DO I HAVE A BLOWN HEAD GASKET?

  • Tiny
  • Samuelweekly
  • 1997 Pontiac Grand Am
  • 16,900 miles

I bought this car because the lady said her mechanic said it was a blown head gasket! I drove the car home 2 1/2 hrs straight! Car did not use any water and did not overheat! Oil is not milky and her last oil change was 3 months ago with around 1,000 miles put on car! The air bag, and check engine light stay on constant even after disconnecting batt for a few minutes! In the 2 1/2 ride car did spit and sputter one time at a speed of around 70mph! When I start the car sometimes it died shortly after, no matter at idle or driving! When it dies it sputters before it does! Fires right back up and good to go! Elictric fan work yet she had complained of mild over heating! No matter what I do I cannot get car to overheat and only problem seems to be the occasional spitting and sputtering then dying! Any ideas or suggestions? Car is a 1997 Pontiac Grand AM 2.4l engine

Sunday, March 18th, 2012 AT 5:32 AM

11 Answers

  • Tiny
  • saturntech9
  • Expert
  • 28,243 posts

It doesnt sound like a blown head gasket you check for a blown head gasket with a chemical tester.I would have the computer scanned for codes. Let me know the exact code numbers not code descriptions.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, March 18th, 2012 AT 5:46 AM
  • Tiny
  • rasmataz
  • Member

A blown headgasket will caused the engine to overheat if its very serious it will hydrolock the engine-

If its a blown headgasket I don't think you can drive it for 2 1/2 hrs I'll give you 10mins then you will be walking- Follow Sat9 suggestions he's very good on this type of questions

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, March 18th, 2012 AT 10:15 AM
  • Tiny
  • Samuelweekly
  • Member

Ok so I got up this morning and listened to the spit and sputter and heard spark plugs arcing only during the sputter so I'm gonna go and replace the plugs and plug boots! Then I'm going to reset computer and drive it to autozone and check codes and go ahead and chemical test it! I will update after this has been done! Thanks for all the help and timely response!

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, March 18th, 2012 AT 7:06 PM
  • Tiny
  • rasmataz
  • Member

We'll be waiting-try this remove the sparkplugs and check if the cylinders/plug ends have coolant

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, March 18th, 2012 AT 7:19 PM
  • Tiny
  • Samuelweekly
  • Member

I did just get done looking at the plugs and they were all clean! The gap facing the car from left to right cylinder was 0.65, 0.75, 0.70, 0.60, I went ahead and regaped them all to 0.60 and didn't notice a difference in the spit and sputter but I still heard the arcing! I will update after I've changed plugs, plug boots and chemical test!

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, March 18th, 2012 AT 7:45 PM
  • Tiny
  • saturntech9
  • Expert
  • 28,243 posts

There is spark going somewhere else other then the spark plug thats why you can hear it arching. Let us know what you find.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, March 18th, 2012 AT 8:45 PM
  • Tiny
  • rasmataz
  • Member

Hmmm. Cover the hood with a thick blanket and find where that arching at-for me your ignition wires are leaking

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, March 18th, 2012 AT 9:22 PM
  • Tiny
  • saturntech9
  • Expert
  • 28,243 posts

You can also mix up a spray bottle of water with some salt and spray it all over. That will help you find it also.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, March 18th, 2012 AT 11:14 PM
  • Tiny
  • Samuelweekly
  • Member

Chemical test ok, replaced plugs and plug boots, reset computer, started and it spit and sputtered and died, drove 15 miles and had codes pulled P0300, P0420. Also from the day I bought the car the seatbelt, ETS, airbag and check engine light all come on when car is started and remain constant till ignition is turned off! ETS button on gear shift does nothing, I tested ETS button with multi meter, button is good, I'm assuming it's a wheel speed sensor, I have a friend bringing a diagnostic computer over to hook up and drive the car for more detailed info, I'm assuming airbag light it a bad floor board sensor or corroded sensor? I cleaned seat belt contacts and checked seat belt wires "even spliced them together" and seat belt light is still on. Now as far as engine codes I've been told catalytic converter, clogged egr, vacuum line, ext. Now I definitely heard arcing "no visible arc" coming from under the plug cover, possible ignition coil pack housing? Open to all comments, ideas, and knowledge! Thanks Guys!

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 AT 9:39 PM
  • Tiny
  • rasmataz
  • Member

Its beginning to sound like the computer needs reflashing-Could be the coil pack-check it further

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 AT 9:45 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Similar Questions