Question about 1998 Dodge Avenger

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My car started to smoke it smelled like the antifreeze burning the temp went way up and heard a noise when i turned the motor off i saw a big puddle of antifreeze where my car was did my head gasket blow or could it have been my water pump? the timing belt was all wet

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Hi Mike,

If it only overheated, there's a chance it was the water pump. Did you find the leak?

BUT, if any of the following occurred:

  • White smoke out the tail pipe
  • Loss of power
  • Oil in the coolant
  • Coolant in the oil
  • Will not start
You may have Head gasket trouble.

Safety first: Eye Protection, control the area, etc

To find out, run a compression test on all cylinders.


pull the plugs and turn it over, looking for coolant to shoot out


If you don't have the equipment, based on your symptoms, try this:

  • Open the hood
  • Take off the radiator cap
  • Make sure it has water in it (no anti freeze necessary
  • Have any bystanders (AND PETS) clear the area.
  • Get in and turn it over a few times.
If the head gasket is blown, water will shoot out of the radiator like a Las Vegas Fountain just from turning it over. You won't know which cylinder, but that won't really matter, will it?

I have my fingers crossed for you.

Best of luck


Posted on Nov 13, 2010


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