Fuel Problem vs Blown Head Gasket

I’m trying to find out if the white smoke coming from my tail pipe is from a blown head gasket or a fuel Problem like an injector.

Right now my car won’t start.

Oil: brown but slight reddish in color. I drive a Toyota so I use to have pink coolant but just for the past few months I’ve been driving with green fluid. I drained out the pink fluid. So not sure. What haven’t changed fluid in 4k miles almost 5k.

Start: Earlier today I ran can would run for 30 seconds then cut off. Eventually stopped running. As the car got weaker and shorter running the white smoke went away. The next time I tried starting it up the car didn’t start.

Driving: car would drive but would run weaker for awhile. It struggled getting up hills. It struggled to maintain speed would constantly be hitting gas to adjust the speed

I have to ask

Are you sure you didn’t put diesel in it, how long ago was the last time you added fuel ?

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Since you gave no information about the car except that is is a Toyota…

Run a coolant pressure test
Run a compression test
Use a coolant test for combustion gasses in the coolant.

That is how you can tell if it is a fuel or head gasket problem


OP has two posts about his Toyota, the other post indicates it is an ‘01 Sequoia.


Would not diesel blow blue/black smoke, even with a catalytic converter?


Time for car shield. They will fix motor. Maybe.



I’m sure there is no diesel in there the last time I put fuel was the day it first stopped running. After it cut off I thought I ran out of gas. I’m sure there is gas in the tank because I just put the tank back on there because I thought it was the pump.

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I also noticed that my engine is leaking oil. It’s not enough to the point where my engine oil was running out fast by enough now to where i see fresh oil on sides of engine I think where the head gasket would be. But the oil is not milky.

I’m at 215k miles so it’s could just be the gasket is old and not blown fully. Would that make the car shut off?

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Next time you change the oil, pour a cup or so of the drained oil into a glass container and let it sit for a couple of days undisturbed. If it separates into clearly defined layers, that could provide some clues.


Well I’m going to try that later. My oil looks good but so far.

Update: put more gas in the car and it started right up and runs but now there is clicking in the engine bay. It sounds like it’s coming from the top of my engine… it gets louder when I press the gas.

Also the car gets weaker when I press the gas afterwards it starts to sound like it’s about to shut off

It sounds like a clock not a knock.

There is also a consistent flow of white smoke coming out of my tail pipe

It seems like time has run out for your head gasket.

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Just put in Bars head gasket repair… I feel like this should work since the gasket isn’t blown bad enough to overheat the car. There isn’t any stream rising out of the engine bay just the tail pipe.

It never over heated one time since I had this problem.

These gaskets are suppose to last 200k and I’m at 215k so I suspect it’s just old.

Definitely worth a try. By reports here similar products often work for a while, but eventually problem returns. But say it buys you only 6 months, at least it will be summer weather for the main event, the head gasket replacement job.

I noticed recently have a small but annoying leak in my trucks’ power steering pump, likely the shaft seal. Better course is to remove and rebuild pump, but, like you, thinking of trying a magic cure to buy time until next summer.

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Then it is unlikely the head gaskets are leaking, it takes a lot to damage a head gasket on one of theses engines.

You probably have a fuel problem, take a fuel sample.

Ok so you don’t buy that it could just be old gaskets? I’m passed 200k, also only recently changed coolant , I’m not sure if previous owner had already.

The Head Gasket fix is in there I’m just going to see if that changes the white smoke.

I also put a half a can of seafoam in the gas earlier to see if that does something. (The rest went in the oil)

But like I said earlier in the post I just changed the fuel pump and filter because I thought it was fuel initially. I didn’t know whether it was putting out white smoke before I changed the pump because the car has just cut out on me. (Could be the pump)

What else could be wrong with the fuel system?

P.s. The gas I had initially ran out completely so if you’re suggesting diesel then it can’t be

To rule out fuel system problems, I’d start w/these two tests

  • fuel pressure
  • fuel trim (test requires OBD II)

I’m presuming this vehicle is neither ancient nor newish, probably 20-30 years old. Generally if there’s a problem w/either fuel pressure or fuel trim, there will be diagnostic codes and check engine light will probably be on.

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Deleted by me

Maybe a clogged catalytic converter.