Tip & How-To about Chevrolet Cavalier

I think my head gasket is blown

If you have a blown head gasket a couple things will happen. You may be leaking coolant into the cylinder or into the oil passages.
Coolant leaking into the cylinder will produce a constant white smoke (steam actually) from the exhaust pipe. White smoke can be normal as condensation occurs with weather and the chemical reaction of the catalytic converter, but if you have a significant amount of constant white smoke followed by loss of coolant/water than you probably have a blown head gasket.
Coolant leaking into the oil passages will produce a chocolate milk color on the oil dipstick. If oil is brand new you may not be able to see this, but you will be able to see that the oil level on the dipstick is very high. You may also see oil (dark spots in the coolant) in the radiator/expansion tank.
Here are your options:
Replace the head gasket, BE SURE TO HAVE THE HEAD RESURFACED. May cost between $500 - $1500 USD for parts and labor.
Utilize a block sealer (available at any auto parts store) CAUTION these typically do not work but it may be worth a shot on small leak, but these normally require removing the thermostat and following special instructions to work as the manufactures claim - but they are very inexpensive compared to having the head gasket replaced.

Posted by on

Cars & Trucks Logo

Related Topics:

Related Questions:

2 Answers

Water in the oil


Radiator coolant in the engine oil is normally an indication of a failed cylinder head gasket or a crack in the cylinder head or both.

Running the engine in an overheated condition will cause head gasket failure and often a crack in the cylinder head.

The problem you have is coolant is escaping into the engine's lubrication passages via the failed head gasket or head crack and contaminating the engine oil. If not fixed you will cause further damage to the engine as oil contaminated with radiator coolant cannot adequately lubricate the engine.

Running a leak down test on each cylinder will confirm the leak. In this case you are going to need to have the cylinder head removed and thoroughly checked for cracks and any warpage as well as a new cylinder head gasket fitted. The condition the engine block surface will also need to be checked.

Jun 14, 2016 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

White smoke coming out the tail pipe on my 09 traverse


Usually white smoke from the exhaust means that there is radiator coolant leaking into one or more cylinders. Blue smoke is normally from burnt engine oil. Check your coolant level and you will probably find it is down below the full mark.

Have a leak down test done on all cylinders and this will show up a leak in the combustion chamber(s). You will also likely have combustion gasses leaking into the coolant passages and that can cause some overheating of the coolant. If you see bubbles in the coolant , once the engine has warmed up so the coolant begins flowing through the radiator, then you have a compression leak into the cooling system and in that event you will also have coolant escaping into a cylinder or cylinders and producing white smoke.

Coolant leaking into the cylinders will be via a blown head gasket or a crack in the cylinder head or both. If you have run the engine in an overheated condition this will certainly produce a damaged head gasket and possibly damage to the cylinder heads as well.

Jan 19, 2016 | Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

Engine is a 2.7. coolant in oil.


Best hope is yes blown gasket worst cracked head or cylinder liner

Dec 09, 2015 | 2001 Dodge Stratus

2 Answers

I have oil in my coolant on my 1991 ford ranger


Hi,
It is not good because there is crack on your engine making oil and coolant mixed. Please find the leak and get it fixed.

Jan 27, 2011 | Ford Ranger Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

Oil in the coolant dept not a lot but oil is in there what can be the problem


U have a leaking engine cylinder head gasket, very common on this van.

Sep 03, 2010 | 1999 Ford Windstar

Not finding what you are looking for?

1,089 people viewed this tip

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Chevrolet Experts

yadayada
yadayada

Level 3 Expert

75822 Answers

Colin Stickland
Colin Stickland

Level 3 Expert

22156 Answers

Jeff Turcotte
Jeff Turcotte

Level 3 Expert

8195 Answers

Are you a Chevrolet Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Loading...