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Earl Filippelli

88 Reatta using antifreeze

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Hello again , my 1988 reatta is using antifreeze ,not a lot but enough to be concerned about ,I notice lot of smoke from the exhaust when I start it in the am. I'm thinking head gasket, anybody recently Had head gaskets replaced ? What should I expect to pay. Thanks in advance Earl Filippelli

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How many miles? how long has it been smoking? the reason being the head and block my be warped, take it to a good machine shop and cut out the middle men, it's where it will wind up anyway. They will also check your valve guides and piston sleeves. Here in high rent No. Va. valve job and gaskets head and intake $500. Took them 2 days

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sounds like head gasket to me. I have had to replace them on a 3.1 and 3.8. not had any problems with the Reatta motor but GM has had a lot of issues with them for all motors according to my mechanic

Chuck Kerls

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A prime leak place on these engines are the freeze plugs. The fronts can be replaced fairly easily. The rears not so much.

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could be an intake gasket, they have been around four revisions for coolant leak issues. As far as the head gaskets I have not ran in to many issues with them on even borderline poorly maintained cars.

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Think you need to do more looking before you leap on this issue.

Thought smoking on start up going away was oil seeping past valve seals while engine was cooling down or moisture collecting in exhaust pipe.

Thought smoking on acceleration was due to blow-by or rich mixture.

I would expect other seal leaks would cause smoking all the time the engine was running.

There are lots of places where coolant can leak and not be noticed for a long time especially around and under the throttle body or a freeze plug .

So I think you should do some more testing before jumping in.

Recommend doing a compression test or leak down test on cylinders.

Check intake vacuum level with a gauge.

Inspect carefully the engine around the thermostat housing over to the rear of the throttle body to past the coolant temp sensor, around the water pump and crossover pipe and heater hoses, front and rear of the radiator edge to edge and the cap, and the freeze plugs just after car has come back from a run and the cooling system is still pressurized for any trace of a leak. Small leaks can catch and evaporate off never leaving a tell-tale drip under the car.

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Start the car cold and see if the Radiator starts to pressurize quickly. A leaking head gasket generally allows combustion pressure to enter the cooling system and will cause pressure to build in the radiator long before engine heat does. At the very least if you fill it to the top of the radiator opening you can usually see bubbles coming up with engine running. An intake gasket leak into the intake port will not cause pressure build (hopefully your problem) and is much simpler to fix.

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I know it's harder to tell when it's cold out but is the color of the smoke white or black? Correct me if I'm wrong guys but my understanding is that one of the tell tale signs of a blown head gasket is white smoke coming from exhaust. Just a thought.

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