Blown Head Gasket (was:Power loss and white smoke)

Ben Swann benswann at
Fri Apr 14 11:07:28 EDT 2006

Again - you have a blown head gasket and are now running on borrowed time.


The coolant is getting sucked in on the intake stroke and blown out the
exhaust.  So no need to find hydrocarbons in the coolant.


This problem is being kind enough to allow you to take it in for service,
but not driving around whenb you know you have a problem.


BTW - did the mechanic do a compression test?


Anyway - I have seen this before and have had the misfortune of driving a
car I was servicing after the customer had the problem for awhile.  It
decided to go catostrophic on my watch.


Just use this misfortune to turn lemon into lemonade and do some upgrades
along with the service.  Don't wait until things get so bad you would need
to spend more to fix the engine than the car is worth.  As it is you may
likely get away with simply installing a new head gasket.



benswann at

83 urq, /[][] =oooo= [][]\ alpine and Inga

'90 Coupe Quattro (==\ oooo /==) ES2 Conversion

91 200qa20v, [ =!\=oooo=/!= ] avant and sedan

[Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2006 10:39:26 -0400

From: George Fairbanks <fairbanks at>

Subject: Re: Blown Head Gasket (was:Power loss and white smoke)

To: 200q20v at

Message-ID: <443FB41E.2060006 at>

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed


This is turning into a mystery.


The mechanic is "99% confident" that my head gasket is ok.  His 

technique is to use his emissions machine to sniff for hydrocarbons in 

the coolant.  He did this while the car was cold and again when it was 

warmed up.  In neither case did he find hydrocarbons in the coolant.



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