Something's wrong with my car. I suspect head gasket failure, but tell
me what you think:
I drove about 15 miles from home on the freeway, and when I arrived at
my destination, I noticed acrid smoke coming out from under the hood.
Opened it up, and the smoke seemed to have two sources: Some was
emanating from the air filter container thingie that's on top of the
carburator and some was coming from the left side of the engine next
to the dipstick. It appeared that oil had been splashing out the
dipstick and onto the engine. I pulled out the dipstick and there was
oil up the entire length of it, and the engine registered nearly a
quart of oil higher than the last time I'd checked it (doesnt oil
normally read *lower*
if the engine's just been running?). The oil
looked slightly dilute.
The car had started fine and had seemed to drive fine and the engine
light hadn't come on or anything (in fact, on this car, the engine
light normally flickers a bit at idle speed if you've just been
driving it at highway speeds- I was told this was due to oil pressure
and was simply a somnething old motors do and nothing to worry about).
My first thought was that the head gasket had failed and antifreeze
was leaking into the oil and forcing up the dipstick. However, there
seemed to be a strong gassy smell, and I havent been able to find any
water on the dipstick. Could it be gas getting in instead?
The car is a high-miles 1978 Buick Regal with a carbureted 3.8 liter
231 cc Buick V6.