CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Is this a blown head gasket?

I have a dodge stratus 04. I know they are horrible cars but I didn’t know before I bought it and I needed a car. I got it a year ago and I’ve been having problems with the car back in July. I took in to a mechanic and he put a new thermostat and sensor in it and it was fine until about 2 weeks ago. Now I’m having problems with my coolant disappearing and having to fill in up every 2 days and I’ve also noticed my windshield fluid is disappearing. I just filled it up and never used it and it’s gone.

Does this mean that it is a blown head gasket?

There is no connection between your windshield washer system and your cooling system. You need to take it to a mechanic or a radiator shop and tell them you are having to add coolant and ask them to find out why

Sounds like the tanks are cracked and leaking

1 Like

Are you filling up the radiator or just the overflow tank?

There are a lot of places for coolant leaks to occur. Head gaskets are only one of them. If you have the tools and skills, remove the spark plugs to see if one or more are exceptionally clean, like they just came out of a sand blaster. That would be an indication of a blown head gasket.

I would start looking at all the hoses, a leak like yours would leave a bad hose end completely wet, especially right after shut down. Some coolants will leave a visible stain where they are leaking.

Check your oil color also. If it looks like a chocolate or jamoca milkshake, that would also indicate a blown head gasket or cracked head or block. That must be dealt with immediately as the oil will not be a very good lubricant in this condition.

Are there any wet spots under the parked car in the morning?