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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had my 04 V6 for about a week and a half now and since owning it more and more white sweet smelling smoke has been coming out of my exhaust on startup and at this point I'm quite certain it is a head gasket leak. As this was my first car I've ever purchased being in high school I really don't have the means to pay someone to do the repair or just buy a new car and scrap it, is there any chance I could manage fixing something like this myself or am I screwed? If anything this car pretty much just taught me a $4000 lesson.
 

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2014 Mazda 6 GT & 2006 Mazda 6 GT-MT HB
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If the gasket is leaking, its only going to get worse, causing irreversible damage to the engine.
Replacing it is not that hard but you need to have good mechanical skills (brain, not muscle), I'd say 8/10.
 

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If the gasket is leaking, its only going to get worse, causing irreversible damage to the engine.
Replacing it is not that hard but you need to have good mechanical skills (brain, not muscle), I'd say 8/10.
Not to mention the root cause of the leaking HG. Head gaskets don't often just go bad (unless it's a VW), typically there's a reason, such as an overheat that warped the heads or something similar, leading to a more expensive repair. Not trying to fatalise here, but a decent used Ford engine swap might be a better approach.
 

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2004 Mazda 6s Wagon ATX
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I am inclined to agree with @mitro6ual
Given the amount of time, cost, and possibility for problems involved, a Fusion swap might be the better option. You would likely pull the motor to do head gaskets anyhow (although technically not necessary).
Check my signature links for the engine swap guide.
Good luck, you are going to learn a ton and gain massive confidence finding your way through this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Dont guess, have a comp and leak down test done first.
Going to definitely do this, is there some chance it could be just a leaking intake manifold gasket?. It doesn't appear any oil is in with the coolant and it doesn't appear any coolant is in with the oil, seems to be going straight into the air/fuel mixture. Car still drives fine.
I am inclined to agree with @mitro6ual
Given the amount of time, cost, and possibility for problems involved, a Fusion swap might be the better option. You would likely pull the motor to do head gaskets anyhow (although technically not necessary).
Check my signature links for the engine swap guide.
Good luck, you are going to learn a ton and gain massive confidence finding your way through this.
Once again your wealth of information gives me some hope, my teacher for my auto class said he was willing to let me bring it in and do the swap there if I needed so it is pretty likely I fusion swap it given that my head gasket is actually blown. Any ideas on what to do with the old engine though when it's out?
 

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Going to definitely do this, is there some chance it could be just a leaking intake manifold gasket?
Nope, no water goes through it.
 

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2004 Mazda 6s Wagon ATX
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...is there some chance it could be just a leaking intake manifold gasket?
No chance for the reason Talon said

Any ideas on what to do with the old engine though when it's out?
Talk your school into buying if from you for a class project, or use it if you need a core return or off to a recycler for a little coin.
 

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I have had some luck repairing head gaskets with those head gasket repair in a bottle things but not using the procedure they suggest. I found out about this "trick" years ago through the RX-7 community. I've tried it on 4 vehicles with blown head gaskets and it fixed three of them. It only costs under $50 to try and a few hours of your time. if it doesn't work your just back to where you started.

Supplies- two bottles of block weld, one gallon of purple power degreaser, anti-freeze

[*] Turn the heat full on with the car on so the heater core gets flushed also
[*] Drain the radiator from the radiator drain plug under the car.
[*] Fill the cooling system with plain water and drain again.
[*] Run the car with the garden hose on, flushing the system for at least 2 mins, then drain it again. Now pour 1/3 of the purple power degreaser into the system, and fill the balance with water, and run the car up to temp. let cool.
[*] Drain.
[*] Repeat 3 times, with a cold flush in between each degrease cycle, then do a clean rinse. Make sure the heater is on the whole time, and make sure the rinse runs clear with no bubbles from the degreaser- you have to get all the degreaser out of the system!.
[*] You should do at least one hot runup after degreasing with plain water to help remove the degreaser before using the blockweld.
[*] Pour in 2 bottles of Block weld and top off with water. Drive conservatively 30 mins.

LEAVE OVERNIGHT.

This will allow residual cooling system pressure to force blockweld toward the combustion chamber thru the leak point, keeping positive pressure on the leak until the stuff has a chance to work and cool.
[*] Following day, drive the car for another 30 mins and leave for long enough to cool COMPLETELY. You should have no white smoke on startup at this point. If you do, the fix didnt work and you should add another bottle of blockweld and drive for 30 mins and let cool overnight. If there is no white smoke or coolant ejection, the treatment worked!
[*] Drain off a bit of coolant and add antifreeze, or drain the whole system, add the desired amount of antifreeze, and add the drained water/blockweld mixture back to top off the system.
 

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Wonder what spice works for vacuum leaks...
 
  • Haha
Reactions: TalonTsi90

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IMHO if you have a failed head gasket then either remove the head and fix it or consign yourself to a destroyed engine, likely sooner than later.

If someone sold it to you knowing it was bad (e.g. no experience of overheats while you've had it, and its newly yours) I'd go after them.

But if not (or if you plausibly did it with an overheat or similar) then suck it up and fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have had some luck repairing head gaskets with those head gasket repair in a bottle things but not using the procedure they suggest. I found out about this "trick" years ago through the RX-7 community. I've tried it on 4 vehicles with blown head gaskets and it fixed three of them. It only costs under $50 to try and a few hours of your time. if it doesn't work your just back to where you started.

Supplies- two bottles of block weld, one gallon of purple power degreaser, anti-freeze

[*] Turn the heat full on with the car on so the heater core gets flushed also
[*] Drain the radiator from the radiator drain plug under the car.
[*] Fill the cooling system with plain water and drain again.
[*] Run the car with the garden hose on, flushing the system for at least 2 mins, then drain it again. Now pour 1/3 of the purple power degreaser into the system, and fill the balance with water, and run the car up to temp. let cool.
[*] Drain.
[*] Repeat 3 times, with a cold flush in between each degrease cycle, then do a clean rinse. Make sure the heater is on the whole time, and make sure the rinse runs clear with no bubbles from the degreaser- you have to get all the degreaser out of the system!.
[*] You should do at least one hot runup after degreasing with plain water to help remove the degreaser before using the blockweld.
[*] Pour in 2 bottles of Block weld and top off with water. Drive conservatively 30 mins.

LEAVE OVERNIGHT.

This will allow residual cooling system pressure to force blockweld toward the combustion chamber thru the leak point, keeping positive pressure on the leak until the stuff has a chance to work and cool.
[*] Following day, drive the car for another 30 mins and leave for long enough to cool COMPLETELY. You should have no white smoke on startup at this point. If you do, the fix didnt work and you should add another bottle of blockweld and drive for 30 mins and let cool overnight. If there is no white smoke or coolant ejection, the treatment worked!
[*] Drain off a bit of coolant and add antifreeze, or drain the whole system, add the desired amount of antifreeze, and add the drained water/blockweld mixture back to top off the system.
Any reason not to atleast try this if I'm gonna swap the engine anyways? I suppose it might atleast get me through till I have the money to do a proper fix, I just don't want to damage anything else in the process.
 

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Except @mitro6ual if you keep running it with the leak you run the risk of deck erosion (now its not just a head gasket you need to replace; major work is now required that's illogical on a car of that age), oil contamination with glycol (which will destroy the mains very quickly and may also ruin the cam journals which are not replaceable, thus your cylinder head is now worthless) or when shut down you may hydrolock a cylinder which will instantly bend a rod the next time you try to start it.

I get it that not tearing the head off and fixing it is attractive; its not a particularly expensive set of parts required but the labor, if you can't do it yourself, is going to cost a significant amount of money and if you take the head off and find other problems your best option is almost-always an engine swap. Nonetheless running a vehicle with a leaking head gasket unless you've already written the engine off is unwise.
 
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