I cranked up my 94 Mustang this morning and I smelled gas and noticed smoke coming out of the exhaust. The car was idling a little rough and when I accelerated, it hesitated and ran poorly. I pulled over to a service station and checked the oil and water and they both looked normal. The attendant thinks it might be a blown head gasket "on the exhast side". I had a blown head gasket with this same car about five years ago. But, it had classic symptoms of oil and water mixed together and very white smoke with water coming out of the exhaust. Now, the smoke isn't quite as white and appears to have a slight bluish tint as if it were burning oil. However, there were some water droplets on the exhaust pipe, but it had only been running about three minutes.
I'd really appreciate it if someone could answer any of the following questions:
1. How can I tell if I have a blown gasket for sure? If it's not a blown head gasket, what else could it be?
2. Should I drive it to the mechanic, or have it towed? I don't want to risk additional engine damage if that is a possibility.
3. Should I use the same mechanic who replaced the head gasket five years ago? I'm concerned that he might be using poor installation methods that led to the current failure.
4. Would it offend the mechanic if I inquired about his installation methods?
I've read several installation issures at http://www.aa1car.com/library/gasket_failure.htm
5. The car has about 120,000 miles on it. Would I be better off with an engine replacement?
BTW- The engine is a V6 3.8L.
Sunday, March 4th, 2007 AT 5:42 PM