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DakarDoug

Losing a lot of coolant, could my head gasket be bad?

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Car otherwise runs fine. No white smoke but can smell a sweet smell coming from the engine, also dipstick is not milky. I can't see any coolant leaks either. I have heard that I can pressurize the cooling system and then if the head gasket is blown, will see white smoke. Is this recommended or an I creating other potential problems? Thanks.

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I verified my bad head gasket by pressurizing the coolent system for 30 min. and then pulling each plug to check for moisture. Sure enough, #4 plug inlet was all wet when I pulled the plug, and, after pulling the head, that turned out to be the blown spot in the head gasket.

Bob Napier

Should point out that before doing this (as I should have done from the get-go) I replaced all coolent hoses, thermostat, and had radiator rodded-out. Oh well, all those items are now in good shape.

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what Napes said - plus....

either drive the car to build up heat and pressure - or use a cooling system pressure tester - remove spark plugs, wait 1 - 2 hour - then stand back and crank the motor with the plugs out - watch the water works coming out of the plug holes. YOU CAN have head gasket coolent leakage into the combustion chamber and NOT into the oil/lubrication system.

Good Luck

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water pump. They can leak like sieves thru the weep hole at the six o'clock position, and never show drips or wet spots, as the spinning crankshaft pulley/fanbelt/fan nicely disperses the leaking coolant.

Whatcha need to look for is (1) when grabbed and wiggled, the fan has some axial play in it and/or (2), significant white crusty stuff around the weep hole on the water pump. You'll need a small mirror to see that, or look at it from underneath (engine off, of course).

Hope it's the water pump--a lot easier than a head gasket...

mike

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Guest Anonymous

Sounds like just a coolant leak from a hose on the block or if its a tii the rear of the water pipe on the left side of the block. You say the sweet smell is coming from the engine compartment but if it was a head gasket you would smell a sweet smell out of the exhaust and not in the engine compartment. Doesn't sound at all like a head gasket.

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