TCCoA Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
726 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
LONG, but pretty much relevant! Ok, tried a search but didn't find much pertaining to this, but maybe I just fail at searches. I was on the way to Illinois to buy a new car from a guy (a '99 Trans Am if anyone cares) and shortly after getting on the highway, the temp gauge flew up to hot and the light came on. Pulled over at a gas station, checked and filled coolant and oil. Heat remained on the high side (about 3/4ths on the gauge) but didn't move either way for the remainder of the 5 hour round trip. Afterwards, put the car in storage so I could drive the new one around. Well, March was a crazy weather month, and it snowed pretty heavily so I took the tbird out of storage because it handles significantly better in the snow. Knowing I had cooling problems, checked the coolant levels and filled to the cold fill level. Drove the car for a day, no problems, but the gauge still read on the high side (3/4ths). Next day, drove to class with it, on the way back, coolant started overflowing from the reservoir, dumping a large amount on the ground. Weather got nice, put if back in storage. Now, weathers going crazy again, so pulled it out of storage. Figured there might be air in the system so filled reservoir, and left cap open, and let car warm up. After 10-15 minutes, it starts overflowing again, leaving a huge puddle. Both times it overflowed there was a lot of white smoke and a very heavy coolant smell. I also have a loud hissing by the back of the engine (sounds like air escaping) and today I was unable to get any heat, although I think I had it the first time. I do not smell any coolant until it overflows. There also seems to be a severe lack of power (but that may just be in comparison to my new car :) ). I am not really sure what to do at this point in time so any help would be appreciated. Thanks for reading this and thanks for any help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,095 Posts
Sounds like a blown head gasket. Combustion pressure getting into the coolant system making it overflow. My 1990 bird does pretty much the exact same thing and after messing with it for too long I'm like 90% sure its the head gasket. I'm junking it so I'm not going to find out for sure.

Nice new car btw, I love my 01 TA.
 

·
The Band, not the Disease!
Joined
·
3,090 Posts
Do a compression test just to be sure, also check if theres coolant in the Exhaust and Oil. Oil and Coolant mixxed will look like a milkshake.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,578 Posts
If there is an air bubble in the top of the engine, it will do that also.

Coolant will overflow until the bubble comes out (about the time the thermostat opens), then the level of the tank will drop like a rock. Refill to the bottom line, and wait till it stablilizes, then put the cap on.

Put the cap on before you shut the engine off! Otherwise, it will boil over when it stops circulating.

A pressure leak will cause this as well... Bad cap, hose, etc.

A bad head gasket is a pressure leak, just the most expensive one...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
I would recomend getting a pressure test done on the cooling system u could have a hole in a coolant hose that only leaks under pressure. Had that happen on a subaru xt I had It would need coolant about once a week couldn't find the leak ANYWHERE, Turned out there was a small hole in a hose that ran near the throttle body. I'm saying this because of the hissing sound u said u heard
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
726 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Well ok. Drove it today, and I do get heat. However the car actually goes into the red now, so thats bad. There is a huge lack of power for sure. I might try getting a bubble out like Grog6 said, thats much cheaper! After that I'll try the compression test and a cooling system pressure test. So oil/coolant mixed looks like a milkshake? Like the color of one (what flavor? :) ) and/or the consistency of one? The coolant was brownish, but it just looked like dirty coolant, I dunno. though. Thanks for the help so far guys!

Oh yeah, and is there any write ups on head gasket replacement on a 95 4.6 v8? ya know, just in case. Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Hey, just a little insight from another. I drove the tbird back from Illinois and I remember that there was heat the whole time that I drove back. I hope that it isn't a blown head, cause that would suck major. Let me know what you find out dude, I'll help you fix what ever it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,134 Posts
Hey, just a little insight from another. I drove the tbird back from Illinois and I remember that there was heat the whole time that I drove back. I hope that it isn't a blown head, cause that would suck major. Let me know what you find out dude, I'll help you fix what ever it is.
i would do the compression test as soon as possible you dont want to loose your engine. it sounds like it is getting down into the engine block with the lack of power and heavy coolant smell. although it might not do much good i had a similar over heating problem where it was burning lots of coolant and the engine ran really hot, so i changed the coolant cap and it was fine. i guess it wasnt holding the 16lbs of pressure.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,578 Posts
Check the plugs; if the head gasket is gone, the plug in that cylinder will be totally clean, as it's been steam cleaned.

I'd start with 7 and 8, the back ones on the driver's side.

I hope it's not that; heads are a drag to replace.

Keep the oil looking good, and check it everyday, and you should be ok (as far as major damage goes, anyway). Chocolate milkshake-looking oil doesn't work very well, from personal experience. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
726 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
it sounds like it is getting down into the engine block with the lack of power and heavy coolant smell
Just want to clarify that there is no coolant smell UNTIL it overflows, don't know if that makes much difference. Its sitting in storage for now, wont have much time until school is over and I'm on vacation. Thanks a lot for all the advice so far guys. If ya got anything else feel free to post it, and if anyone has a guide on replacing head gaskets on the 95 v8 birds please share. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,134 Posts
you might also want to check your thermostat make sure its operating properly. damn thing started overheating again this week and i found a leak in the main hose from the radiator. so when i was replacing it i decided to check the thermostat and i found that it wasnt opening properly and it wasnt getting enough coolant to the motor. i took it out for now until i get back to the auto store. i guess the hose busted because of the build up in pressure..
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top