So just a few days ago my car started puffing out white smoke, not all the time, but every so often. I noticed last month, that when i am sitting still, my temperature gauge is slowly moving up, but when i would start moving, the gauge would go back down. I know my cooling fan is working, because when i would turn the car off, i can hear it going. My car has been drinking oil and coolant like crazy, it has hard starts sometimes, it never runs boiling hot, but it has gotten right above the middle line. Is this a “bad” head or a “blown” head? Its still driveable, i only need this car to last me through may and i am getting another one in june, so if the engine goes by then, i dont really care, the car has 253k miles on it, its ready to retire anytime now. Any suggestions on how to make it last one more month? Does this sound like an engine head problem?
@v6lady Here’s what I would do.
Start looking for that next car right now.
When you find one, negotiate your best price
DO NOT TRADE IN THE OLD CAR. THEY WILL GIVE YOU GOOD MONEY FOR IT, BUT JACK UP THE
PRICE ON THE NEW CAR. YOU CANNOT WIN IF YOU TRADE IN
Once the new car’s purchased, sell the old car on craigslist AS IS
It does sound like a possible head gasket problem and while I’m not a fan of stop leak products, in this case it might be justified. If nothing else, drop some ground black pepper into the radiator and see if that slows up or stops the coolant useage.
I’m in agreement you should sell the car yourself as is. As a problematic high miles car, anything the dealer offers you will be part of the numbers shell game they play and when the figuratively speaking smoke clears, you may get more out of the car selling it yourself as opposed to a trade.
That car is a nothing more than a worn out wholesale unit to them that would be disposed of very quickly on the cheap.
Keep putting coolant and oil in it. If it gets real bad, loosening the radiator cap might help get you home. At least it helped me when I had head gasket problems. Whats happening is that combustion gases are getting into the coolant and creating pressure and a bubble. The bubble blocks the flow of coolant and the car heats up. When you get going faster, the water pump is able to over come the bubble and the coolant circulates again and cools down again. These spikes in temperature are dead give aways to a head gasket. Actually I went through a whole winter like this once with my diesel. No heat sitting in traffic until I started moving again. I knew the engine was shot anyway so just kept going and made it till spring driving 100 miles a day. Why the oil loss though, don’t know unless it has already heated up enough to affect the cylinder walls and piston rings. Keep your fingers crossed for a month and hopefully you’ll make it ok. No way I would sell a car like that without telling the buyer though, as is or not, because it’ll need a new engine and a car without an engine isn’t worth much.
I would have to agree with prior posters; start shopping for a new car and just nurse the old one along. Selling it on the internet will get you the best return.