Question about 1995 Chevrolet Cavalier

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Trying to find out how to now if the water jacket is busted

Have replaced head gasket twice and am still leaking water from the head. When pulled the head off the car thier was water filled to the top off the pistons not sure if the water jacket is busted

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  • Donnie Matney
    Donnie Matney May 11, 2010

    when you replaced head gasket did you have it checked out for cracks and warpage?

  • Donnie Matney
    Donnie Matney May 11, 2010

    is this on the rear head?



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Sounds like a cracked head. They are very bad about cracking.

Posted on Jun 21, 2009


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You have a migration of the water jacket into a oil jacket, this happens often when a head gasket is faulty, you will need to replace the head gasket, or if the engine has a water cooled oil reservoir you could have a problem there , get your mechanic to do a head gasket leak test, that will tell you for sure.

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Sound like a head gasket is leaking. The coolant is leaking from the water jacket through the failed gasket in to the engine crankcase. The "blow back" is caused by the combustion inside the cylinder to leak into the water jacket, pressurizing it.
Drain the oil immediately and do not attempt to run the engine until you have the gasket replaced. Water in the oil will destroy the engine beyond repair.

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Water in the engine oil can be a sign of a leaky head gasket, between oil and water passages. There was a run of Subaru models which did have trouble with head gasket leaks, due to bad parts supply. It can also be the eventual outcome of the coolant not being changed.
It might also be associated with overheating, a sign of more extensive head gasket troubles.

There is a test, a radiator leak-down test, which can show if the water jacket is not holding pressure, due to a leak somewhere. A compression test will show if the actual cylinder pressure is leaking too.
Bear in mind the Subies have 2 head gaskets, 1 each side. Unfortunately many mechanics will want to pull the engine out for this job. It is not absolutely necessary, but easier that way.
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I don't mean to sound sceptical, but how have you concluded there is not any head gasket problem? Do you mean a compression test is good? Because that will not show up any leak between the water jacket and the oil passages, via the head gasket joint. Only a pinhole leak is needed because water is, well, watery.
Has a radiator leak down test been done? This will show up water jacket leaks (there may be more than one), and give you some idea of the size.

I don't know your engine well, but I cannot think of another ready way for water to get in the oil or v-v, except a cracked block, which is rare. I have read of a leaky intake manifold gasket causing it, but I can't picture that one myself.

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It appears the head gasket has failed and is leaking to the water jacket. There is no additive which can fix the problem, the pressure are too high for that.

There is a definitive test which shows combustion gases in the water jacket, at the radiator neck. Sometimes also you can see white bubbles like dry ice, in the coolant.

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Head gasket leaking water is being burnt through cyclinder closet to water jacket leaking try reTorqeing the cylinder head; check for cracked head; check for water in oil to see if block is cracked ;Replace Head Gasket If their is no water in oil . Retorqeing the Cylinder Head may work if vehicle has not been run very much since problem started .

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If you have a very clean tail pipe the water is going through the engine. This happens when the head gasket starts leaking from the water jacket into the cylinder and then is pushed out thru the tail pipe via the exhaust of the engine cylinder.

Here is a quick way to check for a blown / leaking head gasket. First start of the day remove the radiator cap and fill the radiator all the way to the ring area. Leave the cap off and start the vehicle. If it pushes lots of water out of the cap hole as you accelerate the engine then the head gasket is leaking into the water jacket of the engine.

You can possibly locate the cylinder that is causing the problem by removing the spark plugs one at a time. When you come across the very clean spark plug in comparison to all of the rest that is the cylinder that is leaking.

The only real fix for this is removal and replacement of the head gasket.

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Where can you find from the engine block the water jackets of my 300m. It suspect that these waterjackets are already coroded causing water leaks. Is it advisable to put solution on the water reservoir the...

the water jackets are part of the casting of the engine block they surround the cylinders water jackets dont corrode away they clog or if they are leaking u have a cracked engine block if u are getting antifreeze into oil and steam out of exhaust more than likely its a head gasket-- because if u crack a water jacket that usually means a blown engine and need to replace or rebuild ---and the additive usually works for radiator leaks and some minor head gasket leaks

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1994 v6 3.0 toyota pickup

You either have a busted head gasket or a crack in the head or block in the water jacket area.

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Daihatsu charade 1.3 1996 model. I bought the above car 3 weeks ago from a car dealer in WA. A week later the radiator overheated and has done so twice since. The thermostat has been changed twice but has...


In its simplest terms, the head gasket is the spacer/insulator between the cylinder head and the engine block. When the piston (in the block) moves upward to compress the air/fuel mixture (against the cylinder head), tremendous pressure develops inside the combustion chamber. The pressure will find any easy means of escape to expand. If the gasket is defective, the pressure will pass through that gasket and enter the water jackets (where the collant flows through). The pressure/air bubbles will ride the coolant flow and eventually end up inside the radiator and would then be visible as you have posted.

Incidentally, the gasket may be OK but the cylinder head could be warped and the same fault would also be exhibited. This is especially more so on aluminum heads.

Both the gasket problem and/or the warped cylinder head could have resulted from a prior overheating problem.

Corrective procedure on the air bubbles would require top overhauling wherein only the cylnder head is removed. Of course once removed, your mechanic would be able to inspect the pistons and its sleeves and could decide if a general overhaul is required or stick to the cylinder head work. A top overhaul also requires cylinder head gasket replacement.

Unto the overheating problem, you may want to check the water pump, thermostat, fan, fan relay and fan clutch. It may also be to your added advantage if you would have the radiator flushed/cleaned as well as the water jackets. Some mechanics especially in warmer regions opt to completely remove the thermostat and permanently wire the fan to always be on.

Hope this be of initial help/idea. Pls post back how things turned up or should you need additional information.

Good luck and kind regards.

Thank you for using FixYa.

Jul 27, 2008 | Daihatsu Charade Cars & Trucks

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