1994 Plymouth Voyager Overheated and Has Steam Coming From The Tailpipe – Why?

Think you might have a blown head gasket? Watch this short video to see.

Reader Question Hi Austin

To make a long story short my 1994 Plymouth Voyager 2.5 L overheated white smoke out of the exhaust asume that it was the antifreeze, also water coming out of the muffler. I took out the cylinder head check to tolerance of .004 all ok replaced the gasket and also the intake and exhaust gaskets , Once finished I started the car and same thing except that now all to the above plus antifreeze coming out of the bell housing,

I think that there must be major damage to the engine or I do not know if there would be such a thing as a cracked engine block, The engine started well and all of a sudden the white or steam started to shoot out the back as before.

I would appreciate if you tell me what could have happened. Would hate to think of a new engine??

Thank You


Hi there Alfredo – thanks for your email!

You might have to run the engine awhile to burn off all the antifreeze that is trapped within the exhaust system. It is not uncommon for there to be steam and smoke from the exhaust for 15 minutes or so after starting the engine after the repair was made.

When overheating and steam out the tailpipe occurs I always do the following:

1. Replace head gasket
2. Send heads to machine shop and have them resurface and perform valve job
3. Replace thermostat
4. Rod out or replace radiator Replace radiator and heater hoses

You really need to have the cooling system pressure tested to see if there is an external or internal coolant leak. You can buy a cooling system pressure tester at the auto parts store, or you might be able to rent one from them. Your mechanic should do it for you for about $50. You have to start there first.

Good thing is the engine started and ran!!! So the cylinders are probably not filled with coolant, or the spark plugs would be wet, and the engine would be misfiring and running bad.

If all else fails, try this great additive.

1. Remove ALL coolant from the radiator and the engine
2. Buy a can of K&W Engine Block Sealer from your auto parts store
3. Add to radiator and top off with water Drive car as normal for about 500 miles, then drain out cooling system and refill with coolant. — Warning — there is no freeze or boil over protection since you just have plain water in your radiator.

This additive works great, if there is a crack or a small internal leak in the head or block itself, it should find and seal it. I have used this product many times in my shop with great success. I do not use it the way the directions say to, but rather the way I outlined above. I would still do the pressure test first and rule out any external leaks, like from a freeze plug or water pump.

Posted in: Over Heating

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