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Coolant in cylinders- white smoke show

1432 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Steve in Chicago
2001 1.8T Passat- 140K

Low oil pressure light came on. Skreeching sound from passenger side front engine. Changed oil pick up tube and oil pan. The tube was cloaked with dipstick fragments and other debris. Pain looked surprisingly clean. This resolved the oil pressure problem. Started car and it sounded great on idle, but puffy white smoke coming from exhaust. Pulled the head and there was coolant in the cylinders. Put on all new gaskets and still have the same issue. The head gasket looked good, but I replaced it anyway. Is there a way to check for a cracked cylinder or would it be more of a warped head or some other issue? Trying not to spend a lot of money due to age and miles of vehicle.
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Cracked cylinder?
I'm pretty sure the cylinders are cast iron, Steel so last place to have cracked.
My guess would be the aluminum cylinder head.
You could remove it and have a shop test it for leaks.
Last head I had looked at was a 6 cylinder BWM that I ripped off of 528i at pick and pull.
Cost me $100 to skim (well polish and check for flatness) and pressure test.

I would just pick up one of these and rebuild it using your old head.

Or even better but more $$$

You suspect your heads cracked, take a really good look.
Check for cracks between coolant channels and valves.
If you suspect any, just junk it and save yourself the inspection / machining fee.

I used a dye penetrate kit to check my BMW head, the cracks were clearly visible.
I threw it in the recycle bin

Kits a bit expensive for your needs. You will just have to make do with the visual inspection.
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