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Old 02-01-2010, 11:37 PM
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Up In Smoke

So here is the quick background and I do appologize in advance for not only not knowing much about Jeeps, but not knowing much about cars at all.

Anyways, here it goes.

I live in pittsburgh and it's very cold here and about a month ago my heat was only kind of working on the lowest setting. It wasn't blowing, it was more so seaping out semi warm air.

I was just dealing with it.

So anyways I am driving and all of a sudden I smell something and next thing I know dark black smoke starts pouring out of my hood which eventually turns white. I open it up and see what I guess is the knob on my radiator just spitting the smoke out and looks...i dont know like melty stuff is around it. I then see I have zero engine coolant.

Someone please do me the favor of shedding some light on the subject for me.

What did I do? How bad is it? Is everything going to be okay?

Oh...I filled it up with the engine coolant and drove it home and parked it about 20 minutes ago. Should I not drive it tomorrow?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:31 AM   #2
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First off, you didn't post anything about your year/make/model of your Jeep, so this is mainly generic information.

Your passenger compartment heat working relies on engine coolant in your heater core. Since you started by saying your heat was only 'kind of' working, that's a big indication you've been driving for a while with low coolant. (Water is much better at transferring heat than air.)

How bad is it? Is everything going to be ok? Dunno. Since it sounds like you may not be ready to tackle tearing your engine down to check things, I would recommend bringing it to a shop to have a compression test done. If things cooled without cracking, warping, or melting, then you may not be hosed. I'd certainly recommend checking and filling/replacing engine fluids (oil, anti-freeze again) to flush out anything nasty that accumulated in there. Otherwise (since you've already added coolant back to the engine) if it's cracked, you'll see either water in your oil (it'll look milky/brown) or your coolant won't be pure (green/orange/whatever color it started as.)

It wouldn't hurt to call a local shop and see if they have a way to bring it in for you if you want to have it checked, otherwise, the damage is already done so to speak so why not drive it there and see what they say.

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Old 02-02-2010, 05:13 AM   #3
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By "melty stuff" do you mean like a thick brownish goo? It sounds like a head gasket to me. Your coolant and oil are mixing (hence the delightful color). As stated above you have given no information about what you drive here, that would help. My advice is to NOT drive it any further until you have it checked. Replacing a head gasket is one thing, replacing a cracked head is another.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:46 PM   #4
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Pictures are your friend....show us pictures of the goo
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