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What shall I do?

My mom’s '93 Blazer seems to have blown a head gasket.
The radiator plug had blown out. She drove it several miles dry. ( I had noticed a while back that the radiator fluid was sludgy and brown).
When I poured water in the radiator, it poured out if the exhaust pipe.
The engine oil in dipstick is milky.
Should I go ahead and try head gasket repair? I’m concerned that the cooling system might be dirty.

The engine is done.


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No. If the coolant is mixing with the oil, the head gasket sealer will get in the oil and if exposed to exhaust gasses, which it will be until the head gasket seals, it will form a very hard crystal that will be like sand in your oil. It will do a lot of damage.

Just replace the head gasket if you think the vehicle is worth the cost to fix.

I’d hate to spend the money on that and then find out that serious damage was done by the milky oil.

It’s too bad this wasn’t addressed at the first sign of trouble.

S10 blazer? 4.3? Or big blazer. 350? Would like a 99 2wd, 2dr, big blazer

You want a better sense of the condition of the engine’s internals. Then decide if a new HG is likely to let it work. I would do a compression test, first dry then wet, then report the results back here for some opinions.

Of course the overall condition, especially structural, may make it unwise to invest much in the vehicle.

Good luck and please keep us informed.

Coolant in the engine oil destroys the rod and main bearings in very short order.

I’ve replaced head gaskets on engines where the crankcase had a milkshake sitting in it. And each time the engine failed a short time after the head gasket was replaced.

Coolant is a lousy lubricant.


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I would not do a repair like that on a 27 year old vehicle.

IF the Blazer is in great shape, no rust at all and the body is tip-top, then I might think about finding a second engine through a “recycler”, rebuild that engine and then install it in the Blazer. IF you do the labor yourself it might be worthwhile. IF you pay a mechanic, it’s very likely not a good economic choice.

It’s a very iffy situation.

Not to mention a new radiator and the transmission may have overheated.

Did it look like this?

If so, the engine’s done.


Yes, a yellow-brown color.
She asked to check the radiator when the ol was changed and he said it looked fine!

Ah, what a pain.
She’s just gonna let it sit for right now.
She’s on a fixed income but my sister has offered to pay for repairs. She only drives it around town mostly. But it might be worth fixing if it’s cheaper than a good used car. Just don’t want her to get stranded if it’s some patch up job.

You never did answer Cavell’s question . . .

Which Blazer is it?

Full-size blazer with a small block V8?

Or the small blazer with the 4.3 liter V6?

If it’s the latter, tell your mom to junk it immediately

Easiest thing to do is contact your local npr-affiliated radio station and tell them you want to donate the thing. They’ll come pick it up and take care of the paper work

S10 V6. Why is that?

It would be much easier to sell a full size Blazer than a S10 but that is not your objective.

For the cost of replacing the engine in this vehicle your mother could buy a small used car that is not a gas hog.

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