do i have a bad head gasket and battery?

95

Asked by Oct 26, 2013 at 08:21 AM about the Pontiac Grand Prix

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

i have my 98 grand prix gt. if i hook up jumper cables to my other car i can get it to
start and it stays running after i remove them. as it runs it begins to blow white smoke
out of the exhaust and a little runs up the front of the motor. after a while the car will
stall. i believe this is a problem caused by my head gasket leaking oil into my
cylinders.

also once i turn the car off and try to re-start it i have dim lights and motor will not turn
over. this tells me battery.

i just want to verify these issues before i buy parts. thank you all for your help.

17 Answers

well there are some "knock-off" labels indicating the date of the batteries first charge~ if older than five should replace THIS battery...you could unscrew a sparkplug to check for wetness...in fact all of them until you can narrow it down which cylinder is takin' on coolant....then replace the headgasket...if the headgasket looks okay...sadly am going to have to suggest a cracked block~

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
116,015

I agree with judge about the battery. Is this car a daily driver or has it been sitting for a long time?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
95

Thank you judge and the car has been sitting for about 4 months

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
116,015

Ok. With it having sit for so long you could just have condensation built up in the exhaust and that will cause white smoke until it is all evaporated away. But be sure to check your coolant for oil and your oil for coolant tho just in case it is a blown head gasket.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

coolant in the oil...makin' it look like turkey gravy and froth in the coolant (from oil) are a few warning signs~

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
95

thank you both i will check in the morning and post the appearance

71,735

If it's the 3.8 litre V6 I'm willing to bet the lower intake gasket has failed. It's leaking coolant into the cylinders and causing the billowy white "smoke" out the tailpipe. The reason it won't crank after running is because one or more of the cylinders has coolant in it. The engine hydrostaticly locks up because coolant won't compress. You'll have to do the upper and lower intake manifold gaskets and change the oil TWICE after the repair. Otherwise you'll spin a bearing. Put fresh oil and filter on before you even start it after the repair. Then let it run for about 20 minutes, at idle, then shut it off and change the oil and filter again. These engines rarely blow head gaskets but are notorious for intake manifold gasket failure!! HTH. -Jim

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
95

thank you. i didn't even think of intake gaskets. but per the above, the oil and coolant mixtures do resemble the grayish brown of "turkey gravy". so will a intake gasket mix oil with coolant or is that only the head gasket or cracked block?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

...well yeah...listen to Jim...he knows what he's talkin' about~

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
71,735

You're welcome. Yes, failed intake gaskets will mix the oil and coolant. -Jim

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
95

alright thank you very much

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
95

is there way to tell which one it is before i replace both or is it better to replace both?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
71,735

It's better to replace both the upper and lower intake gaskets together. Since coolant flows through both and both are prone to failure be safe not sorry. You can buy the upper intake kit. It comes with a new upper intake manifold, gaskets, and a new EGR tube. Since the upper intake is plastic it tends to crack. So get the kit. Since the lower intake is aluminum it will just need cleaning up. They usually don't go bad. Just those pesky gaskets. HTH. -Jim

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
95

thank you, very much

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
71,735

You're welcome. Glad to help. - Jim

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

08016....are you near Cambridge, Jim? close to home base where Henry_S works there....my only connection to guru's management~...oh yes Lisa too~

71,735

I'm actually in NJ. -Jim

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

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