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Q: Blown head gasket?

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Car started smoking from water reservoir area, temperature was all the way up too high. Pulled over waited for engine to quit smoking and hissing from reservoir area, added water. Car was hard to start, ran rough at idle. Oil still looks like oil, not milky or foamy. Also had weird chemical smell inside car. White smoke from exhaust. Did I blow head gasket? Check engine light is also on.

My car has 130000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi, thanks for writing in. Unfortunately, w...

Hi, thanks for writing in. Unfortunately, white smoke in the exhaust, overheating and rough running all point to engine coolant getting into the combustion chamber. This is generally caused by a crack in the head or block or more commonly on the Sebring head gasket. Removing the spark plugs and looking to see if one is much cleaner than the others might be an indication which cylinder is getting the coolant incursion or having a coolant pressure test performed to ensure the cooling system is not leaking elsewhere. If it has been determined the leak is in a combustion chamber, the cylinder head would then need to be removed and then diagnosis to determine if the head gasket has failed or if the problem is caused by a cracked component.

If you would like help, consider having an expert automotive technician from YourMechanic come to your home or office to inspect and diagnose this issue for you, and make or suggest any repairs as needed.

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