Blown Head or Intake gasket??

Reply

  #1  
Old 02-18-02, 06:50 PM
Mike71
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Blown Head or Intake gasket??

My wife has a 95 Saturn with 140,000. no engine problems to date. Today her white smoke starting coming out of her car while she was backing up. Some guy stuck his finger in the exhaust and said she had a blown head gasket. I went a picked up her car since she was afraid to drive.

Last week, the car ran hot, her coolant light came on and I added some water and it hasn't lost any coolant since. Her oil level was afully low too. Here are a couple of problems I found today while looking at the car:

1. 2 of the 4 spark plugs were loose (I used anit sieze on them too)

2. Her electric fan is not coming on (I know how to fix this)

3. I notice a little bit of oil leaking from the upper intake gasket.

4. While driving it home, I saw white smoke at first, but it stopped doing it after a few minutes


What would be the symptoms of a intake gasket leak??? Is it possible that the head gasket is blown?? Or could all of these be symptoms of the car just overheating due to the fan not working?? It only over heats when she is sitting in traffic. This car has to last 2 more months, and it isn't worth fixing if it needs any major repairs. Any ideas??

p.s. forgot to mention that I pulled the dip stick and the oil looked fine. I was told it would look like a milk shake if it was a head gasket. Also pulled the spark plugs and there were no white depsoites on them

Thanks
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 02-18-02, 07:10 PM
Mike71
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Just noticed something else. In the garage where my where my wife starts the car, there is black spary marks on the ground right below the muffler. I had her start the car and I put my hand under the muffler and I got some black liquid on my hand. Not a whole lot, but I can't tell if it is oil or antifreeze or both.
 
  #3  
Old 02-18-02, 07:40 PM
mooser1
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
the symptoms you describe are classic blown head gasket woes, especially since she overheated the engine previously, heads don't take kindly to heat...possibility that you also cracked the head, white smoke (vapor) slowing down when head heats up and closes the crack a little...the black gunk blowing out of the muffler area is carbon from the exhaust pipe wet with coolant...

I would guess it's time for some repair work my friend...
 
  #4  
Old 02-18-02, 07:45 PM
Joe_F
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Either the intake or the head gasket is expensive work, so if you're not going to stick with the car in the long haul, now is the time to pitch it.

If the fans didn't come on, you cooked the gasket. As Mooser said, aluminum doesn't like heat.

I too have a Saturn and I always watch the temperature gauge like a hawk. I'm going to change both coolant switches this spring as a matter of course when I service the cooling system (something I do every year).
 
  #5  
Old 02-19-02, 05:14 AM
Mike71
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanks guys. I am not as thrilled as my wife is about this. I drove her car to work this morning and the temp did not get past 1/4 of the way. It doesn't seem to be leaking coolant either. The car is on it's last leg though. The engine sounds like a sewing machine. I think it might be a bad lifter. Plust the engine vibrates so much that the door panels rattle and the dash. I guess I will just have to put the car out of its misery.
 
  #6  
Old 02-19-02, 05:29 AM
Joe_F
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Sounds like it was neglected in the past or needs some real going through.

Saturns MUST have the oil and filter changed every 3k, they tend to have oiling problems. The engines are inherently noisy by design (they have a timing chain, not a belt).

A lot of the early year Saturns have NVH issues (noise, vibration, harshness).

Regular and rigorous upkeep will keep them going fairly trouble free for a long time. Must be ultra regular on the maintenance though.
 
  #7  
Old 02-19-02, 08:01 AM
Mike71
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
It was neglected. When my wife and I first started dating, her Dad was always on her case because she never checked the oil. The car seemed to burn quite a bit of oil. I can't tell you how many times the car has ran with almost no oil. After we were married I found out the pcv valve was bad and the rubber hose on it had a hole in it. Also the boot that goes from the throttle body to the air filter was melted at the throttle body and had a pretty big hole. It looked like oil was shooting back into the air filter. After fixing these two things, It didn't burn as much oil.

I am amazed that the car has gone 140,000. No major repairs ever needed. What do you do with an car like this? I doube anyone would by it.
 
  #8  
Old 02-19-02, 08:40 AM
Joe_F
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Pitch it .

Donate it to a charity and take the tax write off...that's what I would do.

Not worth fixing if you state it has been driven like that. It doesn't owe you a wooden nickel
 
  #9  
Old 02-19-02, 08:58 AM
Mike71
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanks, I didn't think of donating it. You are right, it doesn't owe me a wooden nickel. I kind of feel sorry for the car.
 
  #10  
Old 02-19-02, 10:19 AM
Joe_F
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Saturn went to Uranus :(

Poor Saturn!
 
  #11  
Old 02-22-02, 07:44 PM
Mike71
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I traded it in on a 2002 Honda Accord. Got $800 for it from the dealer. Not bad considering I wouldn't sell it for that much to anyone.
 
  #12  
Old 02-23-02, 10:38 AM
Joe_F
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Well there you have it

Hopefully, this one will be better cared for than the Saturn and see more regular maintenance.

That is key. I have 142,000 on my Olds 88 and no plans to get rid of it any time soon
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes