Question about 1989 Chevrolet Suburban

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Internal coolant leak

My Suburban is producing white smoke and the oil is like 'chocolate milk". There are no visible signs of external leaks but my coolant level rapidly decreases. Could the problem be that the intake manifold is cracked or is there another possible cause?

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  • Anonymous Mar 23, 2009

    I have a 1996 Pontiac with the same problem, and suspect that the coolant is leaking due to a bad head gasket or exhaust manifold.  I am wondering if one of the "radiator stop leak" products would more likely help or harm.

  • Anonymous Mar 24, 2014

    Heat is not working properly

  • Anonymous Mar 27, 2014

    coolant leak, over heating



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Sounds like a cracked head or blown head gasket

Posted on May 23, 2008


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What causes a 1991 F-150 5.0 to blow white some an idle roughy like it is out of time

Most likely cause, bad head gasket or worst case a warped or cracked head. Blowing white smoke is usually a sign of coolant getting into the combustion chamber. Blue smoke would be oil. Check your coolant level see if it's gone down and check for bubbles in the radiator which would be a sign of a leak to one of the cylinders. And most of all don't drive it anymore. Coolant leaking isn't a death sentence yet, but constant coolant leaking into a cylinder will cause corrosion and oil contamination as well and you could end up with engine oil that looks like chocolate milk.

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I think my head gasket is blown

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.

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Coolant looks like chocolate milk, burning smell

You may have a blown head gasket allowing coolant to contaminate the oil. This an expensive fix (likely $1500 +) as you will likely need to replace one or both head gaskets.

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white smoke is caused by water or coolant entering cylinders, if in over flow it will look like a chocolate milk shake. check on oil dipstick to see if you can see traces of water or anti - freeze in the oil. if you see white smoke coming from tail pipe that smoke means that your car has a leaking cylinder-head gasket or a cracked head gasket. If there is just a leak in the gasket, the problem should be relatively easy and inexpensive to fix, but if the problem is a cracked head gasket, chances are the repair will be a lot more complicated and expensive. If the problem is a leaking head-gasket cylinder you will see white smoke, because the faulty gasket is allowing air and fuel to enter the cooling system. As this mixture burns, white smoke is produced and exits through your tailpipe. If you are familiar with the location of the cylinder head gasket you can check it yourself, otherwise take the car to your mechanic and ask him to check the gasket for damage. may not be but just check it out! if its water or anti-freeze, you will smell a sweet smell coming from tailpipe. good-day ! most of the costs today are labor which is very expensive.

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If you have white smoke coming out your exhaust, it has to be a head gasket. The symptoms of an intake manifold leak are either and external leak (leaking on the ground) or water in the crank case (mixing with the oil and making it look like chocolate milk-shake) A leaking intake gasket will not cause the antifreeze to enter the combution chambers.

To diagnose which head is leaking, you can remove the valve covers and remove all the rocker arms then put compressed air into each spark plug hole and watch the radiator for bubbles. Looking at the spark plugs may also tell you without having to do this...The spark plug in the leaking cylinder will be very white on the electrode.

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White smoke on exhaust

As a general rule, white smoke can mean coolant leaking into the combustion cylinder(s). Check your coolant level, see if it's still full, or if it's discolored (like oil is mixing into the water). Check the color of the oil, see if it looks like chocolate milk. If you're losing coolant, I'd say it's possible a head gasket, cracked/warped head, etc.

Make sure it really is white smoke -- if it's "blue smoke", it can simply be burning oil -- valve guides, piston rings. Or it was way overfilled with oil and the excess pressure is forcing the oil past the rings.

A compression test would be a good idea, as would a trip to a mechanic to check it out.

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Have a 98 chrysler concorde thats overheating and had a leak comeing from radator how do i know if the heads are not blown

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