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05 GT Head Gasket Failure?

 
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Old 19 Mar 2018, 04:52 pm
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Default 05 GT Head Gasket Failure?

Lady dropped off her 116k-mile '05 GT today blowing white smoke from the exhaust. Before seeing the car, I thought turbo seals and/or valve guide seals, but...

Now that it's here, The smoke isn't oil smoke, but more likely coolant steam. It has the coolant tank gurgle after shut off as well, so...

I guess I'm asking if head gasket failure is typical of turbo-charged cars?

It's a one-owner and very well cared for. Certainly not abused, and seems to have no other maladies.

Or are there other causes I should be checking?

Thanks in advance.

Bob in Liberty MO
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Old 19 Mar 2018, 05:33 pm
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Default Re: 05 GT Head Gasket Failure?

I would suggest pulling the spark plugs and see which ones might be burning coolant if it fails an engine coolant pressure test.
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Old 19 Mar 2018, 06:13 pm
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Default Re: 05 GT Head Gasket Failure?

Most of the time, PT Cruiser head gaskets fail due to overheating caused by a failed radiator cooling fan. So plan on testing the fan. It has two speed and both need to work.

If the fan is shown to be good, you will likely need to look for another source for the original overheating such as a coolant leak or a clogged radiator from mixing the original Dexcool antifreeze with the older traditional green antifreeze. From what we've seen here, these head gaskets normally don't fail for other reasons other than initial overheating.

Beyond this, the timing belt, water pump, timing idler pulley and timing belt tensioner should have been changed around 100K miles. If this wasn't done at 100K, it's recommended that this be done now when the head gasket is replaced. Check the center passenger side motor mount as well.
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Old 19 Mar 2018, 08:53 pm
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Default Re: 05 GT Head Gasket Failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
... It has two speed and both need to work.
Two speed? On a GT?
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Old 19 Mar 2018, 08:56 pm
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Default Re: 05 GT Head Gasket Failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptcruisersteve View Post
I would suggest pulling the spark plugs and see which ones might be burning coolant if it fails an engine coolant pressure test.
Morning plan:

1) Pressure test (cold)
2) Hydrocarbon chemical test
3) Pressure test (hot)
4) Pull plugs and inspect
5) Compression test
6) Order parts

Yippie.
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Old 20 Mar 2018, 05:36 am
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Default Re: 05 GT Head Gasket Failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RCSnyder View Post
Two speed? On a GT?

Most PT Cruisers have a 2 speed fan...Low & High...
The 03 GT is the only PT to have variable speed fan.
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Old 20 Mar 2018, 06:48 am
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Default Re: 05 GT Head Gasket Failure?

Good to know.

Guess I'm adding a fan check to the diagnostic.

Thanks.
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Old 20 Mar 2018, 11:48 am
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Default Re: 05 GT Head Gasket Failure?

Didn't run the whole diagnostic because...

Definitely a coolant leak during the cold pressure check. Somewhere on the backside of the engine it's finding its way to the ground. Hot check unnecessary in my mind.

Chemical hydrocarbon check couldn't be more negative. No excessive bubbling out the cap hole and the blue juice couldn't be more Windex-like regardless of how many bubbles come up through.

That makes me scratch my head even harder because nothing I found explains the smoke/steam coming from the exhaust. And to make things worse, the white cloud has no ... none ... nada distinctive smell. Just seems like steam, but there is way, way too much of it to be nothing but condensation, unless this is just the nature of the GT beast.

I did see something that seemed odd, however, and that was an 18lb radiator cap. I guess I was expecting to see a 16, so some research will follow.

Wish me luck.

Bob
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Old 20 Mar 2018, 01:20 pm
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Default Re: 05 GT Head Gasket Failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RCSnyder View Post
Didn't run the whole diagnostic because...

Definitely a coolant leak during the cold pressure check. Somewhere on the backside of the engine it's finding its way to the ground. Hot check unnecessary in my mind.

Chemical hydrocarbon check couldn't be more negative. No excessive bubbling out the cap hole and the blue juice couldn't be more Windex-like regardless of how many bubbles come up through.

That makes me scratch my head even harder because nothing I found explains the smoke/steam coming from the exhaust. And to make things worse, the white cloud has no ... none ... nada distinctive smell. Just seems like steam, but there is way, way too much of it to be nothing but condensation, unless this is just the nature of the GT beast.

I did see something that seemed odd, however, and that was an 18lb radiator cap. I guess I was expecting to see a 16, so some research will follow.

Wish me luck.

Bob
The purpose of having the higher rated cap is to prevent the coolant from boiling at lower temps. The turbo is putting a lot more heat into the coolant system.
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Old 20 Mar 2018, 06:24 pm
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Default Re: 05 GT Head Gasket Failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RCSnyder View Post
Didn't run the whole diagnostic because...

Definitely a coolant leak during the cold pressure check. Somewhere on the backside of the engine it's finding its way to the ground. Hot check unnecessary in my mind.

Chemical hydrocarbon check couldn't be more negative. No excessive bubbling out the cap hole and the blue juice couldn't be more Windex-like regardless of how many bubbles come up through.

That makes me scratch my head even harder because nothing I found explains the smoke/steam coming from the exhaust. And to make things worse, the white cloud has no ... none ... nada distinctive smell. Just seems like steam, but there is way, way too much of it to be nothing but condensation, unless this is just the nature of the GT beast.

I did see something that seemed odd, however, and that was an 18lb radiator cap. I guess I was expecting to see a 16, so some research will follow.

Wish me luck.

Bob
The chemical test is usually pretty definitive. In the absence of other symptoms to indicate a head gasket, I'd at least begin to look elsewhere.

If me, I'd try to pinch off or block the PVC valve hose and see if the smoke goes away. On PT Cruisers, a failed PVC valve will often create a whitish smoke. If this does not work, I'd suspect an oil leak from the turbocharger. I'd put a dry rag over the exhaust pipe to catch the smoke and then see if I could tell if it's wet or oily. The whitish smoke from a failed PVC valve can look just like steam based on many reports here.
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