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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  • 359 Answers

Sounds like a cracked head or blown head gasket

Posted on May 23, 2008

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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1999 chevy luminapassed smog with flying colors nothing wrong went to change oil it was like a light chocolate color


What is wrong with the oil?

If it looks like chocolate milk then you will have a leak in the cooling system that is allowing coolant to escape into the oil. If your cracked radiator has been replaced and you check the coolant level you will find you will need to top it up.
(Take off the radiator cap when the engine is cold and you might also find evidence of oil that has escaped into the coolant and has attached itself to the radiator cap and the neck of the filler)..

White smoke generally occurs when coolant escapes directly into the combustion chamber not when it escapes into the oil passages in the engine and contaminates the oil.

What you need to track down now is where the coolant is getting into the engine oil which may be through a blown head gasket or a cracked cylinder head or both. If you had a crack in the radiator when driving the car the coolant will escape very fast because it is under pressure. Overheating the engine even for a short while can be enough to cause damage and heating up the engine is unavoidable unless you pick up the coolant leak very quickly.

The first thing I would be doing is to check for a failed cylinder head gasket because I would want to eliminate that as the issue if it has not failed.

In some engine designs coolant can leak into the oil via a failed intake manifold gasket and in that event it is a much simpler repair. I am not sure if that can be an issue in the engine you have fitted in your car but it is something you should check out..

In any event there is a very good video here on ways to identify if you have a blown head gasket. If you do not then you will most likely not have cracks in the cylinder heads either. But one way or the other you need to track down the internal coolant leak as engine oil contaminated with coolant will cause engine damage if not dealt with and the problem repaired..


12 Ways of How To Test Blown Head Gasket Compared PART1


Also you might like to read this............

What to Do When Your Engine Overheats

Dec 13, 2015 | 1999 Chevrolet Lumina

Tip

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.

on Jan 21, 2010 | Chevrolet Cavalier Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

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.

Nov 25, 2015 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Volvo has been overheating put coolant in but it drains somewhere no leaks are visible now car wont start


This is NOT a good thing...Better check you engine oil. When engine coolant disappears without any signs of it leaking on the ground, it is usually because it is leaking into the crankcase via a blown head gasket, blown intake manifold gasket, or cracked cylinder head. If your engine oil looks milky, like a chocolate milk shake, it is time for major engine repair or replacement.

May 20, 2012 | 2004 Volvo S40

1 Answer

04 chevy impala has white smoke coming from the exhaust but no leaking


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.

Jul 29, 2011 | 1990 Honda Civic

2 Answers

89 chevy s-10 blazer 4.3L uses anti freeze but nothing leaks i know its burning it cuz white smoke comes out the tail pipe im trying to decide whether its a intake or a head problem just need another...


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.

Jul 04, 2011 | 1989 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer

1 Answer

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.

Aug 26, 2010 | 1994 Isuzu Trooper

1 Answer

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


pressure test of cooling system-pull plugs and look for wet[coolant] white billowy smoke from tailpipe and oil level higher as well as the oil looking like chocolate milk

Jun 09, 2010 | 1998 Chrysler Concorde

1 Answer

BMW 1995 318i - Car Running Hot


There is a blockage or leak in your cooling system. That may come in a few different forms:
Incorrectly installed thermostat
Water pump not functioning - you may see water dripping from the pump or a stain from the hole under the water pump.
Severely coroded hoses/coolant passages - if the fluid is brown and the inside of the radiator rusty
External leak - you would see fluid on the ground Internal leak - you would see steam/white smoke from the tail pipe or water in the oil (may look like chocolate milk or not), if the oil level is extremely high this would be a good indication
heater core bypassed

Jan 06, 2010 | 2003 BMW 5 Series

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