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Am I a member of the blown head gasket club?
Posted 18 October 2006 - 09:28 AM
1) mysterious overheating with no apparent external cause
2) bubbles in the coolant reservoir after driving
3) exhaust smell in the coolant reservoir
The mechanic sent me home with the car and said to call if it happens again, but I don't want to kill the engine "waiting".
Posted 18 October 2006 - 11:40 AM
Posted 18 October 2006 - 11:56 AM
Cheap thing to try first: replace you radiator cap. When old, they no longer hold pressure. Hopefully your mechanic checked that.
Keep an eye on the coolant overflow bottle. Look for bubbling in it, especially after a drive on the highway (car idling, or shortly after shutdown while still hot).
Watch the level in the coolant overflow carfully. It should rise when hot and go back down as the engine cools. If it is not sucking coolant back into the radiator, it is a sign of the dreaded head gasket problem. Gasses displace the coolant, and when it cools, there is not enough vacuum to suck coolant back in.
My headgasket leak wasn't too bad. I drove for a few months with a known leak (bubbles, exhaust smell and blank gunk in the overflow). I checked the coolant level every few days and after every highway drive (after cooldown). When the overflow level rose high enough, I used a turkey baster to move coolant back to the radiator. I kept a jug of 50/50 antifreeze/distilled water in the car and added coolant as needed. Because I kept close watch on it, and my leak was small, it never overheated.
Be aware that overheating the engine (any modern engine) can damage it badly, so watch that temp gauge!
Posted 18 October 2006 - 06:45 PM
Posted 18 October 2006 - 06:53 PM
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