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General E46 Forum
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:10 AM   #1
peytonracer4
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Blown head gasket?

Assuming I have a blown head gasket, how far do I have to drive before I will notice coolant in the oil and oil in the coolant?
Are there any other immediate synonyms?
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:16 AM   #2
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Why is it you are assuming blown head gasket; have you seriously overheated the engine... Yes the first check is the coolant in the oil, followed by loss of compression in the cylinders. What are you seeing that you can identify as symptoms...
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:34 AM   #3
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Why is it you are assuming blown head gasket; have you seriously overheated the engine... Yes the first check is the coolant in the oil, followed by loss of compression in the cylinders. What are you seeing that you can identify as symptoms...
My e30 over heated. So far (ten miles) the car shows zero signs of blown gasket.
What im asking is if I did blow a gasket would the signs be immediate or would I need to drive, say 100 miles, before the signs become obvious.

I cannot do a compression test
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:55 AM   #4
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My limited experience has been immediate smoke coming out of the tailpipe.

Once the gasket is blown, that is.
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:02 PM   #5
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I've over-heated the engine in my 00 E46 323i over 30 times, once so bad it melted the expansion tank but haven't ever blown the head gasket in 13 years... I have caused the cooling pipes to leak among things. My car has seen an amazing amount of the red zone. My question is does your bimmer still accelerate and drive normally, what issues are you seeing as we speak?
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:13 PM   #6
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No issues. Been driving highway since my last post.
I lost all coolant and that's why it over heated. Fixed the problem on the side of the road with seriously limited tools.
It was sitting close to red for ~10 min. Then touched red. I shut it off then.
Right now I'm watching the temp gauge like a hawk. Will check coolant and oil cap at next stop.
No smoke exhaust. No apparent signs of bad gasket. Wish me luck. Gotta drive this car 1000 miles
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Old 07-15-2012, 02:10 PM   #7
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A blown gasket announces itself pretty much right away.

I'd look for coolant usage. If it drops, it's going somewhere, either into the cumbustion chambers or to the pan.

How does it sound when you crank it? Does it sounds nice and even? Or can you hear that the starter speeds up a bit on one part of the crank rotation? That's the poor man's compression test.
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Old 07-15-2012, 02:24 PM   #8
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It takes an awful lot to blow the head gaskets on these cars. I would think you would have to be well into the red for a while before the head-gasket blew. And if you did there would be very little doubt about it. That's not to say that what you did was good for the car or engine, but I doubt you did any serious damage. Just be more careful going forward and always always keep your cooling system in proper working order. If your car starts to overheat, fix the problem asap before continuing to drive it.
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Old 07-15-2012, 03:59 PM   #9
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A blown head gasket would be noticeable right away.......its either blown or its not
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