Can misfiring cause a head-gasket leak? - Maintenance and Repair Forum

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Can misfiring cause a head-gasket leak?
Saturday, October 02, 2010 4:24 PM
Car has been parked for 2 weeks, after a nasty-corroded computer caused severe misfiring everyime I attempted to start it. Over the course of a week or so, I probably attempted to start it 50 times or so, with each attempt ending in misfiring out the intake and exhaust..

Now that I've got the computer sorted out - I've started it twice, on two separate days, and have a LOT of white smoke out the back when it's running until it warms up a bit. It smells like burned coolant, which has me wondering - can a LOT of misfiring cause my head-gasket to begin weeping coolant into the cylinders after sitting for a while? After starting, it idled pretty rough and eventually stalled out, and after I restarted it, it continued running though idling a bit higher.

I'm going to try pulling the plugs after if's been sitting for a while and see if any of the pistons are wet..

Just curious - Thanks!

Re: Can misfiring cause a head-gasket leak?
Sunday, October 03, 2010 2:48 PM
you've got it all backwards. a blown head gasket will cause your car to misfire, not the other way around. also, if the head gasket is shot, you could potentially be putting coolant into your cylinders, and if you run the vehicle under load like this you could hydro-lock the motor and do all kinds of fun damage. my old winter beater (3.8L ford) blew a head gasket on the rear bank, pissed coolant into 2 cylinders and blew up the motor. snapped 2 connecting rods clean off the crank, wasn't fun.

pull your plugs and see how wet they are. if they are wet, change out plugs. if that doesnt help, let the vehicle run at idle for a bit then pull them again. if they smell like coolant, and your coolant resivoir and/or rad are low on coolant, you've got an issue.
Re: Can misfiring cause a head-gasket leak?
Saturday, October 09, 2010 12:53 AM
David McGlynn wrote:

Car has been parked for 2 weeks, after a nasty-corroded computer caused severe misfiring everyime I attempted to start it. Over the course of a week or so, I probably attempted to start it 50 times or so, with each attempt ending in misfiring out the intake and exhaust..

Now that I've got the computer sorted out - I've started it twice, on two separate days, and have a LOT of white smoke out the back when it's running until it warms up a bit. It smells like burned coolant, which has me wondering - can a LOT of misfiring cause my head-gasket to begin weeping coolant into the cylinders after sitting for a while? After starting, it idled pretty rough and eventually stalled out, and after I restarted it, it continued running though idling a bit higher.

I'm going to try pulling the plugs after if's been sitting for a while and see if any of the pistons are wet..

Just curious - Thanks!



(misfiring out the intake and exhaust)- do you mean as in a loud pop/bang, possibly a wisp of flame out the intake/tailpipe( better known as a backfire, not a misfire)? If it was backfiring (ie, the injectors/ plugs were firing at the wrong time), its hard to tell what kind of damage it could do.
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