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No heat, HEAD GASKET TORN? help :(

987 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  beefybluebison
Have a 98 12v manual 5spd. bout 3 months ago I put it in a shop to have the oil leaks fixed, new steering pump, new rear main seal, and new 5th gear with updated gear nut. Im already leaking tranny fluid and oil again, where the shop just replaced the gaskets,:banghead: so the large amount of $ I spent there was a huge waste.

I now hear gurgling noises coming from my engine, small bubbles in my antifreeze that you can see when you have the cap off the radiator, and I have barely any heat. as in I only have heat for 15-30 seconds once you turn on the air, on high, on extremely hot and have it warmed up, even after miles of driving. both the top and bottom radiator hoses get warm- the bottom only slightly- but they arent full of water, I squish them and air bubbles spit out, and it sucks in water.

Been told that this could be a torn head gasket.......any ideas??????

the shop threw in a free radiator cap that holds back 16lbs of pressure, which doesn't sound right and im thinking that could be the reason I lost the gasket. but I have no proof since they didn't charge me for the new cap. Im gonna go back and talk to them about the leaks but want to know whats going on with my head gasket first.
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16psi is fine on a radiator cap, that's what I'm running. A few lbs either way won't kill a head gasket, and if it does, it was about to fail anyway.

Your heater and hose symptoms and are consistent with a leaking head gasket. Ensure the radiator is full of coolant with no air pocket on top. Warm the engine up to operating temp, open the coolant overflow tank, and look for bubbles. If you get bubbles, you have exhaust leaking into your cooling system.

When dealing with the shop, put a boot up their backside about whatever they did that is leaking now. The head gasket is most likely unrelated.

Edit: Are your radiator hoses pressurized when the engine's warm?
Barely any pressure at all.
You could just be boiling coolant...

Replace the radiator cap with a new one, Cummins recommends 15 psi (13-16 is fine) and I would strongly recommend one with the little lever valves in it. That way you can open the valve and tell right away when pressure releases into the overflow tank without getting hot coolant sprayed in your face.
Is your water pump working?
I had the same issue and did in fact turn out to be a popped head gasket for me. After fix heat works a lot better and stays hot.
It took the head gasket completely failing and pissing coolant out the side for me to figure it out though :doh:
Not sure if my water pump is working.
My temp gauge doesn't ever read anything unless it's extremely hot and I've been driving for hours.

The radiator cap does have the lever and it doesn't seem to be holding back that much pressure anymore. I add water when I leave work everyday to fill the hoses. Bout half a water bottle each day to compensate for it all being spurted into the overflow.

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