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I am not seeing any regression

As winter, time and more milage keeps adding on to my car with the bad headgasket I am wondering why I am not seeing the signs of the engine getting worse that I keep reading about. I have no problem with engine temp as it warms up to where it should be and doesn’t get hotter even when I am sitting in long lines and such. I am getting no white smoke out the tailpipe, nor is my gas milage declining. The engine sounds smooth and even on days with temps in the single digits it is starting right up with no problem. I am still getting air up through the radiator/overflow jug, but I think I have found the amount I can put into the overflow jug where I am not losing that much antifreeze or overheating the car. My oil is clean and no gunk on it when I got it changed last week.

Shouldn’t the colder temps be causing the engine to deteriate? I know I should be happy and I am, but with my limited auto knowledge and from what I have read, I would figure after 5 months and over 4000 miles of driving I would begin to see some more issues arriving.

The colder weather will not afect this condition. Regression from a blown headgasket occurs due to erosion in the path through which the hot gasses are being blown, the breech in the headgasket. This is unaffected by cold weather.

Cold weather does affect overall engine wear. Parts are designed to be at their optimum dimensions at operating temps. Less than optimum dimensions contribute to wear. In cold weather, they start out farther from their optimum and take longer to get to their optimum. But this has no real relevance for headgasket breeches.

But I am kinda surprised that given I have had and driven the car since July and put on over 4000 miles (unsure how long it was driven by previous owner with this issue) that I am not seeing any kind of regression.

Me too. You must have an angel on your shoulder.

The bubbles can only come from a blown headgasket, so seeing no regression ahould not make you wonder about the diagnosis. Perhaps because you’re doing such a good job monitoring the problem you’ve prevented overheating and prevented the normal regression.

How does the engine know its cold outside anyway except when its first started up. I nursed my diesel Olds for over a year and 30,000 miles with a head gasket issue, so 4000 is nothing. When you can’t keep coolant in the radiator and have to leave the cap off to get it home, and the temp keeps spiking and won’t come down, it’ll be time to kiss it good bye.

Did things start happening with yours? I mean I have been told that with a bad head gasket I should see reduced gas milage, white smoke from the tailpipe and such. Did things just start happening with yours? I wonder what the average length of an engine being driveable with a bad head gasket is? I have alsom been told not to gun the engine and try to stay off freeways and high speed driving. right now I stay to non highway driving and never get above 60 mph.

Please keep us informed. I’d like to know, too, how long one can drive a car in that circumstance.

My goal is 1 year. I am averaging about 1000 miles a month or so, and that would mean I would have gotten 12000 miles out of the car. Original cost was $450. So far I have had to replace the radiator, 1 ball joint, 1 sway bushings and tie rod. I also put new spark plugs and wires in. So with labor and parts and original cost I figure I have about $1000 in it. I still need to replace the passanger side lower ball joint which will run me $120 total. Given I was paying out over $400 a month for my other car (loan/insurance) I am way ahead. It rides great, is incredibly comfortable (which is huge for me since I am a big guy) and gets me back and forth to work.

You will start seeing these symptoms at some point. Right now you’re doing the correct thing in treating the engine kindly.

The things you’ve been told are good advice. When you gun the engine, and when it’s under load on the highway (it takes a lot of energy to keep a car going 70), more gas is pumped into the cylinders and the explosions become more powerful. That creates more force pushing gasses through the breech in the gasket. The more force you create is the faster the breech path will erode.

The bigger explosions also pump more heat into the water jacket and can heat the coolant beyond the cooling system’s ability to disspate it. Driving the car kindlly keeps the amount of heat being pushed into the water jacket to a minimum.

Treating the engine kindly should extend the amount of time you can drive the vehicle. Gunning it and shooting down the highway would lessen the amount of time.

this car has taught me new driving skills. I do my best not to pull out in front of people unless there is a lot of distance because I take my time getting up to the 40-50mph speed limit. I use the cruise control as much as possible so there is not great speed increses and such. I monitor the temp gauge and fluids about 2-3 times a week.