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Old 12-10-2008, 06:27 PM   #1
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How bad is it

Hello I really don't know much about cars so I hope some of you can help.

I have a 1998 mustang (172k miles) w/ 3.8 v6 and have recently had some trouble. It all started when my wife called me and told me my car died while driving down the freeway it later started back up and she made it home. When I drove it the next day to see what was going on it wasn't hard to start but it didn't start right up and it kinda chugged a little bit.

I drove it for a few minutes and then decided to turn around and when I put it in reverse white smoke started pouring out from under the hood on the passenger side but when I got out and lifted the hood it had already gone so I don't know where it was from. My car doesn't drive well at all and has lost a lot of power and when I press the clutch to turn or slow down it dies most of the time. My exhaust is loose in the middle under my car but has been since my half A$$ clutch replacement so i don't think that is it.

It was checked for water and antifreeze and it didn't have any so it was added and seems to have NOT lost any and the oil it seems. I didn't see any water or bubbles and it seems to be pretty clean. There is oil in the air filter but not a whole bunch. All of these things started at the same time so I assume they are related.

My questions are

1) is it probable that i have a cracked head or gasket and what would that cost if I decided to go it alone and fix it myself

2) what are some other things that could cause this. And two other things there is a hole with some sort of fitting that looks like it's broke going into the firewall on the passenger side but no hose or wire or anything like that connected to it and my heater stopped working.

If you could help me that would be great if you need more info please feel free to ask.
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:06 AM   #2
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Re: How bad is it

If you have a head gasket issue you should see milky looking oil or bubbles in your coolant. You can have a compression test done if you want and check the plugs.
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:31 AM   #3
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Re: How bad is it

Is it getting oily all around or just in one spot? check PVC valve and any vacuum hose that may have a hole or crack,Clean it out and drive it and then look for any leak that would put oil in there , also look at valve covers, you should clean your throttle body,MAF and intake oil that is on the air filter has been sucked into all
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:57 AM   #4
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Re: How bad is it

I'll check the fluids again today and drive it again to see if anything leaks. So if I fill the water and start my car the bubbles would be in my radiator if there is a head gasket problem? I forgot to mention that when my car is running the big hose comeingoff the radiator colapses down and almost flattens out. I'm going to call around to see if I can get it diagnosed today the ford dealer wants $100+ just to look at it and then more $ the more they have to do + $80/hr for repair. Uhg the worst part is I made my last payment 2 days before this started happening.
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Old 12-11-2008, 10:20 AM   #5
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Re: How bad is it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herbstang View Post
Is it getting oily all around or just in one spot? check PVC valve and any vacuum hose that may have a hole or crack,Clean it out and drive it and then look for any leak that would put oil in there , also look at valve covers, you should clean your throttle body,MAF and intake oil that is on the air filter has been sucked into all
I ordered a new pcv valve yesterday but I can't pick it up till today. I couln't even find it under the hood i took a pic of where i think it is and if thats it it's covered in oil around it and inside where it goes. The second picture is right behind the alternator next to where you put the oil in and the third is of the thing going into the firewall that looks like there should be something connected to and it's broken. I ran it for a while this am and there were no bubble that I could see and the oil still just looks like clean oil. Lots of liquid was spraying from the tailpipe but it didn't really smell like anything.
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Old 12-11-2008, 10:20 AM   #6
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Re: How bad is it

Take car to a radiator shop they will place a detector which is a blue liquid inside a "bulb" if the liquid turns yellow you have a leak, also check at places such as Auto Zone ect and see if this can be done for free

weakened hoses on the cooling system can cause pulsations in the coolant !!!
One of the most common tell-tale signs of a blown head gasket is a milky-gray ring around your oil cap. When coolant enters the engine oil through a crack in the head or through a blown gasket, it evaportats and leaves a milky ring around the oil cap. Another easy way to tell is to check your oil dipstick. Change your oil and pull out the dipstick. Make sure that you take note of how far up the dipstick the oil is. Top off your cooling system and fill your cooling resevoir to the top. Screw radiator cap back on and start engine. Run engine for about 20-30 mins. or until it reaches normal operating temperature. Allow engine to cool (engine must cool completely to get accurate oil reading!!). Check oil dipstick again. If the oil has a watery appearence and has risen noticibly up the dipstick, the you probably have a blown head gasket or a warped head. Also look for a dripping, sweet-smelling liquid coming out of your tailpipe. Any of the above symptoms could be the result of a blown head gasket. The easiest way to tell is with a compression meter. This replaces the spark plug and lets you know what compression each cylander is running at. If your compression is abnormally low, then you have a blown head gasket or a warped head.
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Old 12-11-2008, 06:08 PM   #7
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Re: How bad is it

well I took it in and I have 2 cylenders misfireing and ATLEAST a blown head gasket they want $400 in labor to tear it down and look for sure. The quote was $1200-$2200 depending on weather or not the head(s) cracked or just gaskets and machine work. I don't know what to do but payint $800+ total in labor sounds like it would suck. Thanks for you replies folks.
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Old 03-08-2009, 07:29 AM   #8
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Re: How bad is it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herbstang View Post
Take car to a radiator shop they will place a detector which is a blue liquid inside a "bulb" if the liquid turns yellow you have a leak, also check at places such as Auto Zone ect and see if this can be done for free

weakened hoses on the cooling system can cause pulsations in the coolant !!!
One of the most common tell-tale signs of a blown head gasket is a milky-gray ring around your oil cap. When coolant enters the engine oil through a crack in the head or through a blown gasket, it evaportats and leaves a milky ring around the oil cap. Another easy way to tell is to check your oil dipstick. Change your oil and pull out the dipstick. Make sure that you take note of how far up the dipstick the oil is. Top off your cooling system and fill your cooling resevoir to the top. Screw radiator cap back on and start engine. Run engine for about 20-30 mins. or until it reaches normal operating temperature. Allow engine to cool (engine must cool completely to get accurate oil reading!!). Check oil dipstick again. If the oil has a watery appearence and has risen noticibly up the dipstick, the you probably have a blown head gasket or a warped head. Also look for a dripping, sweet-smelling liquid coming out of your tailpipe. Any of the above symptoms could be the result of a blown head gasket. The easiest way to tell is with a compression meter. This replaces the spark plug and lets you know what compression each cylander is running at. If your compression is abnormally low, then you have a blown head gasket or a warped head.
good one... this happened to me once too..
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