She cranks (slowly) but won't start. Died going uphill, started back up and died for good shortly after. Here's the backstory :

There is a coolant leak somewhere, every week or so my gf would have to fill up the car with water to prevent it from overheating. I didn't get a chance to thoroughly check where the source of the leak was, but it seemed to be coming from the front of the engine. I suggested that she buy some stop leak until I could pinpoint the source. So she went put bought the stopleak with the pellets and put it in.

A few days later, after I shut off the car, I noticed a gurgling sound coming from the coolant res. I pop the hood to find coolant spewing out from the cap. I replaced the cap and she took the car to work the next morning. According to her, while she was driving on the freeway she noticed a big loss of power and when she started up hill the car "just shut off". No shudder, jerk, or smoke. She then tried to start it but to no avail. A minute later she was able to start it again, but upon going uphill it again "shut off". This time there was smoke under the hood. She waited and tried to start it by that's the last time it ever ran.

She says the temp gauge never showed it running hot, nor was the car gurgling like it had previously. When I checked the car, I found oil all over the place: under the hood, the valve cover, hoses, radiator...it seemed to have come out of the oil cap, as it was now loose but not open. The coolant was now like chocolate milk. I also found oil in my intake, turbo inlet and outlet, intercooler and air box. My spark plugs were dry and ok, and when I looked in to the cylinder from the spark plug hole i didn't see any water or oil inside. My code reader only shows one code, P0864, which i guess is TCM communication problems. I did my Google's and it seems my no start problem is related to this. Any suggestions would be a great help!

1 Answer 1


It sounds very much like the engine has overheated, possibly damaged the piston rings and cylinders causing back pressure into the sump which will have blown the oil out. The engine will have seized causing it to stop.

The cylinder head gasket could also have failed or a crack could have formed in the head or block due to overheating, which could cause the water and oil to mix.

My guess would be that the engine is likely beyond viable repair and that you would be financially better off replacing it for a second hand unit.

You could remove the head and check for damage to the cylinders and head. You could possibly be fortunate and find it just needs a new head gasket.

  • I am in the process of removing the head, and yes I'm crossing my fingers for a failed head or gasket. But if the engine seized, would it still crank? Jul 28, 2020 at 11:39
  • @NathanielDavidson Slow down and think. If the engined seized, that means the engine's internal parts are physically stuck in one position, and the crankshaft cannot turn. Jul 28, 2020 at 15:56
  • It could have totally seized due to the heat, then upon cooling, it could start to turn again. It there is damage, it may not be as free as it should be.
    – HandyHowie
    Jul 28, 2020 at 19:11
  • At this point, i want to first find out how to start it. I believe the tcm code has something to do with it. Jul 30, 2020 at 15:59

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