Blown headgasket?

toyota
camry

#1

I was told by a mechanic that I have a blown head gasket. What happened is that when I went to have my oil changed a few days ago - the service folks noticed that I had a cracked radiator. I took the car to have the radiator replaced - I got the new radiator installed and when I started it up - coolant started bubbling up - a bad sign, which led the mechanic to tell me that I have a blown head gasket - now, I have blown a head gasket once before - at that time the car overheated, ran rough and had white steam coming out of the tailpipe - this time around - no nothing other than a small crack in the radiator - the temperature never rose past normal, no steam from the tailpipe, does not run rough, no visual signs of oil mixing with coolant - could it be something else other than the head gasket? If exhaust was being blown back into my radiator, why did not my thermostat register such extreme heat - a stuck thermostat? Any assistance would be helpful? I guess the mechanic needs to run a compression test, look for hydrocarbons to be 100% sure, or having coolant bubbling out of the radiator upon ignition definitive proof of a blown head gasket/


#2

The hydracarbon test is only a few bucks and only takes a few minutes. It is strange that it was left for you to notice the coolant bubbling and not reported by the mechanic who installed the radiator.


#3

Are you sure the bubbles are exhaust gases? You can get bubbles of air that is being purged from the cooling system. With the radiator repair comes a complete drain of coolant and pockets of air can take a while to work out of the system. You might have a bad head gasket, but I’m not certain of it given what you’ve posted.


#4

I agree. I’d be suprized if it were more than simply air bleeding out from the radiator replacement. I simply don’t see in the post any sign of a blown headgasket, and air pockets bleeding out would not be unusual for the work done.


#5

The mechanic who did install the radiator did point out to me the coolant bubbling up and the and one more thing - the radiator hose was hot and firm immediately after ignition - but will certainly do a hydrocarbon test - thanks for the advice. I really appreciate your comments.