TEST 2: Coolant Shooting Out Of Radiator

Coolant Shooting Out Of Radiator (Suzuki 1.3L, 1.6L, 1.8L, 2.0L, 2.3L, 2.5L)

The second most common end-result of a blown head gasket is the compression/combustion pressures and gases escaping thru' the cooling system.

By cooling system I mean the radiator.

This is what you need to do:

  1. Remove the radiator cap from the radiator.
    • The engine should be completely cold before you open the radiator cap.
    • Opening the radiator cap on a hot engine can spray hot coolant all over you and severely burn you.
  2. If the coolant level is low, top it off before proceeding.
  3. Stand at a safe distance from the engine but within view of the radiator.
  4. When ready, have your helper crank the engine.
  5. You'll see one of two results:
    • The coolant shoots out violently when the engine was cranked.
    • The coolant was not disturbed at all.

Let's interpret your test result:

CASE 1: The coolant shot out of the radiator. This confirms beyond a shadow of a doubt that you do have a blown head gasket on your hands.

CASE 2: The coolant DID NOT shoot out of the radiator. So far so good.

In TEST 1, you confirmed that coolant isn't mixing with the engine oil. In this test, you have confirmed that the exhaust gases are not escaping thru' the radiator.

If you still think that you do have a blown head gasket on your Suzuki, read the next test. Go to TEST 3.

TEST 3: Engine Compression Test

In a few instances, over the past few years, I have diagnosed vehicles with a blown head gasket that did not have coolant mixing with the oil and were not shooting the coolant out of the radiator when the engine was cranked.

Yet a blown head gasket they did have and the most important factor that all of these vehicles shared was that they had severely overheated.

OK, the test involves doing a compression test to see if two adjacent cylinders have 0 compression. I want to emphasize this, because this is important: Two adjacent cylinders will have 0 PSI compression.

This happens because the head gasket burns between two cylinders and thus the compression from one cylinder escapes into the other and vice versa.

  1. Disable the fuel system and the ignition system.
  2. Remove the spark plugs.
  3. Install the compression tester (hand tight only) on the first cylinder you're gonna' test.
  4. Have a helper crank the engine while you observe the compression tester.
  5. Write down the compression readings.
  6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 on the next cylinders.

Let's interpret your test result:

CASE 1: You got 2 side by side (adjacent) Cylinders with 0 PSI. This confirms beyond a shadow of a doubt that you do have a blown head gasket on your hands.

CASE 2: All cylinders had sufficient compression. After having done 3 tests, you have confirmed that you do not have a blown head gasket.

Suzuki Vehicles:

  • Aerio 2.0L, 2.3L
    • 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
  • Esteem 1.6L, 1.8L
    • 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
  • Forenza 2.0L
    • 2004, 2005
  • Samurai 1.3L
    • 1995

Suzuki Vehicles:

  • Sidekick 1.6L, 1.8L
    • 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998
  • Reno 2.0L
    • 2005
  • Swift 1.3L
    • 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001
  • Vitara 1.6L, 2.0L
    • 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003

Chevrolet Vehicles:

  • Metro 1.0L, 1.3L
    • 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001
  • Tracker 1.6L, 2.0L
    • 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004

Geo Vehicles:

  • Metro 1.0L, 1.3L
    • 1995, 1996, 1997
  • Tracker 1.6L
    • 1995, 1996, 1997