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cars blowing a bit of steam, is my head screwed? 

 

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 Post subject: cars blowing a bit of steam, is my head screwed?
Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:28 pm 
Tyre Shredder
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Hi just a quick question if my car is blowing steam / condensation does this mean I have a head problem?

 

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 Post subject: Re: cars blowing a bit of steam, is my head screwed?
Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:12 am 
Tyre Shredder
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Hows it been sitting??
Is it all the time ?
Is it using water?
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 Post subject: Re: cars blowing a bit of steam, is my head screwed?
Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:49 am 
Tyre Shredder
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Well I just bought the car and it seems to do it a fair bit and driving home 2 hours it used a lil bit of coolant

 

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 Post subject: Re: cars blowing a bit of steam, is my head screwed?
Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:48 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Hi,

Where is the steam coming from ? If under the bonnet, a welch plug, radiator or heater hose. ( pinhole ) Don't assume the worst until you know what it is. The AU got rid of head gasket issues, so unless it has been driven without water or boiled I would look elsewhere first.

 

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 Post subject: Re: cars blowing a bit of steam, is my head screwed?
Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:54 pm 
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123esproc wrote:
Well I just bought the car and it seems to do it a fair bit and driving home 2 hours it used a lil bit of coolant


Does it blow smoke in the morning only? Does it go away once the engine is at running temp and driven for 5mins or so?

Also how do you know it used a little bit of coolant? I ask because coolant level can drop if it has been sitting for a while and once running, the coolant is recirculated. Also seeing it is winter, some coolant would have circulated through the heater core if you had your heater on during the driver.

96ELGli wrote:
The AU got rid of head gasket issues, so unless it has been driven without water or boiled I would look elsewhere first.


I wouldn't say they got rid of it...I would say made it better and more resilient to blowing head gaskets.

 

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 Post subject: Re: cars blowing a bit of steam, is my head screwed?
Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:58 pm 
Tyre Shredder
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Um no the steam/ condensation is coming from exhaust only '96elgli' so no Welch plug or hose or steam under bonnet, exhaust only and phongus it does blow smoke in the morning and clears I just assumed it was a valve problem due to backfiring aswell. Umm I did also have the heaters on AFTER the car wa sitting a while ( like 2or three weeks) I might be paranoid and quick to say the head is buggerd and give up on the car but I've had three cars with screwed heads now so.... haha well thanks for your replies guys

 

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 Post subject: Re: cars blowing a bit of steam, is my head screwed?
Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:09 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Hi,

Steam from the exhaust is normal during warm up, does it use much water ? It still can be leak you cant see like under the exhaust manifold. A pressure test would be a start.

 

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 Post subject: Re: cars blowing a bit of steam, is my head screwed?
Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:20 pm 
Tyre Shredder
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True, um well it uses a lil bit haha ok so ill specify I topped it up today usuing a Gatorade container ( full) and last time I filled it was a month ago BUT I've only just driven the car to and from work and that's it (40kms a day)

 

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 Post subject: Re: cars blowing a bit of steam, is my head screwed?
Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:39 pm 
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123esproc wrote:
Um no the steam/ condensation is coming from exhaust only '96elgli' so no Welch plug or hose or steam under bonnet, exhaust only and phongus it does blow smoke in the morning and clears I just assumed it was a valve problem due to backfiring aswell. Umm I did also have the heaters on AFTER the car wa sitting a while ( like 2or three weeks) I might be paranoid and quick to say the head is buggerd and give up on the car but I've had three cars with screwed heads now so.... haha well thanks for your replies guys


Just condensation. Happens to most combustion engines, much more so during winter time as the night is much colder. No need to worry about the smoke...if it continues to smoke once car is at operating temperatures, then it is a concern.

Regarding coolant loss, there could be a leak or the radiator cap is busted allowing some coolant to flow out while you are driving. How big is a Gatorade bottle? 500mL? If so that isn't so bad...although preferably losing nothing would be ideal, but that's usually not the case.

 

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phongus = Post whore 2006
EL XR6 motor, EL ECU + J3 chip, WADE 1673 Camshaft, 3" S/S intake, Pacy 4480, 2.5" Hi flow cat, 2.5" Lukey exhaust.
Max Power = 144.6 rwkw (03/05/2008)

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 Post subject: Re: cars blowing a bit of steam, is my head screwed?
Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:55 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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With the coolant loss...
Personally, Id be looking at the radiator cap. It may cost say $10 for a new cap and may fix all your coolant loss problems. Apart from that, Check every hose, make sure all clamps are tight and also watch when your thermostat opens when the cars warming up ( watch the gauge and see how high it goes before dropping back down).
The caps a cheap and easy eliminator and 9 times out of 10 overlooked. Apart from that Id be considering taking the car in for a professional flush and refill just due to the fact these cars have such a weak head. Might cost you maybe $150 ( cant remember what I paid for mine to be done) + any hoses that may be rooted.... but its a s**t load cheaper than a head gasket
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 Post subject: Re: cars blowing a bit of steam, is my head screwed?
Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:57 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Hi,

The AU had a better head gasket, and that stopped most of the problems. An alloy head is more likely to have gasket problems because the iron block and alloy head have different expansion rates as they warm up. It sounds like a slow leak, my car loses a bit and has for years.

 

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 Post subject: Re: cars blowing a bit of steam, is my head screwed?
Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:05 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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96ELGli wrote:
Hi,

The AU had a better head gasket, and that stopped most of the problems. An alloy head is more likely to have gasket problems because the iron block and alloy head have different expansion rates as they warm up. It sounds like a slow leak, my car loses a bit and has for years.

In saying that the alloy heads, be it ef/el/au had issues with cracking. I think it was around #6. Poor pressure in any cooling system will result in coolant loss. Id still try the cap for the sake of a few bob
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 Post subject: Re: cars blowing a bit of steam, is my head screwed?
Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:08 pm 
Tyre Shredder
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Oh ok guys well I will get a new radiator cap n book in for a pressure test/ clean refill but first ill go thru the engine bay check all clamps hoses and as for the winter being cold phongus its bloody freezing hahaha one step outside at 5:30am n me nuts shrivel like two lil sultanas haha

 

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 Post subject: Re: cars blowing a bit of steam, is my head screwed?
Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:33 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Bear in mind I had a reco head put on just before I got my cooling system done, but I put on new top/bottom hoses, new thermostat, new heater tap, had the cooling system professionally flushed, had the single core radiator recored, replaced the overflow bottle and cap and Ive just gone through 500ml in 12 months, and thats with a thermostat thats opening too high for my liking when its a hot day. Once winters over and it starts to heat up again ill put in an 87 thermostat and I reckon I'll half the coolant usage over another 12 months.
With the Ea to Au's being known for head problems, id be more comfortable going through 500ml of oil a month than 500ml of coolant.
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 Post subject: Re: cars blowing a bit of steam, is my head screwed?
Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:15 am 
Tyre Shredder
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I'd be much more omfortable using 500 ml oil aswell haha ill. Oil it in somewhere for a pressure test. THANKS GUYS FOR ALL YOUR HELP, ADVICE AND INPUT VERY MUCH APPRECIATED :)

 

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