Question about 1998 Saturn SL

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Hard starting. It sounds like metal to metal when starting and quits right away. after the 3rd or 4th time it will run but it blows white smoke and a lot of it. I had someone replace the head gasket and now its worse. Can you Help?

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Did they have the cylinder checked for cracks and have it machined before they put the new gasket in? you may have a cracked head or whoever did the gasket did not machine the head, was badly warped and is not sealing the new gasket properly. this may also explain the noise you are hearing, could be the cams binding in the head. Please find out if the head was machined or checked for warpage and cracks, pull the plugs and look down into the cylinders you will be able to tell which is consuming coolant because the top of the piston will be very clean and the others will have deposits, also look at the spark plugs and see which is wet and white colored do this check after the car has cooled down for awhile but not dead cold.... please rate -jeff BTW if you live near CT i am always available for side repair work i am ase certified

Posted on Sep 04, 2008

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Last week it started smoking like a forest fire, then quit the 2 days later did it again. i stopped for 10 min then didnt smoke again


It sounds like you have a bad gasket. When you start the engine it is cold and everything is contracted allowing possibly coolant to get into the pistons. Once the engine warms the metal and gaskets expand, closing the leak off. This is only a guess though, not knowing the make, model or year of vehicle and not knowing if the smoke is blue, black or white it's hard to give you a more definitive answer.

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I sugest you pull your plugs and clean or replace if necessarry.
The first time I changed the plugs on the truck to fix a rough idle , I started at the back of the passenger side and worked my way around.
Of course , the last 2 that I got to were the problem...... Heartless uncle just laughed.
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