Could my head gasket really be blown?

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Hello all,

First off I have a 94 Accord LX w/ a 2.2 liter, 16 valve engine, 4 cylinder, no Vtech or anything like that. It already has over 172,000 miles on it. I just bought it back in July and could tell when bought it that the previous owner didn't take good care of the car cosmetically which I'm taking care of but I only paid $1700 for it.

Anywho, since I bought the car I've had the oil changed twice, a tune up, the valve cover gasket replaced, the transmission fluid changed out b/c it was black instead of maroon like normal transmission fluid which told me that the previous owner never got the fluids changed, I also got a new oil sending unit put on it and the start bolted back on b/c whoever put it on there before I bought the car left out 2 bolts and the starter was literally coming off. Ok about a month ago the car started overheating. I never let it get so hot to where it cut off on me. Water and coolant would spew thru the cap on the radiator so I replaced the cap. It started overheating on me like 3 different times, usually when I was at a stop at a light or something or at a drive thru window. Then after I drove it for long periods of time the coolant in the reserve tank would boil, I'm assuming that maybe the water and coolant mix is off which is sort of my fault b/c I started out using 50/50 then I went to some antifreeze/coolant fluid and I'm not sure of how to get a 50/50 mix w/ the reserve tank and radiator.

Anyways after I got the oil sending unit and starter put back on the car started to not want to crank up. It would turn over but wouldn't fire. I took it to Midas and they couldn't get it to crank up. They checked my sparks and told me that they were weak and that I probably just needed new spark plug wires. He took a bolt loose on what I think is the injector and gas spilled out of it, not with force though. Then while the car was sitting there water/coolant started leaking from under the car where the timing belt is, a fast leak, so then the Midas guy told me that my timing belt may be broken and the water pump is messed up which is why its leaking and my car won't start. I ended up leaving my car there for the weekend. That Monday the Midas guy called me and told me that they tried starting the car up that morning and it started right up. He put new wires on it, new spark plugs, new distr. cap, new distri rotor, basically a tune up and started the car up. A humongous puff of white smoke pumped out of the tailpipe and where the exhaust manifold is b/c there's a leak there. Everytime they pushed the gas more white smoke would come out. That scared me :doh: but the Midas guy just told me that that was my engine burning some fluids and that it would stop. So I drove off and immediately when I got to the first stop light down the street from midas it started overheating. So I turned around and went right back to Midas. The mechanic opened the hood and put some water in the radiator and antifreeze in the reserve tank. He then checked my oil dipstick to see if he could see water in my oil on the stick. Then he screwed off the cap on the engine and looked underneath it where we found milky looking oil on it. He then told me that I more than likely have a blown head gasket or cracked head or maybe both b/c water was mixed in my oil. :banghead: I then started looking into buying another car. This was about 3 weeks ago.

Since then I've been keeping an eye on my fluid levels but my car hasn't run hot at all since that day at Midas. It idles high sometimes and shakes a little when I stop which I have no clue what that is, it still leaks water/coolant in the timing belt/water pump area but everything else seems to be normal except for it not wanting to start up after I go somewhere. I get in my car drive 15 mins to my job then come out 20 mins later and get in my car and it will turn over but not fire. So I took it Saturday (Sept 11) to Jiffy Lube and got one of their signature oil changes (my 2nd oil change since I bought the car, I change my oil every 3,000 miles religiously) and they also performed a fuel injection cleansing on the car. It still kinda did the same thing afterward but I just drove home to my parents yesterday (Sept 12) which is a 3 hour drive to have our family friend mechanic who rebuilds engines and know all there is to know about engines look at it for me. He hasn't had a chance to look at it yet so I can't tell yall what he found yet but ever since I got here the car has been starting up perfectly. Maybe the turning but not firing problem I was having was just that I needed my fuel injectors cleaned.

Anywho, could I really have a blown head gasket? Wouldnt my car be doing stranger things if I had a blown head gasket? I've been told that if I had a blown head gasket my car wouldn't run smooth at all and that I would have all kind of trouble w/ it and lost power and all but I haven't. It hasn't even gone hot in like 3 weeks. The only things I've seen is the antifreeze boil in the reserve tank after I've been driving for a while on a hot day which could just be how my fluids are mixed and the leak under the water pump area, the high idle and the little shakes every now and then when I stop, and the exhaust leak at the manifold is gets louder and you can feel the lost power after a while when I've been driving for a while, like accelerating is louder and slower after I've been driving for a while. I've driven this car from Raleigh to Charlotte twice which is a 6 hour drive to and from and its still ok. The first time it started over heating when I got to charlotte and started overheating when I got back to raleigh. This time I'm in Charlotte right now and when I got here the antifreeze in the reserve tank was boiling but the car hasn't over heated nor is it idling as high as it was before. I drove around w/ it today and it did beautifully besides the exhaust manifold stuff. I told my dad that its the calm before the storm, lol. What do you all think? I think I've covered everything as far as my history with the car goes. I have no idea what the previous owners did for the car besides drive it until it was falling apart, I honestly don't even think they ever changed the timing belt, they didn't do anything else for the car. :cussing:

:oops: Sorry this was so long... thank you! :oops:
Crystal

posted by  lilmisscrystal8

We did the head gasket stop leak stuff and as far as I can tell its ok. My heat doesn't work, it could be that the sealant sealed something that it was supposed to. He changed out the thermostat and the timing belt and the water pump. I think the timing may be off b/c sometimes it doesn't wanna start and it shakes a little and the idling gets really low sometimes and the oil pump light flickers after I've been driving for a while again. Any ideas whats going on w/ that. :ohcrap:

posted by  lilmisscrystal8

i new it sounded familiar. i have similar problem in my car. all though my car is twice as old and twice as big. it's a 78'caprice classic. i already know what is wrong iwth my car. the engine is blown. the bearings went bad probaly due to the lack of oil changes since it was in storage. well i can run it for about 25 minz in city trafic then when ever i pull up to a stop light the rpms drop and the oil pressure light comes on. i have to keep the engine rev's up and then it wont stall. but if you have bad knocking then the engine probaly is blown. and your crank shaft probaly is cracked. but even with all the repairs you ahve put on it it sounds like u already paid for the car twice over. maybe u are best off getting a new car. like i am.

posted by  ctp_mechanix

I noticed though that it doesn't idle as low when I use mid grade or premium gas and it drives a lot better and starts better. I think I could have a fuel injection problem or something. I went to this gas station to put gas in it and their pumps tricked me b/c their regular is in the middle and I'm used to gas stations where the mid grade is in the middle and I didn't realize I was putting regular in my car until after I was already pumping the gas. I noticed that w/ regular gas it sounds louder and it shakes more after I start it w/ regular gas and idles very low. Now I'm still in the process of trying to run all the gas out of it. If my engine was blown, I don't think I'd be able to drive at all. Hell at least I dont think I'd be able to drive all the way down to Charlotte and back which is a 6 hour drive going to then coming back. The car rides smooth as hell after the little bit of shaking when I first start it and the little stall right afterwards. :hi:

I definitely know the head gasket is blown, the dude he changed my timing belt and did the stop leaks stuff for the gasket told me so when he checked my car out for me. Air isn't pushed up into my radiator like it was before which I guess means the stuff worked at least a little. My car does sometimes mysteriously start running hot and then when I turn on what is supposed to be the heat, the heat gauge goes back down to normal and stays the way and never starts to overheat again. Its done that like 3 times since I had the gasket sealed about almost 3 weeks ago. That didn't start doing that until I opened the radiator cap to check and see if I needed to put some water in there one day. I put the cap back on and didn't do anything else to it. About a week ago though I did it again and put some water in there b/c there was nothing in the radiator at all from what I could see just looking in from the radiator cap opening and I added some water and it hasn't over heated since. But yeah, I think I have a fuel problem like perhaps I need a new fuel pump or fuel filter? :ticking:

I am looking into buying another car. I found a white 96 accord LX about 45 mins away from where I live on sale at a lot for $1300... They say that its in immaculate condition and they sale their cars so cheap so that they can get rid of them to make room for more cars and for people like me who can't afford high dollar cars. I wonder if they'll just give me an even trade... :laughing:

posted by  lilmisscrystal8

Bttt :banghead:

posted by  lilmisscrystal8

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