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Discussion Starter #1
a little while back i noticed black gunky stuff when checking the coolant level. now i know that's a good sign of having a bad head gasket but I have no money or time to get it fixed right now. Also, there seems to be coolant leaking onto the exhaust because i can hear drips being burned if i pop the hood and also i can smell it in the cabin if i turn the heater on. BUT, i haven't noticed any difference in how the car drives. still seems to accelerate and cruise just fine. Could something else be causing the issues? Im just driving it real easy for now, trying to keep it under 2500 rpm. its a 89 5 speed 2.0si.
 

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sure its ok if you drive w/ a bad head gasket..... just make sure you are saving a lot of $ for a new engine or rebuild.
 

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It sounds like a bad head gasket to me. I would stop driving it until you can get it properly diagnosed by a mechanic and replace the head gasket. It's possible that coolant is getting into your crank case, which will kill the bearings real fast. Check your oil and see if there is any traces of coolant on the dipstick.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
yea well i know i shouldn't be driving on it at all but i have no choice right now. trying to find a cheap daily to get my by till i can get the lude fixed. i'll check out the oil too, thanks
 

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check the oil and the coolant. Is your car blowing smoke? if you head gasket is blown, pull the head off and take it to a machine shop to make sure its not warped, throw a new head gasket in and torque it to spec. should be fine. Just don't drive it. Your motor will be done if you keep driving it
 

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Discussion Starter #6
its like impossible for me to be able to tell if its blowing smoke...i live in chicago and during the winter every car looks like its blowing too much smoke...exhaust seems the same as it is every winter...like i said i know i shouldn't be driving it but i seriously don't have a choice...i'm gonna go on monday to see if i can find a cheap lease deal on a yaris or corolla or something so i don't have to keep driving my lude. oh and i wish it was as simple as just "pull the head off..." i mean maybe for you lol, thanks for the advice though
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yea I checked both and they were pretty low. Someone said to see if the oil looks "milky"?? Anyway the oil looked normal to me (except for it being low). I took some pics of the dip stick but they didn't come out that good. Also, I had some work done on the car maybe like 3 weeks ago and I asked the mechanic if he saw any signs of my head gasket going bad and he said he had checked the coolant and it looked fine. I added coolant and oil so I'll check em again to see what they look like. Pics are below....you can see the level of the oil just to the right of the left hole



 

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go get a compression check done. you can buy the tester at autozone for 25 bucks. compression check will tell you if the gasket is bad. end of story
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
good idea...i got the compression tester today but i don't have an extension on my wrench to reach the plugs so i'll get that tomorrow. do you by any chance know the size of the plugs? I only have a 5/8"(16mm) deep socket but i'm not sure if i need to get a different sized deep socket along with the extension. thanks for the help man you've been a big help
 

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Discussion Starter #11
ayte i got a couple numbers but not all...120 135 psi...was freezing my ass off n couldn't see that good so i came back in, i'll try again tomorrow morning after warming the car up. oh n those numbers are with no throttle, i know ur supposed to do it with WOT but i totally forgot. i know just 2 numbers are kinda useless but figured id put em up
 

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Discussion Starter #12
ok did the test this morning...135 130 135 125....looks pretty good to me so i'm guessing my head gasket is ok, i appreciate all the help
 

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make sure you find out what your compression is supposed to be vs. what it actually is.
 
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