Burning oil, white smoke on startup and heavy acceleration, and loss of acceleration when first going

T_Roberts

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Dec 8, 2019
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Alright, for the past month I have noticed a lack of power from my 2000 v6 mustang. What I mean by this is when I hit the gas, the RPM's continue to rise up but I'm not gaining any speed. After a few seconds the car then begins to accelerate and the rpms decrease. A very distinct sweet but burning smell also comes about when doing this. I thought this was oil related and the other day did an oil change and realized that I had been burning oil. Only 2 quarts of oil drained from the car. Also, when I start the car up, sometimes, a cloud of white smoke appears at the exhaust. The cloud of white smoke is always minimal, as if it were a chilly day. I also noticed my coolant was a bit below the cold mark and filled it back up. Now this could have been from awhile back when me and my brother were messing with the coolant before and just never refilled it properly but not entirely sure. I have heard countless tells of this being a head gasket but wanted to be sure. I know with a blown head gasket that there are bubbles from the radiator cap and milky oil. upon doing an oil change, my oil was black and when inspecting the radiator cap, it had a stray bubble or two come up when starting the car but after sitting for a minute or two I only saw 1 more bubble or so. Does this happen to be a blown head gasket or could it possibly be something else?
 
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7991LXnSHO

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If you want to know without tearing it apart, here are three tests that will tell you a lot.
1. A compression test, dry and wet - to tell how bad it is and which cylinders.
2. A leak down test - to tell you where the leak is, intake, exhaust, rings or head gasket.
3. A coolant system pressure test - this should also tell you if a head gasket, head, block, hoses or radiator is leaking. Get some UV dye in the system and a CSI light to chase down the leaks.
 

T_Roberts

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Dec 8, 2019
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If you want to know without tearing it apart, here are three tests that will tell you a lot.
1. A compression test, dry and wet - to tell how bad it is and which cylinders.
2. A leak down test - to tell you where the leak is, intake, exhaust, rings or head gasket.
3. A coolant system pressure test - this should also tell you if a head gasket, head, block, hoses or radiator is leaking. Get some UV dye in the system and a CSI light to chase down the leaks.
Is there a specific dye that I could use to go in the coolant system or just any UV dye would work?
I know how to work around my engine but I am not the best engine savvy person
 

7991LXnSHO

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Is there a specific dye that I could use to go in the coolant system or just any UV dye would work?
I know how to work around my engine but I am not the best engine savvy person
When you go to Advance Auto to borrow the tools, they will have the right dye in stock. Other FLAPS will, too.
 

T_Roberts

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Also, the idle isn't rough but it does'nt stay at one particular point. Its normally just around 800 but recently has been bouncing around from 800 to about 830 and then down to 770. Not much change but enough to hear it change.
 

7991LXnSHO

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The idle is secondary to the oil burning in my experience. If the engine has excessive wear, changing plugs with a tune up and fixing vac leaks might be pointless. The IAC might need cleaned and adjusted, but you have to see if the engine is toast first.
 
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T_Roberts

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The idle is secondary to the oil burning in my experience. If the engine has excessive wear, changing plugs with a tune up and fixing vac leaks might be pointless. The IAC might need cleaned and adjusted, but you have to see if the engine is toast first.
At what point do you consider the engine to be toast? The piston and rods need replacing? or just the blown head gasket?
 

7991LXnSHO

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Please send the test results. A head gasket is not an excuse for a rebuild, but worn out valve guides or valves mean head work. Compression past the piston rings needs machine work. I should not have used a colloquial term.
 

T_Roberts

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Dec 8, 2019
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Alright. So last night I put some UV dye in the radiator cap. Haven't seen any signs of leakage yet. But I did notice a constant ticking sound that came from the manifold area. It sounds like it's coming from the back left side where all the wire harnesses are. The coolant was also a fair bit lower than when I topped it off the other day. Upon starting up the car, the coolant then leveled out after it warmed up. Will continue to look for leaks though
 

T_Roberts

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Dec 8, 2019
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South Carolina
Please send the test results. A head gasket is not an excuse for a rebuild, but worn out valve guides or valves mean head work. Compression past the piston rings needs machine work. I should not have used a colloquial term.
Alright. So after a day or so of driving. This is what I have. It looks like the water pump has a leak at the seal there. But would that cause all the issues I seem to be having?
 

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OldSchoolNoe

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Nov 13, 2019
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Leaking water pump does not cause idling issues and does not "burn oil."
The 2 major engine tests that were suggested really will put an end to all your questions.
For example if the engine has excessive wear, then putting money into a new water pump doesn't make any sense.
Yeah I know it is time consuming.
 
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OldSchoolNoe

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when I hit the gas, the RPM's continue to rise up but I'm not gaining any speed.
Ok I hate to be "diagnosing" a car from behind a computer screen (especially one with little information as this) but I'll give it a go.
Your symptom there suggests transmission "slippage." Check fluid level
I want to say that a blown head gasket will cause a loss of engine power (due to weak compression), BUT the Rpms will NOT rise up like that. (Someone fact check me here)

I have heard countless tells of this being a head gasket but wanted to be sure. I know with a blown head gasket that there are bubbles from the radiator cap and milky oil. upon doing an oil change, my oil was black and when inspecting the radiator cap, it had a stray bubble or two come up when starting the car but after sitting for a minute or two I only saw 1 more bubble or so.
The water pump is leaking so pressure could be escaping through there, IF it really is a blown head gasket. Does it overheat? Is it able to drive 100 miles without overheating? Obviously it will fail the coolant system pressure test.

This really is an "educated guess" based on the info you have provided, more information is needed, so I stand by my previous post about doing the 2 major engine tests.
 

T_Roberts

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Dec 8, 2019
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South Carolina
Ok I hate to be "diagnosing" a car from behind a computer screen (especially one with little information as this) but I'll give it a go.
Your symptom there suggests transmission "slippage." Check fluid level
I want to say that a blown head gasket will cause a loss of engine power (due to weak compression), BUT the Rpms will NOT rise up like that. (Someone fact check me here)


The water pump is leaking so pressure could be escaping through there, IF it really is a blown head gasket. Does it overheat? Is it able to drive 100 miles without overheating? Obviously it will fail the coolant system pressure test.

This really is an "educated guess" based on the info you have provided, more information is needed, so I stand by my previous post about doing the 2 major engine tests.
The car does not overheat. Which is one of the main reasons I think it's not a head gasket leak. I have checked videos of slippage and it seems to be exactly the same thing going on