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2 Year-old Head Gasket Blown? 1986 Corolla Sr5

1521 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Brian
I had the gasket replaced in my 1986 Corolla SR5 2 years ago. Probably driven 3,000 miles since the replacement. I'm now losing coolant. The car has not overheated. The heater works fine. Can't see a leak anywhere. Let the car run, looked underneath, nothing. No white exhaust. Slight odd odor when car runs. Thinking it may be the head gasket but is that possible so soon after replacement?

Are there any other possibilities I haven't thought of?
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If it was the head gasket again your coolant would look like a chocolate milkshake. Does it look like that?
If you do not have any external coolant leaks, you may have an internal coolant leak. Either inside the engine, or the heater core into the cabin of the car.

A blown head gasket does not necessarily mix oil with coolant.

Pull out your sparkplugs, and keep them in order. shine a light thru the plug holes and inspect your piston tops. a clean piston or clean sparkplug = possible coolant leakage.

you can also use a cooling system pressure tester to pressurize your rad. Wait 15 minutes and keep it pumped up. Then spin the starter over (with the plugs out) and watch for a spray of coolant out of the plug holes.
verdict is in-bad news

Took it to the shop. Pressure tested it. Coolant leaking into a cylinder. Probably needs a head gasket. Head might be cracked. $1700 to repair.

I'm obviously not putting that kind of money into this old car. Any idea how long I can make it last if I just make sure to keep the coolant filled up?
a head gasket tuck job shouldn't run you more than $1100 even if it's done by the dealership. Get a quote from another shop.
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