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Old 06-24-2008, 02:26 PM   #1
huckedup16
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Default Head Gasket? What else could it be?

99 Legacy GT - 4eat - 189,000 miles

For a while now, my car has felt sluggish off half throttle acceleration...like a car with the snorkus removed and the computer not reset...just bogs down a tad then kicks back up. I have had it at a few places to get this checked out because it has made me uneasy, but no CEL means "e cant find anything wrong". Anyway.

Soooooo...

Went to start up the Legacy yesterday after letting it sit for a few days. Wouldn't start...it would just sputter out.

Got it started after 5 minutes or so, ran rough and would stall as soon as it was put in gear.

Got it to stay running in gear after another 10 minutes of idling, and went to drive home from work. As soon as there was any try at accelerating, it would run super rough (as if a cylinder wasnt even firing) and I got a flashing CEL and white smoke/steam out the exhaust (It was 70 degrees...so it wasnt the regular start up steam...). Pulled off, called AAA and had it towed to the dealer.

Now, I know there is a pretty ugly oil leak at the driver side cam seal...but I am diligent on keeping it topped off and even being a little dry wouldn't cause something like this would it? Sounds like a head gasket...but at 190k? I thought even with cautious driving it would have gone long ago...and just assumed it had been done with the new and improved gaskets...

Dealer pointed out the oil leak, and the engine code was for a misfire...but they are looking more at it to figure out why it did what it did.

Anyone else have an idea?
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Last edited by huckedup16; 06-24-2008 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:08 PM   #2
linsavy
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White smoke from exhaust - most likely HG failed. It could be the second time for that motor given the mileage and age. The first repair may not have been the 'good' HG.
You have a 5spd eat?

Been losing coolant lately?
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:12 PM   #3
gtwagon941
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Was there any oil in the coolant?

The sputtering happened to me and it was a valve issue. Sucked.

good luck

JS
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:35 PM   #4
MY99 2.5GT
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The 5 second test is first to pop the top on the coolent overflow tank and see if the coolent/water mixture looks dark/milky and has any scent of exhaust. Then start up the car with the top still popped on the coolent overflow tank to see if there is any bubbling. If you see bubles most likely combustion pressure is leaking from the cylinder to the water passage via pinhole leaks in the head gasket.

Cam seals normally leak on these motors. Especially at 189,000. I'm really surprised youve been able to make it to 189,000 without having head gasket trouble already.

Good Luck!!
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:55 PM   #5
huckedup16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linsavy View Post
You have a 5spd eat?

Been losing coolant lately?
Oops, fixed that.

No coolant loss lately. It did the temp spike once last fall. and I never saw it again. I have been keeping an eye on the coolant since then and no oil, no exhaust smell and no excessive loss of coolant.
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Old 06-25-2008, 05:12 AM   #6
tecnica technician
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the white smoke sounds like the hg if the coolent looks ok then it might be something ells. I'd start by check all of the vack lines and then test your coil pack, plugs and wires. I had a simler problem a while back if the coil pack is bad your plugs will be black, also when the coil goes bad it puts the car into what is called limp mode this will make the car feel like it has no power. it can also make it hard to idel or give it a rough idel. and since some of the cilenders are not fireing it can make the run rich or lean wich could give you smoke as well.

gl hope you find the problem
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:57 AM   #7
huckedup16
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FIgured it out. Mechanic who did a tune up on the car last fall used the wrong tempurature plugs. One of the porcelins (spelling?) broke and the plug was arcing right to the head. Recomendation was new plugs and wire.

He also found that oil was leaking from around 8 different places on the driverside of the engine. Total cost it rip it all down and replace the seals needed would be around $2500...might as well do the head gasket while you are in there he says...since odds are if its leaking oil from the head, the gasket is gonna go soon.

I have dumped about $3000 into the car into the last 2 years anyway, so I told him just to do the plugs and wires, and to talk to his sales manager about trade in value. Im test driving an 08 WRX Wagon today...
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Old 06-25-2008, 12:41 PM   #8
SLI99
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be thankfull your HG made it to 189,000....mine blew on the way to the wicked big meet last year and i still made it, my 99 GT had 103,000 on it when that happened.
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