Question about 1991 Mercury Topaz 4 Door

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Vehicle over heats and steam comes out of the tail pipe when you shut it off? could this be the head gasket?

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This is a common symptom of head gasket leakage. You could do a block test to check for combustion/emissions gases in your coolant. It's pretty easy. The block tester can be rented at Autozone for $25.00 and you'll have to pick up some block test fluid ($8.99). Follow the directions on the back of the tester. If your fluid turns green or yellow, you've got combustion/emissions gases in your coolant. You can then test each cylinder head seperately by disconnecting the spark plug wires on each head and repeating the test one at a time.

Posted on Jun 28, 2009

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Well It may be, but you had better make sure. Here's how.first check the tail pipe put your finger in it rub the inside and taste it, yup I said taste it. if it's sweet then you are burning antifreeze and you need to check your coolant it needs to be a 50% coolant and 50% water or it will smoke a bit.
Then check the radiator fluid is it full? and what color is it? if the level is low and color is grey or streaking then you got a head gasket replacement ahead of you.
lastly pull the plugs out one at a time and see what color they are. if they have a white residue on them then again head gasket it may vary from plug to plug. if all of these are happening you got a major problem. replace the head gasket.
if the rad is full and good the tail pipe jsut tasted nasty, and the plug are a golden brown it is not the head gasket. get the coolant flushed and the injectors cleaned you should be ok.

Posted on Jun 28, 2009

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R/T. overheated. Why is white smoke coming from the tailpipe?


might be steam coming out tail pipe. If steam you may have a blown head gasket which could put water into the cylinder that gets turned into steam and put out tail pipe.
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If you have an alloy head you may also have cracked the head
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I appreciate you asking mr to help you with your problem.
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white smoke from the exhaust and overheating would almost certainly mean a blown head gasket.
the head gasket has gone between a cylinder and a cooling channel so exhaust gasses can get in to the cooling system resulting in the boiling and water from the cooling system is getting into the cylinder resulting in the white smoke (actually steam) from the exhaust.
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