1997 Toyota Corolla Blown Head Gasket--(Cracked Block?)

  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • 168,694 MILES
My girlfriend drives a 1997 Toyota Corolla( 1.8 L ). It all started with a length wide crack in the radiator ( hard black plastic on top ). Replaced the radiator, car stopped overheating, but she would still notice some steam when driving and smell r. Fluid. After letting car cool overnight (since she gets home late ) it needed a little r. Fluid. ( I never did notice any leaks anywhere nor did I see any fluids puddling under the car ).I asked a local mechanic about it and he said ( w/out seeing car ) that it might have been an air pocket in the heater core or something like that and it might have caused that problem.A couple of days later, after still having to put a little ( couple/three cups ) of r. Fluid in I knew that it had to be something else.I drove the car around the block and when I pulled back into the driveway and put the car in park it started running real rough and turned off. I let it set for awhile, but I needed to move it to get my other car out and it was running rough again. After moving it out onto the street I noticed a little r. Fluid dripping, I then removed the skid plate and tried to find the source of the leak but saw nothing.I then started the car up, it was a little rough but then started to run smoothly, that is when I noticed smoke coming out of the tailpipe and immediately turned the car off. At that point I was 99% sure that the Head Gasket was blown. Then after further inspection under the car I noticed r. Fluid dripping out from around the oil pan area. Can you tell me if its just a head gasket or is the block possibly cracked. And what this might do to valves and pistons. Thank you for any insights and suggestions you might have for me. Laid Off I.B.E.W.
Do you
have the same problem?
Sunday, September 20th, 2009 AT 5:19 PM

1 Reply

Most likely a head gasket, or possible intake manifold gasket.

But you will have to remove the head to find out, if you try a pressure test and gasket is bad, you can force coolant into cylinders and hydraulic the engine.

You will also have to check if head is warped.

Early Toyota engines were cast iron block and aluminum head, it is very rare to crack an iron block.

The coolant dripping down the oil pan could very well be coming from head and running down side of block.
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Monday, September 21st, 2009 AT 9:03 AM

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