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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 28 Feb 2007, 04:07 pm
nipracw@yahoo.com
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Default Blown head gasket... but??

Hi all,

I'm the owner of a 1994 Honda Civic DX. Well anyhoo, I was driving to
work the other day, and all of a sudden my engine started missing.
Pulled up to a stop sign, and as I'm idling I look out my rear window
and I notice a plume of white smoke coming from my tailpipe... I
sputtered away from the stop sign and drove the rest of the way to
work (I was about 2 or 3 miles away by this point) leaving a contrail
of white smoke behind me...

Got there, checked the oil, and there was no unusual milky residue or
anything. The coolant was low so I topped that off... after work I
brought it to the nearest garage, with the same symptoms on the way
(sputtering at idle, THICK cloud of smoke that, from as best I could
tell was steaming antifreeze)

Haven't heard back yet, but it seems fairly obvious that it's the head
gasket. Unless there's something I'm missing?

That being said, I have a couple of questions -

1. Two days prior I picked up a bottle of injector cleaner and added
it to my fuel. Is it possible that this somehow worsened the
condition, and made it manifest itself now?

2. Wouldn't there be residue in the oil if it's steaming this badly?
Or is it possible that the anti-freeze is steaming and being blown out
of the engine via the tailpipe without falling into the oil pan?

3. Is there anything else that could cause symptoms like this, or is
it pretty much guaranteed that my own assumption is correct?

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 28 Feb 2007, 05:29 pm
motsco_
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Blown head gasket... but??

nipracw@yahoo.com wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I'm the owner of a 1994 Honda Civic DX. Well anyhoo, I was driving to
> work the other day, and all of a sudden my engine started missing.
> Pulled up to a stop sign, and as I'm idling I look out my rear window
> and I notice a plume of white smoke coming from my tailpipe... I
> sputtered away from the stop sign and drove the rest of the way to
> work (I was about 2 or 3 miles away by this point) leaving a contrail
> of white smoke behind me...
>
> Got there, checked the oil, and there was no unusual milky residue or
> anything. The coolant was low so I topped that off... after work I
> brought it to the nearest garage, with the same symptoms on the way
> (sputtering at idle, THICK cloud of smoke that, from as best I could
> tell was steaming antifreeze)
>
> Haven't heard back yet, but it seems fairly obvious that it's the head
> gasket. Unless there's something I'm missing?
>
> That being said, I have a couple of questions -
>
> 1. Two days prior I picked up a bottle of injector cleaner and added
> it to my fuel. Is it possible that this somehow worsened the
> condition, and made it manifest itself now?
>
> 2. Wouldn't there be residue in the oil if it's steaming this badly?
> Or is it possible that the anti-freeze is steaming and being blown out
> of the engine via the tailpipe without falling into the oil pan?
>
> 3. Is there anything else that could cause symptoms like this, or is
> it pretty much guaranteed that my own assumption is correct?
>

================================

Burning brake fluid makes a ton of white smoke. Had any problems with
the system using brake fluid mysteriously?

It could just be a valve sticking open, which will allow lots of oil to
migrate into the hot exhaust manifold.

'Curly'
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 28 Feb 2007, 06:32 pm
Woody
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Blown head gasket... but??

It sounds more like you have a busted hose pouring antifreeze over the
exhaust.

<nipracw@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1172700429.271974.186270@j27g2000cwj.googlegr oups.com...
> Hi all,
>
> I'm the owner of a 1994 Honda Civic DX. Well anyhoo, I was driving to
> work the other day, and all of a sudden my engine started missing.
> Pulled up to a stop sign, and as I'm idling I look out my rear window
> and I notice a plume of white smoke coming from my tailpipe... I
> sputtered away from the stop sign and drove the rest of the way to
> work (I was about 2 or 3 miles away by this point) leaving a contrail
> of white smoke behind me...
>
> Got there, checked the oil, and there was no unusual milky residue or
> anything. The coolant was low so I topped that off... after work I
> brought it to the nearest garage, with the same symptoms on the way
> (sputtering at idle, THICK cloud of smoke that, from as best I could
> tell was steaming antifreeze)
>
> Haven't heard back yet, but it seems fairly obvious that it's the head
> gasket. Unless there's something I'm missing?
>
> That being said, I have a couple of questions -
>
> 1. Two days prior I picked up a bottle of injector cleaner and added
> it to my fuel. Is it possible that this somehow worsened the
> condition, and made it manifest itself now?
>
> 2. Wouldn't there be residue in the oil if it's steaming this badly?
> Or is it possible that the anti-freeze is steaming and being blown out
> of the engine via the tailpipe without falling into the oil pan?
>
> 3. Is there anything else that could cause symptoms like this, or is
> it pretty much guaranteed that my own assumption is correct?
>



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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 28 Feb 2007, 07:28 pm
G-Man
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Blown head gasket... but??

Does she overheat?

Look at the coolant overflow tank when it's hot, is it bubbling? Blown Head
gasket!

I had a 94 DX, did the same thing at onlu 80k

Sucks!

G-Man

<nipracw@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1172700429.271974.186270@j27g2000cwj.googlegr oups.com...
> Hi all,
>
> I'm the owner of a 1994 Honda Civic DX. Well anyhoo, I was driving to
> work the other day, and all of a sudden my engine started missing.
> Pulled up to a stop sign, and as I'm idling I look out my rear window
> and I notice a plume of white smoke coming from my tailpipe... I
> sputtered away from the stop sign and drove the rest of the way to
> work (I was about 2 or 3 miles away by this point) leaving a contrail
> of white smoke behind me...
>
> Got there, checked the oil, and there was no unusual milky residue or
> anything. The coolant was low so I topped that off... after work I
> brought it to the nearest garage, with the same symptoms on the way
> (sputtering at idle, THICK cloud of smoke that, from as best I could
> tell was steaming antifreeze)
>
> Haven't heard back yet, but it seems fairly obvious that it's the head
> gasket. Unless there's something I'm missing?
>
> That being said, I have a couple of questions -
>
> 1. Two days prior I picked up a bottle of injector cleaner and added
> it to my fuel. Is it possible that this somehow worsened the
> condition, and made it manifest itself now?
>
> 2. Wouldn't there be residue in the oil if it's steaming this badly?
> Or is it possible that the anti-freeze is steaming and being blown out
> of the engine via the tailpipe without falling into the oil pan?
>
> 3. Is there anything else that could cause symptoms like this, or is
> it pretty much guaranteed that my own assumption is correct?
>



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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 28 Feb 2007, 08:40 pm
Jim Yanik
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Blown head gasket... but??

motsco_ <motsco_@interbaun.com> wrote in
news:12uc3v9rmoug464@corp.supernews.com:

> nipracw@yahoo.com wrote:
>> Hi all,
>>
>> I'm the owner of a 1994 Honda Civic DX. Well anyhoo, I was driving to
>> work the other day, and all of a sudden my engine started missing.
>> Pulled up to a stop sign, and as I'm idling I look out my rear window
>> and I notice a plume of white smoke coming from my tailpipe... I
>> sputtered away from the stop sign and drove the rest of the way to
>> work (I was about 2 or 3 miles away by this point) leaving a contrail
>> of white smoke behind me...
>>
>> Got there, checked the oil, and there was no unusual milky residue or
>> anything. The coolant was low so I topped that off... after work I
>> brought it to the nearest garage, with the same symptoms on the way
>> (sputtering at idle, THICK cloud of smoke that, from as best I could
>> tell was steaming antifreeze)
>>
>> Haven't heard back yet, but it seems fairly obvious that it's the head
>> gasket. Unless there's something I'm missing?
>>
>> That being said, I have a couple of questions -
>>
>> 1. Two days prior I picked up a bottle of injector cleaner and added
>> it to my fuel. Is it possible that this somehow worsened the
>> condition, and made it manifest itself now?
>>
>> 2. Wouldn't there be residue in the oil if it's steaming this badly?
>> Or is it possible that the anti-freeze is steaming and being blown out
>> of the engine via the tailpipe without falling into the oil pan?
>>
>> 3. Is there anything else that could cause symptoms like this, or is
>> it pretty much guaranteed that my own assumption is correct?
>>

>================================
>
> Burning brake fluid makes a ton of white smoke. Had any problems with
> the system using brake fluid mysteriously?


how does BRAKE fluid get into the engine?
Bad vacuum booster? It would have to be quite a bit of brake fluid,and the
brakes would act strange.

>
> It could just be a valve sticking open, which will allow lots of oil to
> migrate into the hot exhaust manifold.
>
> 'Curly'
>




--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
at
kua.net
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 28 Feb 2007, 10:02 pm
jim beam
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Blown head gasket... but??

nipracw@yahoo.com wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I'm the owner of a 1994 Honda Civic DX. Well anyhoo, I was driving to
> work the other day, and all of a sudden my engine started missing.
> Pulled up to a stop sign, and as I'm idling I look out my rear window
> and I notice a plume of white smoke coming from my tailpipe... I
> sputtered away from the stop sign and drove the rest of the way to
> work (I was about 2 or 3 miles away by this point) leaving a contrail
> of white smoke behind me...
>
> Got there, checked the oil, and there was no unusual milky residue or
> anything. The coolant was low so I topped that off... after work I
> brought it to the nearest garage, with the same symptoms on the way
> (sputtering at idle, THICK cloud of smoke that, from as best I could
> tell was steaming antifreeze)
>
> Haven't heard back yet, but it seems fairly obvious that it's the head
> gasket. Unless there's something I'm missing?
>
> That being said, I have a couple of questions -
>
> 1. Two days prior I picked up a bottle of injector cleaner and added
> it to my fuel. Is it possible that this somehow worsened the
> condition, and made it manifest itself now?
>
> 2. Wouldn't there be residue in the oil if it's steaming this badly?
> Or is it possible that the anti-freeze is steaming and being blown out
> of the engine via the tailpipe without falling into the oil pan?
>
> 3. Is there anything else that could cause symptoms like this, or is
> it pretty much guaranteed that my own assumption is correct?
>

you haven't experienced significant coolant loss, all you really have is
a misfire. head gaskets on hondas are usually accompanied by coolant
loss and bubbling into the expansion bottle. injector cleaner has
nothing to do with it. suggest you do a pressure test for leakage or a
chemical test to see if you have hydrocarbons in the coolant. and you
won't usually get water in the oil in hondas because the wet liners mean
coolant has no access to oil passages unless the block and/or head is
cracked.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 28 Feb 2007, 10:09 pm
nipracw@yahoo.com
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Blown head gasket... but??

> Burning brake fluid makes a ton of white smoke. Had any problems with
> the system using brake fluid mysteriously?


Nope, that seems fine! Only thing it's been using is antifreeze...


> It could just be a valve sticking open, which will allow lots of oil to
> migrate into the hot exhaust manifold.



> 'Curly'



....


> It sounds more like you have a busted hose pouring antifreeze over the
> exhaust.


I wish that were the case. I let it sit all day (the shop had no time
to look at it), and when I went back (to move it to a shop that's
actually competent with this sort of thing) there weren't any puddles
under the car and the coolant level seemed about where it was when I
last filled it.



> Look at the coolant overflow tank when it's hot, is it bubbling? Blown Head
> gasket!


Didn't run it for too long after the problem manifested itself (tried
driving a Cavalier home after blowing a headgasket -- one new head
later and I'm never trying that again!). However today (after I
posted the above message) I went back to the garage and moved the
vehicle about two blocks down the street. Checked the coolant --
smelled like exhaust/gas; exhaust plume that the car was emitting was
white and reeked of burning antifreeze (again I know that smell well
from my experience with the Cavy, just like maple syrup). Seems like
an open and shut case, but the oil looked fine?? If it's the head
gasket as it seems, perhaps I didn't run the engine long enough after
it went to foul the oil. or I guess it could be the intake manifold
gasket? I think my mother's buick had similar symptoms when that
went. As I examined the vehicle more closely I seem more confident in
my original conclusion. I don't know though, these things mystify me,
but I guess I'll find out tomorrow.



> I had a 94 DX, did the same thing at onlu 80k



> Sucks!


147k here -- guess I can't complain too hard! By and large, the car's
been wonderful. This is just a pain in the a$$...


> G-Man



- Will,
Still wondering about that injector cleaner...

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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 28 Feb 2007, 10:31 pm
nipracw@yahoo.com
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Blown head gasket... but??

> you haven't experienced significant coolant loss, all you really have is
> a misfire. head gaskets on hondas are usually accompanied by coolant
> loss and bubbling into the expansion bottle. injector cleaner has
> nothing to do with it. suggest you do a pressure test for leakage or a
> chemical test to see if you have hydrocarbons in the coolant. and you
> won't usually get water in the oil in hondas because the wet liners mean
> coolant has no access to oil passages unless the block and/or head is
> cracked.- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -


When the problem first surfaced, I lost about half of my coolent.
Once I stopped the car I topped it off and drove it to the garage.
Didn't seem to run THAT hot (maybe a bit warmer than usual, but arrow
didn't reach halfway mark, fairly cold day though). Also as noted I
didn't really examine the coolant in the expansion bubble with the
vehicle running, but it certainly didn't smell right...

Glad to hear the observation on not having water in my oil, seems to
corroborate everything else. Good design choice on Honda's part I
guess!

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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 28 Feb 2007, 10:53 pm
jim beam
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Blown head gasket... but??

nipracw@yahoo.com wrote:
>> you haven't experienced significant coolant loss, all you really have is
>> a misfire. head gaskets on hondas are usually accompanied by coolant
>> loss and bubbling into the expansion bottle. injector cleaner has
>> nothing to do with it. suggest you do a pressure test for leakage or a
>> chemical test to see if you have hydrocarbons in the coolant. and you
>> won't usually get water in the oil in hondas because the wet liners mean
>> coolant has no access to oil passages unless the block and/or head is
>> cracked.- Hide quoted text -
>>
>> - Show quoted text -

>
> When the problem first surfaced, I lost about half of my coolent.
> Once I stopped the car I topped it off and drove it to the garage.
> Didn't seem to run THAT hot (maybe a bit warmer than usual, but arrow
> didn't reach halfway mark, fairly cold day though). Also as noted I
> didn't really examine the coolant in the expansion bubble with the
> vehicle running, but it certainly didn't smell right...


you can't rely on the gauge for relative temps - it's non-linear. the
only readings that mean anything are cold, normal and hot. because
that's all it's designed for.

make sure the coolant is full in the radiator as well as the expansion
bottle, and monitor in use. if the gasket is leaking, you will almost
certainly get bubbles.

>
> Glad to hear the observation on not having water in my oil, seems to
> corroborate everything else. Good design choice on Honda's part I
> guess!
>

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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 01 Mar 2007, 06:03 am
Tegger
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Blown head gasket... but??

nipracw@yahoo.com wrote in
news:1172722143.423573.292570@8g2000cwh.googlegrou ps.com:

> However today (after I
> posted the above message) I went back to the garage and moved the
> vehicle about two blocks down the street. Checked the coolant --
> smelled like exhaust/gas; exhaust plume that the car was emitting was
> white and reeked of burning antifreeze (again I know that smell well
> from my experience with the Cavy, just like maple syrup). Seems like
> an open and shut case, but the oil looked fine?? If it's the head
> gasket as it seems, perhaps I didn't run the engine long enough after
> it went to foul the oil.




Whether the coolant ends up in the oil or in the combustion chamber is
entirely dependent on WHERE the gasket failed.

The most common failure is that of the fire ring that seals the
combustion chamber from the water jacket. This is probably what you've
got.

By noodling around in here you're causing more damage to your engine. Go
get a "pressure test" done. Quickly. Water is a terrible lubricant.



> or I guess it could be the intake manifold
> gasket? I think my mother's buick had similar symptoms when that
> went.




She had the infamous 3.8 V6 then. Honda has no such issues; different
design.


>
>
>
> Still wondering about that injector cleaner...
>
>



Got nothing to do with it.

Get your head gasket checked ("pressure test") as soon as you can, and
don't drive the car in the meantime..


--
Tegger

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
www.tegger.com/hondafaq/
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