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s4m
Hi my W reg 1.6 escort seems to have steam coming from the exhaust even after a good run, it is especially cold here at the moment but it also seems to be misfiring a bit when idling even after a new set of plugs yesterday. Before i got the car it had sat for a few months im not sure if this is relevant! Any ideas?

Many thanks

Sam
s4m
[quote name='s4m' timestamp='1290933937' post='105192']
Hi my W reg 1.6 escort seems to have steam coming from the exhaust even after a good run, it is especially cold here at the moment but it also seems to be misfiring a bit when idling even after a new set of plugs yesterday. Before i got the car it had sat for a few months im not sure if this is relevant! Any ideas?

Many thanks

Sam
[/quote]

I have noticed today that the car does not miss when cold, only after it has warmed up for a while the steam is also worse the warmer the car gets!
oldsparky
[quote name='s4m' timestamp='1290936882' post='105193']
I have noticed today that the car does not miss when cold, only after it has warmed up for a while the steam is also worse the warmer the car gets!
[/quote]
hi sam.
is the coolant level low? does it need regular topping up? i'm thinking head gasket on it's way out.
s4m
[quote name='oldsparky' timestamp='1290942279' post='105200']
hi sam.
is the coolant level low? does it need regular topping up? i'm thinking head gasket on it's way out.
[/quote]

Hi, thanks for the reply, the coolant level has gone down a bit but i have only done 40 odd miles since i have had it, how can i check head gasket or is there anything i can do to prevent it? Anything else it could be?! Hope its not the head gasket...
oldsparky
you could try a compression test on the cylinders. you never mentioned which engine it was. worse case is the head has got a crack in it. i'm not sure if the spark plugs would give you an indication of a leak, but it's worth having a look. doing a head gasket isn't that bad of a job really, even for a novice. haynes do an excellent diy manual (number 1737) just read through it to familiarise yourself with the parts. a good socket set & a few bits & bobs & your off! does the car overheat sam?
s4m
[quote name='oldsparky' timestamp='1290960546' post='105228']
you could try a compression test on the cylinders. you never mentioned which engine it was. worse case is the head has got a crack in it. i'm not sure if the spark plugs would give you an indication of a leak, but it's worth having a look. doing a head gasket isn't that bad of a job really, even for a novice. haynes do an excellent diy manual (number 1737) just read through it to familiarise yourself with the parts. a good socket set & a few bits & bobs & your off! does the car overheat sam?
[/quote]

The car does not seem to overheat at all, its a 1.6 Zetec engine. could the misfire when idling be caused by an HT lead? it only starts missing when hot?!
lublin
The easiest way to check your head gasket is to take it to a garage that has the equipment to test for combustion gasses in the water expansion tank. I remember from my Fiat uno diesel owning days that when a head gasket starts to go (every 80,000 miles on an Uno D) the water pipes are very hard due to extra gas pressure when the engine is hot. If you're not sure how hard it should feel then compare it with another hot Escort, if possible.

If it is blowing pot to pot then the plugs can look sooty but if it's blowing to the water(when you get steam) then a plug can look very clean compared to the others, almost like it's been steam cleaned, depending on how bad the leak is. Don't forget to get the head skimmed if it needs a new head gasket.


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