Tip & How-To about Chevrolet Cavalier
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 nvannoy on
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