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Head Gasket Leaking In Cylinder and Causing Misfire #5260144 11/06/19 05:59 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
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RDY4WAR Offline OP
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2006 Nissan Altima
2.5L 4 cylinder
233k miles

The radiator cracked on this car earlier this year and the wife didn't notice anything was wrong until it bucked hard trying to accelerate from a light and looked down to see the temp gauge on the H. I replaced the radiator, but ever since it's been going through about a quart of coolant every 200-250 miles. Some stop leak did absolutely nothing. I've accepted I need to replace the head gasket, but we both agree that it's time for a new(er) car anyway. We're just trying to limp this thing along until after the New Year.

Back story out of the way... the coolant leak is occurring in the #2 cylinder and causing a misfire that only occurs after coasting in gear for a while such as on an exit ramp coming off the highway. I'm assuming this is because the CPU is shutting off the fuel (and therefore combustion) to the cylinders when coasting in gear, allowing the cylinder to fill with a little bit of coolant, and when you get back on the gas, the cylinder isn't firing. When this occurs, I usually just bump it into neutral and peg it off the rev limiter for a second to clear it out, and all is well... much to my wife's dismay. At least my daughter finds it funny.

My solution to the issue is anytime I'm coasting/braking, I just bump it to neutral so the fuel doesn't shut off and the cylinders keep firing, not allowing that cylinder to get wet down with coolant. My wife, however, finds this to be an impossible task and almost every time she drives it, I get a call from her sitting still at a green light complaining about the car doing that "thing" again and she doesn't know what to do. So, I'm looking for a better solution.

It's worse when the plug is caked up with deposits from burning coolant. I take it out and clean it every month or so, and it doesn't seem to do it for a little while until it gets cruded up again. I thought about going to a hotter spark plug (from NGK LFR5A to LFR4A) in hopes that it could keep the tip cleaner, along with a wider gap for a larger flame kernel that might could pierce through the moisture in the cylinder. Then hope the added resistance doesn't kill the coil before we sent it to its grave. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Is that a viable solution?


"He who is without oil, shall throw the first rod." - Compressions 9:1
Re: Head Gasket Leaking In Cylinder and Causing Misfire [Re: RDY4WAR] #5260152 11/06/19 06:06 PM
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atikovi Offline
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Originally Posted by RDY4WAR
Some stop leak did absolutely nothing. I've accepted I need to replace the head gasket,


Stopleak is for a radiator leak. You need a head gasket sealer for your problem.

[Linked Image from images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com]

Re: Head Gasket Leaking In Cylinder and Causing Misfire [Re: atikovi] #5260169 11/06/19 06:16 PM
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rooflessVW Offline
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Originally Posted by atikovi
Originally Posted by RDY4WAR
Some stop leak did absolutely nothing. I've accepted I need to replace the head gasket,

Stopleak is for a radiator leak. You need a head gasket sealer for your problem.

He needs a head gasket for his problem.

I don't see the point in trying to limp a car along that could fail spectacularly at any moment.

Repair or trade the poor thing in.


"Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead."
Re: Head Gasket Leaking In Cylinder and Causing Misfire [Re: rooflessVW] #5260172 11/06/19 06:18 PM
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GZRider Offline
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+1
Ditch the car, ditch it now while it runs.

Re: Head Gasket Leaking In Cylinder and Causing Misfire [Re: RDY4WAR] #5260178 11/06/19 06:20 PM
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domer10 Offline
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Would the coolant not be making its way into the oil as well? I do not see that car making it much longer without some sort of permanent failure.


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Re: Head Gasket Leaking In Cylinder and Causing Misfire [Re: RDY4WAR] #5260187 11/06/19 06:33 PM
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xxch4osxx Offline
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Wait till it leaks coolant into the cylinder after it is shut off for a while, enough to hydrolock it when you go to start it. Seen it happen with a big truck engine that had cavitation issues with the liners.


2015 RAM SXT Crew Cab 5.7 with 6 speed tranny.

2008 Mazda 3 GS Sport Hatchback 5sp MT (Girlfriend's car)

Re: Head Gasket Leaking In Cylinder and Causing Misfire [Re: rooflessVW] #5260190 11/06/19 06:39 PM
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atikovi Offline
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Originally Posted by rooflessVW
Originally Posted by atikovi
Originally Posted by RDY4WAR
Some stop leak did absolutely nothing. I've accepted I need to replace the head gasket,

Stopleak is for a radiator leak. You need a head gasket sealer for your problem.

He needs a head gasket for his problem.

I don't see the point in trying to limp a car along that could fail spectacularly at any moment.

Repair or trade the poor thing in.


Not worth the cost on a 13 year old Altima with 200K+ miles to replace the headgasket, unless you DIY, but even then... Sealer could get you a few more years for just $50.

Re: Head Gasket Leaking In Cylinder and Causing Misfire [Re: RDY4WAR] #5260203 11/06/19 06:54 PM
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super20dan Offline
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blue devil works 50$ well spent


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Re: Head Gasket Leaking In Cylinder and Causing Misfire [Re: RDY4WAR] #5260209 11/06/19 07:04 PM
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CARJ Offline
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It's certainly worth trying the HG stop leak, especially if you agree that you would replace the car in January. Long term, that stuff can clog up the heater core which really leads to expensive repairs. A running car will always sell for more than one that isn't.


2004 Toyota 4Runner | 193k | Havoline Pro DS 5w-30, YZZD3
2012 VW Passat | 96k | M1 0w-40, XG9911
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Re: Head Gasket Leaking In Cylinder and Causing Misfire [Re: RDY4WAR] #5260227 11/06/19 07:28 PM
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bullwinkle Offline
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Waiting for "screwing the next owner" comments in 3...2...1... LOL I agree with trying the HG repair stuff, you'll pull the head & likely discover it needs resurfaced, maybe valves, a valve job, maybe even rings. In a disposable Altima!


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Re: Head Gasket Leaking In Cylinder and Causing Misfire [Re: RDY4WAR] #5260239 11/06/19 07:39 PM
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Warstud Offline
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I put K&W Fiberlock in my vehicle back in March and it's been fine ever since.

https://www.ruralking.com/kw-fiberl...bkfvW5QIVDvbjBx2aNgWjEAQYAyABEgKvWvD_BwE

Re: Head Gasket Leaking In Cylinder and Causing Misfire [Re: domer10] #5260244 11/06/19 07:46 PM
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Chris142 Offline
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Originally Posted by domer10
Would the coolant not be making its way into the oil as well? I do not see that car making it much longer without some sort of permanent failure.
that's kind of a wives tail.
. It burns off before it gets into the oil unless it's absolutely dumping coolant into the cyls.


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Re: Head Gasket Leaking In Cylinder and Causing Misfire [Re: bullwinkle] #5260271 11/06/19 08:22 PM
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RDY4WAR Offline OP
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Originally Posted by bullwinkle
Waiting for "screwing the next owner" comments in 3...2...1... LOL I agree with trying the HG repair stuff, you'll pull the head & likely discover it needs resurfaced, maybe valves, a valve job, maybe even rings. In a disposable Altima!


That wouldn't be much of an issue as I have the equipment to mill the heads and cut the valve seats. It's just not worth the effort to me. I'll probably do it anyway so I can sell it for a better price. It's just that doing that takes time away from other projects.

I'll try the fix in a bottle and see if it helps. If it doesn't, oh well.


"He who is without oil, shall throw the first rod." - Compressions 9:1
Re: Head Gasket Leaking In Cylinder and Causing Misfire [Re: RDY4WAR] #5260272 11/06/19 08:23 PM
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zzyzzx Offline
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Use a head gasket sealer.
I would have used it on my car, but I pulled the valve cover and found loose and broken head bolts, so I replaced the head gasket. Probably spent less than $100 and replaced a bunch of other stuff at the same time. Now I have a car with 2 less oil leaks, and no coolant leaks (for the first time in more than 10 years). Really wasn't that hard, just tedious.

Re: Head Gasket Leaking In Cylinder and Causing Misfire [Re: Chris142] #5260314 11/06/19 09:22 PM
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domer10 Offline
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Originally Posted by Chris142
Originally Posted by domer10
Would the coolant not be making its way into the oil as well? I do not see that car making it much longer without some sort of permanent failure.
that's kind of a wives tail.
. It burns off before it gets into the oil unless it's absolutely dumping coolant into the cyls.


Just figured since it’s misfiring, there is no combustion taking place...but I guess still be hot enough to burn off.


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