I need a rough idea what';s wrong with my husbands car. it starts up fine then as soon as we hit a red light it will start overheating and knocking then it dies and somtimes it doesin't die but we will lose the ability to move the car once we stop it will have white smoke/steam come from what looks like under the engine also a friend said that it looked like it was burning oil he said it seemed like 1 of 3 things a bad head gasket bad plugs or that the pistons are warped and the engine needs rebuilt. i just want to know your opinions. it has at least 175 on it's miles too.

Asked by May 08, 2012 at 05:52 PM about the 2002 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Convertible

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

2002 Pontiac firebird freshly cleaned and flushed radiator 9month old alternator 2 year old fuel pump and starter. (i think the starter is new i don't know for sure)  175,000 miles also pic was before we replaced the flat tires.

1 Answer


Overheating is a sign of a stuck closed thermostat, bad head gasket, bad water pump, faulty radiator cap or anything else associated with the cooling system. Plugs might be bad, but would not contribute to the overheating. Pistons or head can become warped from continual overheating, damaging the engine. Does the oil look like a milkshake? That means water is getting into the oil, so bad head gasket. Sounds like you need someone more qualified to look at your issue if you want to get the Firebird back onto the road again. Good Luck!

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