I have a 1998 Toyota Corolla 1.6Glie w/ a 4a-fe engine. I'm almost at 180k KM in my odometer and it's showing the below signs/problems:
1. there's water in cylinder 3 that came from the radiator coolant. I knew it was from the radiator coolant because of the color of the liquid being yellowish which is the prestone/water 50:50 mixture.
2. I see white smoke coming out of the exhasut even at normal running temperature. Not very thick though as if it came out of a cigarette only.
3. Idle drops to 600rpm resulting to unusual vibration of engine.
4. I saw a somewhat off-white frothe-like build up in my oil cap.
5. Checking on the radiator cap/mouth, there are small bubbles/ continous pockets of air.
* I haven't experience overheating with these signs present.
* I'm not experienceing oil consumption/leak
* radiator coolant needs a top up more often thabn usual.
I had the car checked by 2 shops and both suggested a complete general overhaul of the engine. I'm having second thoughts a i think i only need a top overhaul becasue i think my head gasket was worn out already. As explained to me by the second shop (Autotech in Manila), they recommended a complete overhaul because they think the block part of the engine may also have warpage that needs also to be flattened out so the block and head will have a perfectly flat surface contact with the head gasket. Another reason if that oil seals in the block area would likely be perished also and needs to be replaced.
What do you guys think? I very much intend to keep the car for a long time as it means a lot to me so if the engine can be restored close back to it's original specs then it would be great to run another 180k KMs. I'm just skeptic if i indeed really need the comkplete engine overhaul at this point of teh engine's state.