1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass check engine light on and off

  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 139,000 MILES
I hope someone can give me some insight. The check engine light came on about one month ago and the engine was running rough at first. The problem got worse, with the car misfiring terribly and the light was flashing. I took the car into a shop and they replaced an ignition coil, which seemed to stop the problem. Car ran fine. Now, after driving approx. 600 miles (IL to TN) the engine light is back on and the misfiring has begun again, only when accelerating past 45 mph on the highway. It seems to be worse in the rain and is intermittent. Today the light was not on, yesterday it was. The car was hooked to a diagnostic and the problem was said to be 2 cylinders not firing and a problem with the coolant system. The car has not overheated, but does smell hot when driving. I took the car to a mechanic (another one that is full service) who is now telling me that the head gasket is blown and needs to be replaced. I'm not sure I believe them, so I would like someone's opinion on this. There is no smoke, smell, etc. And the check engine light is not on. Can someone help me?
Do you
have the same problem?
Saturday, May 9th, 2009 AT 9:53 PM

1 Reply

Your head gaskets may not have been blown yet, but one (may be both) is leaking.

The easiest test is to remove your radiator cap (ONLY when it is cold) and check if you see oil residue in your coolant. And remove your oil dipstick. Observe a "milky" oil on the dipstick. If any of the two is present, you have a breached head gasket.
Was this
Sunday, May 10th, 2009 AT 1:51 AM

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