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Blown head gasket or something else?

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New User

May 30, 2018, 4:18 PM

Post #1 of 3 (477 views)
Blown head gasket or something else? Sign In

Hi everybody!

'01 Ford Ranger
About 70k miles.

I was driving across the country for a new job and the truck overheated. I checked the coolant and I forgot to top up coolant, it was completely empty. (my fault)

So I pulled over and let it cool down and put in plenty of coolant, and I poured some water over the engine to cool it down some more to speed up the process a little. I see there is a crack in the radiator hose.

I drove a little bit, maybe 1/2 a mile and oddly enough the battery starts dying on me. I dont know if it was because of the hazards or what but it starts dying. AAA comes and gives me a boost and the truck starts when plugged into an external battery source (so not an alternator problem) but after 2 minutes running the battery dies.

My guess to the problem: I need a new battery and to fix the radiator hose crack.
What one shop has told me so far: I need new battery and radiator hose and I blew my head gasket.

Blown head gasket is obviously very pricy so I would love y'all to give me your opinion. There is no water in the oil so Im inclined to think it might not be a blown gasket but I'm not an expert.


Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

May 30, 2018, 5:07 PM

Post #2 of 3 (464 views)
Re: Blown head gasket or something else? Sign In

A head gasket can blow in several different ways. You may not see coolant in the oil with a head gasket that is blown between two cylinders or is blown between a cylinder and water jacket port that is acting like a check valve. How did they determine the head gasket was blown?

There's also other possibilities such as cracked head or block too. Another thing to consider is there might be damaged to the piston rings and cylinder walls. Most of the time if an engine is overheated badly it is wiser to replace the engine if you plan on keeping the vehicle.

As for the battery dying, you can have a charging system fault that is intermittent or a faulty battery. Testing is going to have to be done to figure that one out.
One thing that you should never do with an engine that has overheated is to pour cold water into it while it's still hot. It's also not a good idea to pour water over a hot engine or components around it. Thermal shock can damage electrical components.

Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on May 30, 2018, 5:11 PM)

New User

May 31, 2018, 8:23 AM

Post #3 of 3 (422 views)
Re: Blown head gasket or something else? Sign In

They determined it using the test with the changing color from blue to yellow. I was sick with the flu though so I didn't watch them do it, but they brought my the cylinder to show me.

I learned the hard way about the cold water... :(

If I fix the battery problem would it be safe to drive a short distance to a shop or should I have it towed?

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