Got a 2002 ford escort, today engine started idlling rough. Check oil
and its got milky white stuff in it...(the famous coffee sorta look
with lots of creamer) Not to mention its losing alot of water
somewhere. Looked under car and notice a large leak of water coming
from where the exhaust ties into the catalytic converter (they
positioned the converter right near the engine area...dont know why)
My first guess is that somehow water is being leaked out of the
exhaust.But someone mentioned to me that it might be the head gasket
just above it leaking down onto the exhaust..(since i cant see the
area above it from either the ground or looking up top from the hood)
Would this be about right assumption?
Certainly sounds like a head gasket...Anytime you are losing a lot of
water and there are no puddles or evidence of leaking water, red flags
should go up. If you then check your oil and have a sudden urge for
some Starbucks, that's usually confirmation of that. The last thing you
look for is white smoke out of your tailpipe...When I blew my head
gasket on my 93 t-bird years ago, the first sign was the missing water
over a few months...I'd have to keep adding a bit at first, then more
and more. The next was the wild swings of my temp gauge. It would
gradually run hotter and hotter, then boom - it's drop like a rock to
normal, then fine for a bit, then I could watch it run back up. I
didn't have a issue with it getting into my oil though. When it went,
boy it went. Temp gauge flat out shot to overheat, engine ran like it
was on 2 cyl, white smoke pouring out back. When I stopped, green
anti-freeze was dripping out of the tailpipe...I was a kid and didn't
realize what all the warning signs were then. Yours sounds like it's
mixing with the oil...not a good sign at all...
The mess in the oil means it is a serious problem, needs to be acted on.
Take it to an honest mechanic, explain everything, ask what it'd cost to
diagnose the problem, how he'd do it, etc.
It doesn't *have* to be a head gasket, but I'd be prepared to deal with
that diagnosis when I took it in.
"Law Without Equity Is No Law At All. It Is A Form Of Jungle Rule."
While it doesn't have to be a head gasket, most likely the head gasket
will have to be replaced, along with bearings, rings and other
expensive parts. It may be time for either a new engine or a new car.
Ford makes a good replacement for the Escort, the Focus. You can get
one with red and black leather seats. And, it gets 36 mpg on the
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