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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, been a creeper here for awhile but I'm coming out of the shadows for some assistance.

Recently the vehicle had been overheating due to a bad thermostat/coolant temp sensor. I got that resolved and the car ran fine for about 20-30 miles.

Now the vehicle has a rough Idle, and the engine is shaking more than I'd like it to. As well as having problems powering the engine.

For instance, the vehicle is near red line coming from a stop and there is a noticeable but not overwhelming amount of white smoke coming from the tail pipe, accompanied by an odor that I can only describe as normal for an old car but unusual for a car this old (2003).

I initially thought the head gasket was toast but I was unable to find any telltale signs of such (condensation in oil, bubbles in coolant filler neck).

My next thought is spark plugs since I don't think they have been replaced since getting the vehicle (2 years). But I would really like to hear from anyone with a bit more experience on this vehicle before I start blindly and stressfully pulling and replacing stuff.

Much thanks!
 

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How badly did it over heat??

Spark plugs can usually last a long time.
So what was the mileage when you got the car?
And what is the mileage now?

When replacing the thermostat, how big of a mess did you make?
Are the wires to the ignition coils okay?
Did they get wet?
What about the other wire bundles?

Vehicle near red line?
Do you mean the coolant temperature?
Do you mean the engine rpm?
 

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Hello all, been a creeper here for awhile but I'm coming out of the shadows for some assistance.

Recently the vehicle had been overheating due to a bad thermostat/coolant temp sensor. I got that resolved and the car ran fine for about 20-30 miles.

Now the vehicle has a rough Idle, and the engine is shaking more than I'd like it to. As well as having problems powering the engine.

For instance, the vehicle is near red line coming from a stop and there is a noticeable but not overwhelming amount of white smoke coming from the tail pipe, accompanied by an odor that I can only describe as normal for an old car but unusual for a car this old (2003).

I initially thought the head gasket was toast but I was unable to find any telltale signs of such (condensation in oil, bubbles in coolant filler neck).

My next thought is spark plugs since I don't think they have been replaced since getting the vehicle (2 years). But I would really like to hear from anyone with a bit more experience on this vehicle before I start blindly and stressfully pulling and replacing stuff.

Much thanks!
Head gasket sounds right. how about a compression test.


00000732


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Thanks,
Welcome aboard.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the feedback, here is what I've been through in the last couple days....

Did a compression test and found cylinders 2 through 4 holding steady at 170psi with cylinder one at 155psi.

During the compression test I discovered an uncomfortable amount of oil in spark plugs and holes 2 and 4.

I replaced the valve cover, spark plugs and plug gaskets all of which got the vehicle running significantly better yet still poorly, including a now flashing CEL.

Got the code scanned by my friend at the auto shop to find cylinder 1 is misfiring (p0301) and he recommends replacing the ignition coil. I grabbed a new/used coil from the scrap yard and again the vehicle is running significantly better yet still very poorly.

CEL is still flashing but I don't need to red line the RPMs just to accelerate from a stop although power on the highway leaves a bit to be desired. Engine still sounds throaty like an old motorcycle and has an uneven idle.

There is currently 112k on the engine and it was purchased with about 90k on the clock.

And the overheating was pretty bad, as when it occurred my girlfriend called me and we did an over the phone diagnosis. I had her check oil and coolant only to find they are both nearly non-existent.

I am inclined to believe it is a head gasket issue due to how negligent my girlfriend has been with the vehicle.

I greatly appreciate any advice or thoughts on this situation!

vin KMHDN45D43U484771
2003 Hyundai Elantra
 

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I would make sure the lower end is not making any knocking noises and if OK Pull the head. If there's even a hint of lower end knock I would look at getting a used engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Rough Idle and RPM loss [Solved]

I often forget to keep it simple with my automotive assumption's. I once replaced my fuel pump when all I needed was a crank position sensor. I'd been getting better about it until I began consider major engine reconstruction on my girlfriends Hyundai.

New spark plug cables have remedied all.

I greatly appreciate all the insight!
 
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