From what you tell about what happened, Yes, there could be a leak of coolant into a cylinder.
Loosing power, could of been caused by coolant mixing into the cylinder with the air and gas. Once the spark goes off the gas and air burn, vaporizing the coolant, spewing it out through the muffler as vapor and comming out the tail pipe as vapor. Loosing coolant, will heat up the car, since there is nothing to cool the engine with.
First before you do anything, have someone check the compression of the cooling system. If there is a leak somewhere, the gauge's pressure will go down.
Second, check the spark plugs, this is to see which cylinder/s are being affected.
A head gasket job, if taken to a mechanic is expensive. Labor, could depend. I believe it's arround 300-400 bucks. Parts are about 100-150 depending on how many gaskets will have to be replaced. Since to get to the heads, the intake manifold has to come off, valve covers, Exhaust manifolds and small miscellenious gaskets.
That's just to change the gaskets, I would have them refurbished, If they are not cracked then you would need to buy a new one, but if they aren't cracked since they are already off and just to be safe get them refurbished. You don't want to change the gaskets, and a month, 6 months, a year later you'll need a valve job, There goes the initial 400 bucks you already spent.
Refurbishings go for about 100-250 a piece, depending on the place you take it to. By where I live an engine rebuild goes for 1,100. That's just the stock engine. 26 miles away I got my for 302 rebuilt with a high flow oil pump, brass guides, brass retainers, and a performance cam shaft for a total of 941.00. So just make a couple phone calls.
So I hope this will help you. Let me know if it does at epyon_2k1@hotmail. Com.
Thursday, March 2nd, 2006 AT 9:00 PM