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Old 04-09-2011, 06:47 PM   #1
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Coolant in exhaust (leaking head gasket?)

My Trans Am has been spraying coolant out the exhaust lately. I'm thinking its a head gasket but would like some other opinions before I dive in.

The car has been sitting for a long time so I think that the old gaskets have possibly dried and then broke when I started it for the first time.

And no there is no coolant in the oil.

Any thoughts?
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:28 AM   #2
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Re: Coolant in exhaust (leaking head gasket?)

Could be that; but prolly not. FAR more likely, the head is cracked some way or other. Prolly in the exh port, since if it was in the cyl (either the gasket or a crack there), it would fill the cyl with coolant and "hydro lock" the motor, and you'd have a bent rod or broken piston or something MUCH worse than just some coolant in the exhaust.
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Roughly paraphrased into modern English, and applied to figuring out what's wrong with your car:

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Old 04-10-2011, 11:01 AM   #3
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Re: Coolant in exhaust (leaking head gasket?)

I strongly disagree. I've seen MANY head gaskets go in just this way...the steel cylinder ring on the head gasket blows out and a small leak opens between the cylinder and a coolant passage, but it's usually small enough that only a little bit of coolant gets sucked into the cylinder on each intake stroke. You end up with "vanishing coolant," then as the leak gets worse an overheating problem. In my experience, warped or cracked heads leak far worse/faster, and THAT's where you generally get hydro-lock problems or water in the oil.
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:07 AM   #4
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Re: Coolant in exhaust (leaking head gasket?)

Are you sure it's coolant coming out of the exhaust, and not just condensation? Are you losing coolant?

If yes, head gasket is most likely culprit. But lost coolant usually exits the tailpipe as steam, not spraying liquid.
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:28 AM   #5
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Re: Coolant in exhaust (leaking head gasket?)

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Originally Posted by eseibel67 View Post
Are you sure it's coolant coming out of the exhaust, and not just condensation? Are you losing coolant?

If yes, head gasket is most likely culprit. But lost coolant usually exits the tailpipe as steam, not spraying liquid.
I'm fairly sure I'm loosing some coolant (coolant bottle cracked waiting on replacement, using beer can as temporary overflow bottle so its hard to accurately see how much is gone). I'm also sure that most of what was coming out the exhaust was condensation but the liquid did leave greenish stains on the driveway.

Once the rain stops I'll start it up again and take a closer look.

Thanks for the responses guys.
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:28 AM
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