how would i know if the head gasket is blown on a 2001 pontiac montana

Diana Cole

Asked by Mar 06, 2014 at 11:39 AM about the 2001 Pontiac Montana Base Extended

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

replaced the water pump and thermostat bars leak.
mechanic quoted 1000 to replace the head gasket.
any suggestions?
daily runner for a single mother of 3 just purchases 2 wks ago with income tax money
did i buy a lemon

6 Answers


The most noticeable give away to a blown head gasket is a lot of white smoke on initial start up, it maybe accompanied with a engine miss and a rapid pressure build up of cooling system pressure, also a loss of coolant. You mentioned bars leak which is a no no in these with the small water passages it could plug up badly needed cooling passages in the engine and radiator causing a bigger problem than you have now. I would have a "Block check" performed right away that will tell you if you if you have a head gasket problem. If you do, and you bought it from a car dealer contact them they may help you with costs of repairs but don't count on it most used cars are sold as is where is. HTH

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Diana Cole

the cloud of white smoke is not that bad. but just noticed the change of thickness today. do you think the radiator itself could be blocked or no good? it doesn't miss fire but i can fell the change n the drive when it starts to overheat. they quoted me at 100 for a block test. looking for a cheap solution just in case i have to do some major repairs like the h.gasket.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

100 bucks? Gag I must have been charging too little, I was doing them for 50 and would use it as a credit on the bill if they had me do the work. I would find another shop. The rates are too high. Don't go to a dealer on a rig this old, try an independent shop.

Norm Davis

Sorry to say,it may not be worth investing anything in repairing this vehicle. The fact that the waterpump and Tstat were replaced tells me the vehicle overheated recently, and some quicky repairs were done to make it drivable. White smoke with a slightly sweet oily odor is sure sign the head gasket is blown. Yes you can replace the gasket but doing so without milling the head (which is surely warped from overheating) makes the entire project very costly, not worth it for a 13 year old vehicle, IMO. Sorry! If you got even a 30 day warranty, take it back asap, work out a trade with the seller, anything.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Steve Menard

I just scrapped my 2001 Montana, bad head gasket, local shops wanted $1400, dealer almost 2K. Replaced water pump, thermostat, constant oil changes and radiator flushes still did nothing. Over 200K on it, only paid $500 when I bought it and had it about 1.5 years. I would go back to where I bought it from and raise hell, sorry to hear that.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Yes, the Montana's as a whole are Lemon's along with most of the 2000 and up models. The Powers that be should hold GM at fault for their complete disregard of craftsmanship and dignity. Selling total rip offs to tax payers, instead they forced you to bail out GM.

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