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Head Gasket -- Coolant


Experienced Member
16 July 2005
Driving late yesterday and after redlining in 2nd gear, suddenly smoke in the engine bay on my 91 CTSC, standalone aem (pretty well-tuned with "conservative a/f's currently). Pulled over after operating temp sky-rocketed. Coolant everywhere. My guess is a blown head-gasket. Too hot to evaluate last night and left the car at my office Driving to where it is this morning to hopefully find a hose with a hole or one that slipped off but am not optimistic.

Any comments? Any guestimate of cost to replace a head-gasket? Thanks.
I agree with Brian. Hopefully you shut it down before the temp gauge went too high. I had a coolant hose go too, but I saw it's results immediately as coolant sprayed all over the rear hatch glass. That episode made me a huge fan of the open-style engine cover.

I hope you didn't damage the engine. Now, replace all you coolant hoses!
Short large diameter most inboard hose under the coolant tank. Start there:).

I had hopes that it was a hose, but was stressed over the uglier possibilities. Everyone here was spot-on. Gaping hole in one of the hoses. Thanks to all.
May I ask, was this an original, 17-year-old hose in your car?

I've replaced all the hoses twice already in my '91, to prevent a similar occurrence. It's convenient to do it at the same time as replacing the timing belt and water pump.
Given the high engine temps, it would not be a bad idea to get a compression/leak down test performed after you fix the coolant issue [hose or radiator, most likely hose]. Lucky you stopped in here first, you are a mechanic's dream.