the spark plugs and look for evidence of coolant on them. Also check for water intrustion into the oil--this may appear as a milky substance on the dip stick or inside the oil filler cap. Also, rather than in the oil, you might see oil in the coolant when you look into the radiator. Any of these is possible. The "steam" is probably water vapor being burned along with your coolant.

  • camaro9 05/23/08 8:06 pm PST

    it might be the head gasket

  • kiawah 06/15/08 8:07 am PST

    The head gasket is the cause of the problem and the white exhaust smoke, and is why your radiator blew as well (over pressurized cooling system). You need to get this fixed quickly as you run the risk of ruiing the engine with the water leaked into the engine, and depending how long you have already run this....might have ruined your catalytic converter.

  • nottogood99 06/27/08 4:04 pm PST

    The head gasket has gone bad do to overheating it or the head has cracked. You must have gotton it to hot when the radiator went bad from the beginning. What happens is, when the engine gets really hot it warps the head(meaning the head pulls away from the block). The head gasket is not thick enough to fill the gap and water gets into the cyclinders, where it is burned off into steam and out it goes through the tail pipe. The heads will have to be removed, checked for cracks, presser tested and put back on. I hope this has helped. Good luck to you

  • carsuck09 03/08/09 6:29 pm PST

    I agree with the others... It's most likely a head gasket. In that case, check your coolant and your oil. In a lot of cases (but not all) the two will mix. The steam coming out of your exhaust, does it look more like white smoke (even after the car has warmed up)? If it is, it's a head gasket.

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