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Old 04-02-2014, 10:09 PM   #1
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Teenagers mistake....

My son bought an 03 gt. Really nice car, but it had sit for a while. Long story short. It gets hot. It has true dual exhaust. "steam" blows out of both exhaust pipes, pretty much a cloud of white smoke. The Mustang has 98k on it. It's unknown if anything has been done to it. Im his dad and I am not a mechanic. I've been told anything from intake to 2 blown head gaskets. I have no idea. If you guys could help it would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:16 PM   #2
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steam?.. lol
how's the temp gauge? does it shoot rite up?
check the coolant level..
check the oil, is it milky? take the oil cap off and look at that, is that milky like sludge?... how's the car sound when its running?...
is the engine bay clean? any visable leaks...
does the " steam " smoke... is it thick white or blue... does it ever stop or just clouds pooring out..
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:19 PM   #3
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Teenagers mistake....

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Originally Posted by Zack44 View Post
My son bought an 03 gt. Really nice car, but it had sit for a while. Long story short. It gets hot. It has true dual exhaust. "steam" blows out of both exhaust pipes, pretty much a cloud of white smoke. The Mustang has 98k on it. It's unknown if anything has been done to it. Im his dad and I am not a mechanic. I've been told anything from intake to 2 blown head gaskets. I have no idea. If you guys could help it would be much appreciated. Thanks.

If it's white steam it does sound like coolant is getting into the combustion chambers. If it's true duals like you say, where both sides of the exhaust have nothing in common, then both sides of the motor are getting coolant in there. Sounds like what you have been told is right on. I would probably lean more towards head gaskets.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:20 PM   #4
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Also does the 'steam' have an unfamiliar smell

sent while driving recklessly
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:20 PM   #5
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steam?.. lol
how's the temp gauge? does it shoot rite up?
check the coolant level..
check the oil, is it milky? take the oil cap off and look at that, is that milky like sludge?... how's the car sound when its running?...
is the engine bay clean? any visable leaks...
does the " steam " smoke... is it thick white or blue... does it ever stop or just clouds pooring out..

All good questions.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:44 PM   #6
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Yeah I would lean more towards blown head gaskets for this one.
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:13 PM   #7
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how can you guys say blown head gasket when the guy gave no details at all other then smoke out the tail pipe... sounds like every other exhaust to me until he can explain more I don't think anyone can say what it is
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by FullyAutomatic View Post
how can you guys say blown head gasket when the guy gave no details at all other then smoke out the tail pipe... sounds like every other exhaust to me until he can explain more I don't think anyone can say what it is

Usually a tell tale sign of a blown head gasket is large quantities of white smoke from the exhaust, coolant consumption which causes the engine to get real hot and overheat which if for too long can cause devastating effects such as warped heads and block (if ran that hot for too long)
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:30 PM   #9
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well I understand all that but the op only states the car gets real hot... does that mean the temp gauge is hitting red? or what gets really hot.... the smoke out the tail pipe... well that's exhaust.. is it just when he starts it?.. could also indicate burning oil.. doesn't mean head gasket.... he also calls the smoke steam... or the steam smoke.. I also believe it could be a HG however don't tell him that and then he just assumes and well son your out a car... maybe its nothing
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:36 PM   #10
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A video of first cranking the car up and running for a few would be great. I get moisture come out of my tail pipes but doesn't steam but could also depend on the temp. I agree above there should be more detail like in for on the questions that were asked. See if you can get a video of it doing this

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Old 04-03-2014, 07:40 AM   #11
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how can you guys say blown head gasket when the guy gave no details at all other then smoke out the tail pipe... sounds like every other exhaust to me until he can explain more I don't think anyone can say what it is

Obviously there is a problem, he already had multiple mechanics look at it and that is what he was told. He knows nothing about cars and is just trying to find out if what he has been told makes sense. I don't think people would be telling him he has a blown head gasket if his car is only steaming on startup. If the smoke would have been blue, they would have told him oil. We are not diagnosing his car and telling him what repair to make, just reassuring him that what he as been told makes sense, at least that was my intention.
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:54 AM   #12
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A simple way to know is trying to understand whats going on. If its only on a cold start i.e. car had been sitting for more than 6 hrs is probably condensation in the exhaust. However if the car gets overheated and the white smoke or steam is still visible then you may have a head gasket blown. If i were you i would check the coolant level first to see if its full. A small test to see if its blown is with the reservoir cap off start the car if the coolant starts to over flow and spit coolant out on the startup then you do have a blown head gasket. But first see if with the proper amount of coolant check to see if the car runs normal temperature and also check to see if the fan kicks on as well. It could be as simple as the car didnt have enough coolant. Like it was stated the car was sitting for a while so there could be nothing wrong with it. However im just going off what op posted due to he said he was told it could be from intake to head gasket however he had not stated that the car was taken to a mechanic or mechanics for these diagnosis he was told.
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:58 AM   #13
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Sounds like your son has one of those rare steam-powered GTs. Lol

But more seriously, if this is only occurring on cooler days, then its nothing to worry about. This winter, when I started up my V6, there was so much condensation spewing out of the exhaust that I couldn't see out of the rear windshield if it wasn't a windy day.
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:08 AM   #14
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Sounds like your son has one of those rare steam-powered GTs. Lol

But more seriously, if this is only occurring on cooler days, then its nothing to worry about. This winter, when I started up my V6, there was so much condensation spewing out of the exhaust that I couldn't see out of the rear windshield if it wasn't a windy day.
+1 if its condensation then its not a problem. In addition i have also forgot to mention it could be a stuck thermostat that could cause overheating, this diagnosis of course assuming the steam is just condensation coming from the exhaust. Like i stated before and like fullyauto stated we do need a bit more details to be able to assist as much as possible the detais were a bit vague as to if it was diagnosed by mechanics or if it was hear-say from people
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:13 AM   #15
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Those cars go through intakes like it's nothing. Check and make sure if it's a cracked intake. Also check your coolant and see if it's empty. If so it's most likely a cracked intake. Every 99-04 goes through this around 100k miles. I went through it last year
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:22 AM   #16
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Those cars go through intakes like it's nothing. Check and make sure if it's a cracked intake. Also check your coolant and see if it's empty. If so it's most likely a cracked intake. Every 99-04 goes through this around 100k miles. I went through it last year
+1 i totally forgotten about that it could doe ra leak thru the manifold as well or thru the crossover good catch
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:03 AM   #17
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+1 i totally forgotten about that it could doe ra leak thru the manifold as well or thru the crossover good catch

Yea lol. Extremely common for new edge. Ford made the intakes cheap
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:38 AM   #18
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Easy to determine where the head gasket is blown (since the white "steamy" smoke is coming out from the exhaust): remove the spark plugs. The one(s) which are super clean are going to indicate the cylinder at which the water is entering the cylinder via the blown head gasket.
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:05 PM   #19
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Thanks for the replies guys. The engine oil is clean I'm told. Not water in it. The car hasn't been driven very far. To the best of my knowledge the temp gauge goes to just under the middle. The smoke coming out of the exhaust is white and there is Alot of it. There is also smoke coming out of the radiator when it's warmed up, it smells like exhaust. If it is blown head gaskets is it both of them? What would you guys recommend fixing the motor or finding a replacement. He is wanting to keep it a numbers matching car but he is also a broke teenager.
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:12 PM   #20
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if the temp gauge is normal...
and the coolant is at the rite level..
then sounds like your concern is just the exhaust's white smoke?
could you possibly post a video?
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:17 PM   #21
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Teenagers mistake....

I'm 90% sure it's Ur intake. No need to replace engine. Check and see if u have coolent in your coolent container
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:57 PM   #22
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Imo if it smells like exhaust or combustion in the radiator chances are a blown headgasket due to compression going into the coolant passages. However my question is how long has it been sitting for?
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:02 PM   #23
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I agree man thats what happend to mine one day I was driving and I looked back and there was a cloud of smoke and it smelt bad like radiator fluid and im only 17 Im still learning but I took my hole motor apart by myself and found out that it was my right head gasket it was blown and I got water into my pistons and so I had my heads redone they were warped

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Old 04-03-2014, 09:11 PM   #24
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Dang. He looked under it and it does have true duals. The exhaust pipes don't come together at all. Does that mean both head gaskets are bad?
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:20 PM   #25
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I would have him look under near the driver side to see if there is an h or x pipe first. If it truly is dual no crosspver pipe them assume worst case scenario unless the problem can be pinpointed
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:25 PM   #26
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Dang. He looked under it and it does have true duals. The exhaust pipes don't come together at all. Does that mean both head gaskets are bad?

If it is head gaskets, then yes. I'm wondering if someone overheated the car before you got it, warped the heads and caused the gaskets to blow. They need to check the heads and block deck to make sure there is no warpage or it will just happen again.
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:37 PM   #27
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It was bad but I have cleaned most of them up already

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Old 04-03-2014, 10:44 PM   #28
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that sucks... the previous owner of my car had the manifold crack and the car over heated... they had to change the manifold to the one with the aluminum cross over and do head work, new gaskets. she payed almost 4k
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:26 AM   #29
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Ya so far ive spent over $2,0000

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Old 04-09-2014, 04:10 PM   #30
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Dang. He looked under it and it does have true duals. The exhaust pipes don't come together at all. Does that mean both head gaskets are bad?

Any updates?
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:17 PM   #31
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No updates really. I've told him it might be easier and cheaper to find a 4.6 out of a crown vic. It scares me that he would have to pay someone to tear his motor apart just to find out the heads are warped or something. He can only works in the summer time and can't afford a whole lot. Thanks for all the great information.
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:20 PM   #32
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No updates really. I've told him it might be easier and cheaper to find a 4.6 out of a crown vic. It scares me that he would have to pay someone to tear his motor apart just to find out the heads are warped or something. He can only works in the summer time and can't afford a whole lot. Thanks for all the great information.

So was it head gaskets, or you're really not sure because the heads weren't pulled?
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:24 PM   #33
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Not sure yet. We still haven't done anything to it.
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:28 PM   #34
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Not sure yet. We still haven't done anything to it.

Ok. Just curious.
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Old 05-22-2014, 04:08 PM   #35
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I have an update. The head gasket was blown. Blown so bad that it was a 16th of an inch warped. Found a used motor and just got it put in. Now the catalytic converter glows red hot. The guy that out the motor in says it's a plugged cat. I called the local shop that puts them in. They said if the car isn't running good then it can make the cat do that and not be plugged. My son did put a CAI on it too. I'm still not a mechanic lol.
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