Thanks for the reply, RonD. I added my answers to your questions below. I bought a compression tester so I plan on checking the compression on each cylinder and putting new spark plugs in all 6 spots. Is there any other diagnostics I can do to verify a head gasket leak? Should I buy one of these "radiator pressure tester kits"? Is this something that should be fixed immediately or is it okay to drive on it for a while?
Radiator Pressure Tester Kit
Have you noticed any unusual up and down movement of engine temp gauge?
- I haven't been watching the gauge. I have an OBDii display I can plug in so I will start monitoring the temperature.
More white exhaust "smoke" at first startup?
- Yes... there is definitely white smoke at startup.
Or overflow tank being full to the top just after shutting down a warmed up engine?
- I haven't been checking. I will start to today.
Why did you replace all those cooling system parts 3,000 miles ago?
- I had a radiator leak between the metal part and the plastic part of the radiator. I figured since I had the fan off and radiator off I may as well replace the water pump since it is right there. I also replaced the front main seal, harmonic balancer, fan clutch, belt tensioner, belt idler pulley, and fuel pump at the same time.
Was there an over heating problem at that time?
- Nope. As far as I know it's never overheated since I've owned it starting at 120,000 miles.