Q: Overheating, rusty color in reservoir and its cap, white smoke from exhaust, no heat. Whats the problem? 2002 Oldsmobile Alero

asked by on March 05, 2017

Car over heats quickly white smoke from tailpipe no heater rust color in and on resevior and it's cap. Flushed the cooling system and it ran OK for 5 days. Now it's back to over heating etc. Is it the radiator or intake manifold gaskets or both

My car has 86000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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Hello - you may have multiple problems, all related to the cooling system, at work here. It is likely you have a blown headgasket given the repeatable overheating after a short time, and white smoke in the exhaust (if it’s smells slightly sweet - it’s a coolant leak). It is possible with this engine that the intake manifold gaskets are leaking coolant into the engine, and it’s not a blown headgasket, but that doesn’t address the overheating. Checking compression for low readings on adjacent cylinders will help confirm the blown head gasket diagnosis. The lack of heat from the heater may be a malfunctioning or clogged heater control valve (or the circuit which controls it). Check all fuses for the HVAC just to be sure it isn’t a fuse. I recommend an overheating inspection for some initial insight into your cooling problems, performed by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will come to your location, diagnose this problem, and give you an accurate assessment of damage and cost estimate for repairs.

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