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Old 05-03-2019, 01:00 PM   #1
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Im afraid to start my car


People,
Like I didnt have enough to do (head gasket 2001 Civic), driving to work this morning and 1987 Sunbird GT started producing a huge cloud of white smoke. Immediately pulled off to the side and shut off car. Under hood, I saw watery fluid (coolant) oozing from left front bottom corner of head. So I immediately guessed it blew the head gasket (sheesh, another one to do now).

AAA towed it home, but first he turned over the key to try to start it. I cant remember exactly what happened, but it wouldnt start, and he said "it seems frozen". He said, driving with him home, that the engine is shot, not worth rebuilding. How can I verify this? I dont want to try to turn over the car if I will do more damage (assuming it is in fact salvageable, and actually not "frozen".

Except for the people here, I dont trust completely advice given as I have proved even pros wrong in the past.

If head is blown and coolant introduced, could I remove plugs, purge out any coolant, try starting again? Hate to start it if I can damage more.

Thanks, people.
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:09 PM   #2
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Re: Im afraid to start my car


If you shut it off before it stopped you have a chance, water doesn't compress so if water is in the cylinder it won't turn over, but you might turn it it backward to prove it is not frozen Remove the plug and remove the water. The sooner you can open it up and clean the water out the better you don't want rust in there.
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:34 PM   #3
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Re: Im afraid to start my car


Agree with Neal. Pull the plugs and turn it over. The water should blow out. If it doesnít Turn over then I would say itís not looking good


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Old 05-03-2019, 02:11 PM   #4
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Re: Im afraid to start my car


Gonna try that now.........
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:05 PM   #5
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Re: Im afraid to start my car


Wow, this made my day....no, my year. The car spewed out coolant on that one cylinder which apparently, has the broken gasket portion. Coolant all over the front of the car, which I washed off immediately. It is not frozen! All it needs now is a head gasket. 2nd one in 31 years. Not so bad. Will get to this as soon as I finish the civic head gasket. Sheesh. Anyway, thanks for the advice.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:14 PM   #6
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Re: Im afraid to start my car


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Wow, this made my day....no, my year. The car spewed out coolant on that one cylinder which apparently, has the broken gasket portion. Coolant all over the front of the car, which I washed off immediately. It is not frozen! All it needs now is a head gasket. 2nd one in 31 years. Not so bad. Will get to this as soon as I finish the civic head gasket. Sheesh. Anyway, thanks for the advice.
I would drain the water and put some oil in the there set up a rag to catch the mess and turn the engine over, You would like to get the water out. You may want to do that a few times. Once you are sure the water is out replace the plug. Oil might be contaminated too.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:23 PM   #7
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Re: Im afraid to start my car


Wd40 works good too.
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:05 PM   #8
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Re: Im afraid to start my car


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Wd40 works good too.
We didn't have that when I worked on cars.
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:27 PM   #9
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Re: Im afraid to start my car


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We didn't have that when I worked on cars.




Works on four wheelers too!



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Old 05-03-2019, 08:38 PM   #10
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Re: Im afraid to start my car


I was at my mechanic's shop a couple of years ago and he was working on a 'hydro-locked' engine and he had homemade nozzle made from some fittings and a length of brake line hooked up to his shop vac that he was using to suck out as much water as he could. Unless you are going to get at it right away, some light oil/WD40 down the plug hole after you have cranked out as much as you can should keep the rusting down (maybe more than once if it's going be a long time since it will likely leak down past old rings). Time for new oil and coolant, perhaps a couple of cycles.
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:18 PM   #11
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Re: Im afraid to start my car


A tip from a pro, every time that you open up an engine, change the oil, coolant just to remove any potential damage from something that might have gotten in that don't belong.

Many modern auto-techs, won't bother changing the fluids, and in my opinion, are just Glorified Parts Changers, not mechanics.

Looks like you got the problem worked out, before I saw the post.

You have the rarest head gasket failure, but it does happen.

And a dose of WD-40, will protect the cylinder temporarily, but get it repaired ASAP.

WD-40 = Water Displacement formula # 40, from the inventor.
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Old 05-04-2019, 12:33 PM   #12
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Re: Im afraid to start my car


Thanks, people. Will try to get to this asap. Dont want a rusty engine. It will be messy, though. Lots of old towels........
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Old 05-04-2019, 01:51 PM   #13
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Re: Im afraid to start my car


You can usually buy a box of old clothes at the Salvation Army store, marked as rags.

For a $ or 2.

ED
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:33 PM   #14
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Re: Im afraid to start my car


I donít turn engines over with the starter when I suspect hydro lock. It may not be a problem with small displacement engines, but with large displacement engines the water (or oil) may not squirt out the spark plug hole fast enough. You can crack the head, bend connecting rods, or otherwise damage the engine.

Ever see a WWII film of a line of guys hand pushing the props through blade by blade on a bomber ? They are making sure that a lot of oil hasnít drained down past the piston rings on the lower cylinders of those radial engines.

Because of the 4 blades and the gear reduction, they had to pull 16 or more blades through to get 2 full revolutions of the crank (on each engine). Turning most car engines 2 revolutions of the crank is much easier.
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:49 PM   #15
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Re: Im afraid to start my car


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I donít turn engines over with the starter when I suspect hydro lock. It may not be a problem with small displacement engines, but with large displacement engines the water (or oil) may not squirt out the spark plug hole fast enough. You can crack the head, bend connecting rods, or otherwise damage the engine.

Ever see a WWII film of a line of guys hand pushing the props through blade by blade on a bomber ? They are making sure that a lot of oil hasnít drained down past the piston rings on the lower cylinders of those radial engines.

Because of the 4 blades and the gear reduction, they had to pull 16 or more blades through to get 2 full revolutions of the crank (on each engine). Turning most car engines 2 revolutions of the crank is much easier.

Cool!. I was never sure why they did that 9I thought they were pre-circulating oil or priming the engine or something. Thanks!
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