1993 Ford Explorer Head Gasket or Transmission?

Engine Performance problem
1993 Ford Explorer 6 cyl Four Wheel Drive Automatic

I just went to start my car this afternoon and when I did, it made this horrible sound and it idles REALLY loud. My friend said that he say smoke coming out of the tail pipe and I am leaking, what I believe is oil from my car. That or Transmission fluid. Any Suggestions?
Do you
have the same problem?
Monday, April 27th, 2009 AT 7:52 PM

1 Reply

To begin with, you need to find out what is coming out the tailpipe. There are 4 possible fluids that can enter the engine and be burned: brake fluid, transmission oil, engine oil, and antifreeze. You can tell them apart by sight and smell. Engine oil will look bluish, and have a distinct oily burned smell to it. Transmission oil will be more on the whitish side, with an oily smell to it. Brake fluid will be white with an acrid smell. Antifreeze will be white with a sweetish smell to it.

If you are getting brake fluid in the exhaust, you can pinpoint it by removing the vacuum line to the booster and looking for telltale traces of fluid in the line.

If you are getting transmission oil, you will find oil in the vacuum line going to the transmission (attached to the rear portion of the upper intake manifold at the vacuum "tree").

If you are getting engine oil, this is most likely an intake manifold gasket problem. That is the most common route for engine oil to get into the combustion area.

Antifreeze, this is the biggest problem of the group. This can come from several sources. It can come from the intake manifold gasket, head gasket, or worst case, a cracked cylinder head.

In order to solve this problem, you need to do a bit of diagnostic work at your end to help me to answer your questions intelligently. Remember, I cannot see, hear, or smell from where I am .

I hope this gives you a good starting point. Good luck!
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Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 AT 6:21 PM

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