Question about 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier

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Blown head gasket how much to repair?

White billowing smoke for back of car. possible blown head gasket. check engine light stays on.

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  • marionbagget May 11, 2010

    If the 'white smoke' is steam that smells like antifreeze then you have a blown head gasket or crack. Check the fluid in the radiator. It will be getting low.

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You may be better replacing the whole engine with a rebuilt. It's going to cost close to $1000.00 to repair and you can buy a rebuilt for just $1700.00 and you know the engine is fresh. With a blown head gasket you have the fear of antifreeze contamination in your engine oil. The antifreeze is corrosive to the crankshaft bearings and you may be looking at bearing replacement also. If the body is good, you can always try to find another 1997 cavalier with less miles and swap out the engine. Seen most cavalier around that year for sale starting at $500.00 and another $300.00 for labor to do the swap. Good luck and sorry about the bad news. Keep me posted, be glad to help.

Posted on Jun 16, 2009

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I replaced my whole engine foe $500.00 with a 90 day warranty from junk yard motor ran great and it only had 40,000 miles on it do not wast your time with just the head if you plan to keep the car . good luck

Posted on Jun 16, 2009

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Yep, same as they said. because my head gasket leaks alittle (coolant to outside) after the previous owner replaced the head so my mechanic said to just put some Bar's radiator stop leak in otherwise according to his big book (labor price guide) it would of taken 5 hours times the 65 a hour and would of ended up being 325 JUST for a new head gasket.

Posted on Mar 24, 2011

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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2 Answers

My car has white smoke coming from the exhaust


he causes of white exhaust smoke can vary; however, it is common to see white exhaust smoke when first starting a car, especially on cooler days. This is generally steam caused by condensation. As the engine warms up and the condensation dissipates the white exhaust smoke (steam) is no longer seen. If excessive white exhaust smoke is present well after the engine warms up, it is necessary to have the car inspected for possible internal coolant leaks. Indicators of an internal coolant leak include billowing white exhaust smoke accompanied by a sweet odor or a low coolant reservoir level. An internal coolant leak can also contaminate the engine oil giving it a frothy, milky appearance. Even small amounts of coolant entering the combustion chamber will produce white exhaust smoke.
One of the main causes of white exhaust smoke and coolant loss is a cracked or warped cylinder head, a cracked engine block, or head gasket failure caused by overheating. A cracked head may allow coolant to leak into one or more cylinders or into the combustion chamber of the engine. Dirty coolant, a poorly maintained cooling system, a low coolant level, or a non-functioning cooling fan can cause engine overheating. In addition, engine wear can eventually cause the gaskets to lose their capacity to seal properly allowing internal coolant loss. Intake manifold gasket and head gasket failures are two of the most common sources of internal coolant loss caused by engine wear.
Never remove the radiator cap or coolant reservoir cap while the engine is hot or running as it can cause serious injury; always allow the car to cool down completely first. Checking for a low coolant level in the reservoir is the first step in determining if coolant loss is causing the white exhaust smoke. If the coolant reservoir is at the proper level but excessive white exhaust smoke is present, a cooling system pressure check is required to determine where, if any, coolant leaks are located.

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I bought a acura 96 car drives great just smokes bad uses min oil


Blue smoke often means bad rings. Expensive repair. Black smoke could mean bad valves. Also an expensive repair.

Check compression. Your mechanic can do that easily, and should not cost a lot.

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I did check the radiator an it was low what does the mean


it needs fluid [also may mean nothing ] and if you have no fluid in reservoir might have a leak check for wet spots and cracked or damaged lines/reservoir if blowing white billowing smoke from exhaust need engine work possible head gasket

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I got a 350 vortex an I put new head gasket on it never ran hot on me but now it's cold outside an steam is comeing out my pipes it's not white smoke it's white steam an my oil is good am my water is good...


Hi,this should be normal,with most older cars you see this when tempricher drops,let the car run for about 30minits keeping an eye on the water level and tepricher,should cleer,if tempricher gose up or lose of water then it could be water leaking into the pistion bores or head cracked,hopfuly it will cleer,good luck.

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that is a service engine light and if you were blowing white smoke sounds like you have a head or head gasket problem as you over heated engine

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I have a 99 Saab 9-5 2.3L turbo. When I shifted it would blow white smoke for a second. Yesterday it started billowing smoke then died. Now it won't start and it turns over very rough. Please help.


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Its possible you have blown the head gasket and coolant is leaking into one or more of the cylinders.
You could pull the spark plugs and check for coolant - also run a compression test.

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2 Answers

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I hope this helps.

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1 Answer

It turns over but it will not stay running unless foot is on gas padal. White smoke is coming from tail pipe


Hi,
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