Originally Posted by blinkyvx
exhaust has white smoke, coolant is always low and im adding to "cold fill line" every other day.
-Engine temp is never above normal
- no puddle of coolant under car or any noticeable leak in engine compartment or radiator
- oil is good no "milkshake" look
- white exhaust gas when revving/driving
-some steam from drivers side part of hood near wheel area after driving short distances
-heater still blows hot air [ never cold except on start up but warms up]
-took it in for a squealing from tire sound mechanic said had a crack in head gasket not sure to trust his opinion
- sweet smell like syrup from heater and outside of car
95' 3.8 non supercharged 63k miles
ways to test/diagnose on my own? Options?
Few things. Coolant Pressure test, coolant needs to be full in radiator (or coolant bottle if the radiator cap isn't on the radiator). Pressurize to PSI marked on cap. Look for external leaks again around the radiator, engine, etc. Pull the spark plugs and see if the cylinders are filling up with coolant during the pressure test. That would indicate a head gasket or head issue.
Another method to test for a head gasket is a block leak tester. You'd take off the radiator cap off (when cold with no pressure in the system), same as pressure test, coolant must be correct level. You fill a special vial with a dye/test fluid, then place in the filler neck of the radiator or coolant bottle firmly. Run the engine until it is fully warmed up. Observe the fluid in the tester. If it changes color, bad head gasket or head.
A third method, a cylinder leakdown tester. After removing the spark plugs you get one of the 6 cylinders to Top Dead Center, screw in the hose of the tester in place of the spark plug. Hook hose to tester. Hook up a compressed air line to the tester. Adjust the regulator on the tester to 100 psi on the left gauge. The gauge on the right should show less than 10 psi difference, but we don't have to really look at that. observe the coolant in the radiator neck or bottle. Air bubble forming indicates a bad head gasket or head.
Hope this helps.