Is my cylinder head cracked?


Hi folks,
I recently became the owner of a G reg 1990 Sportrak EL (carb, not injected model)and was quite chuffed with my purchase.
Unfortunately, it has recently started to get rather too hot after a run of 5 miles or so, and it then starts venting white smoke from the exhaust (I can smell the anti-freeze).
On the occasions this has happened, I have immediately turned on the heating full blast (and the temperature has dropped), or stopped to let it cool down.

On short journeys, where it doesn't have a chance to get up to normal operating temperature, it doesn't vent anything abnormal from the exhaust.

I suspect that I have a crack in my cylinder head which is opening up when the engine gets sufficiently hot - hence the white steamy exhaust.

Do you think my fears are justified...and what do you think my options are, particularly as I can't afford to fork out tons in repairs, but do feel that apart from this recent problem, it is a good wee car?


I'd still go for head gasket

I'd still go for head gasket first, you've got to have the head off either way, go on you might just be lucky !!!!

Take it for a bit of a drive

Take it for a bit of a drive with the radiator cap OFF. Dont cane it, you just want to get it up to normal operating temp. Now, when idleing, check the fluid in the radiator, does the level pulse, or are their bubbles/ oily residue in there. If coolant is getting into the combustion chamber, then exhaust system, then combustion pressure must be then getting into the cooling system. This should show up as above.
You may be lucky and its a head gasket.
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