: Is there any way to check if my car has a bad headgasket?



davidjp3
03-12-07, 10:59 PM
I'm pretty sure my 96 with 100000miles has a bad headgasket but I want to make sure before I go and spend a bunch of money to fix it. What test would let me know if I have a problem?

Coolant comes out of the reservoir, more so if I drive it hard, and this has been happening for months now. I replaced the radiator cap but that didn't work, so I'm assuming it's a bad headgasket. There's no coolant in the oil either. Could it be anything else?

RunningOnEMT
03-12-07, 11:07 PM
well , there's a couple signs

i'm no N* expert but here's how it goes for me, white smoke in the exhaust or bent rods usually mean fluid in the combustion stream..lol

foamy white oil when you do an oil change is water/coolant in the oil

if you do an oilchance and you can actually SEE green coolant in the oil, then um, you've got coolant in the oil

if you can see coolant leaking out of the head, and hear a loud ticking when the car is running then you leak to the outside

as a rule i change headgaskets on my cars every 50,000 miles if i keep them that long

Mountie
03-13-07, 01:07 AM
I'm pretty sure my 96 with 100000miles has a bad headgasket but I want to make sure before I go and spend a bunch of money to fix it. What test would let me know if I have a problem?

Coolant comes out of the reservoir, more so if I drive it hard, and this has been happening for months now. I replaced the radiator cap but that didn't work, so I'm assuming it's a bad headgasket. There's no coolant in the oil either. Could it be anything else?

Coolant bubbling, milky color ( possibly) under the oil fill cap, coolant leakage from the coolant cap ( high pressure due to increased air injected into coolant ), contamination test strip shows contamination, oil looks like shit, coolant has oily residue, overheating, ignition 'type' missfire, evidence on the SPARK PLUGS ( or a plug)......moments of steamy exhaust after parked for a while - when driving away ( more than typical condensation ), ...your bank account is low - but you still have to fix it.... ( most common problem when head gasket cracks).....

Ranger
03-13-07, 03:59 PM
Make sure that the water pump belt tensioner is not rusted in place causing the belt to slip. Also check the purge line to be sure it is clear and flows coolant. If both check out OK, then have the coolant tested for exhaust gasses or do a cylinder pressure test.

99cadillacman
03-13-07, 07:59 PM
and if youve been running it hot for 6 months if it didnt need a head gasket at first it sure does now lol

mp3maker
03-15-07, 02:00 AM
Best advice is the exhaust gas testing of the cooling system, well worth the price. We tested/replaced every other possible component including pulling the radiator before reality slapped us. Save time and avoid damage by checking it fully first. Best of luck....

zonie77
03-17-07, 10:56 AM
Have the exhaust gas test done at a radiator shop. Usually much cheaper and faster.