Thread: Losing Coolant
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Old 05-30-2006, 02:28 PM   #5
20psi boost
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There are 4 ways to test your engine for a blown head gasket.

A cylinder compression test, cylinder leak down test, cooling system pressure test, and a block test.

A cylinder compression tester is available at any autoparts store (not cheap). To perform a compression test, disable the fuel system by removing the 15A EFI fuse, remove the coils, spark plug wires and all the spark plugs. Test each cylinder with the compression tester. Standard pressure is 142psi with a maximum difference of 14psi between cylinders.

If that checks out ok, Id do a cooling system pressure test. Again, available at any napa auto parts store. Make sure it holds at least 8.5psi with no more of a drop of 1 psi per 5 minutes. I did mine at 16psi with no problems for 10 minutes.

If that checks ok, do a block test. Available at napa. You must warm the engine up, drain the coolant 3 inches below the radiator cap, start the engine without the radiator cap on and put the tester where the cap goes. Start testing by siphoning air through the tester for at least 30 seconds. If it turns yellow you are in trouble.

If those 3 tests turn out fine (which will not if you have a blown head gasket) the last test would be a cylinder leak down. I only save this one for last because of the $$ involved with this test. You need a leak down test kit, and an air compressor. You must find TDC of each cylinder, install the tester, and fill the cylinder up with compressed air at a determined psi, and should hold a certain amount of psi per certain amount of time. It is different on all engines so its best to leave this test to the pros.

Good luck hope this helps.
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