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I am in a big fix. My '96 blazer is overheating. I flushed the fluid out and replaced with water, checked the waterpump (its ok) and replaced the thermostat. Still don't know what's wrong. I take it to the shop around the corner thinking it might be a bad temp. gauge and he fires back it may be a blown gasket, cracked head, or worse, cracked block. He noticed (and i did yesterday) that the overflow tank was filling up with foamy water. He then used a die that turns color when exposed to hydrocarbons. Since it turned color it means exhaust is mixing with coolant. I am no mechanic but i think I can turn a wrench. Never heard about this die but it makes more sense to me that it is a head and not the block. Anybody? By the way it only has 113k miles on the truck
 

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Discussion Starter #2
oh and by the way,

Merry Christmas everybody!!!!!
 

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One way to visually check is to open the radiator cap, fill with anti-freeze, let run and watch for small "bubbles" in your coolant. You'll know its the head when you see them. Theres no mistaking. It'll look like your radiator is blowing bubbles. This would be from the exhaust gases mixing with the coolant. Check for milky coolant and oil as well. If youre that nervous do an oil change immediatly and check for signs of coolant mixing in. Check for smoke out your tailpipe. Sudden loss of power recently? These are telltale signs and by no means the the only way to verify. The die is legit. Did he do a pressure test? Don't walk into a head job unless all things are considered.
 

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Chrome is Gay
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it could also be leaking through the gasket and into a cylinder, like my old car did. I know alot of cars have temperature senders that go bad, could be that and only around $15 (should be).

If it is bubbling up like Blaze1 said it's a head gasket (most likely).
 

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Quicker than a Hummer!
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Your exhaust will have a sweet smell to it also if you are getting antifreeze in the cylinders-
And like they said, Oflow tank is another place to look. My old caprice that I inherited had caked up brown crap all through the tank because of a cracked block. My brother overheated it in a mean mean way!

also, about the oil and water mix, pull the cap off of the valve cover too and see if there is milky sludge- if your oil level goes UP, its not a good sign at all and dont drive it with water in the bottom of the oil pan!
 
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