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Hey all, I've owned by black '05 5MT Aero since April, and I love it. Unfortunately over the last two weeks an issue has developed which I'm worried might be serious. Full disclosure: I love cars but I would definitely be considered a n00b when it comes to maintaining them. I have looked through the forum and seen some posts that seem relevant, but I would really appreciate your input. Here's what happened:
1. Heater stops working, lots of white smoke from the engine bay. Engine doesn't overheat, but the temp gauge is climbing (it's cold here and I wasn't pushing hard).
2. An acrid smell, like hot coolant, coming into the interior of the car.
1. Took it to a mechanic, he said he found that a radiator hose had blown and so he replaced it, everything seemed normal. But, he said, for the radiator hose to blow might mean there's too much pressure in the system, which might indicate a blown head gasket, which could lead to a $3000 repair (presumably the head gasket plus everything you want to do at the same time).
1. Today there is LOTS of white smoke coming from the engine bay, AND from the exhaust. But the heater is still working and the temp gauge didn't climb above normal (in about 20 minutes of highway driving).
2. I'm worried this could indicate a head gasket failure (although there are only about 70k miles on the engine).
I'd really appreciate any help - am I wrong about the head gasket? What other things could be causing this? Thanks! I really want to get back out there and
Your mechanic should be able to test for exhaust in the coolant with a simple kit (you could buy it yourself!). It just pokes into the radiator fill area and can sniff any gases mixed in. If today was the first day back from the mechanic then the smoke might have been left over from before and just cooking off. If not, then I would get it back to the shop soon. And as always, keep a watch on your oil level.