Long, Low and Slow
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: United Kingdom
County: West Midlands
The amount of water needed to produce plumes of white smoke(steam) is quite small so the coolant level may take a while to drop to a noticeable level, plus the engine will only over heat once the coolant level has dropped enough to prevent the coolant system working.
If water leaking into the combustion chamber is severe enough for you to notice a drop in coolant level in one day the chances are combustion will not take place and the engine will not start.
Monitor your coolant level over the next week, if it drops even by half an inch you have a head gasket problem.
Check your oil, sometimes a faulty head gasket will allow water into the oil, it forms a nasty milky substance.
I changed the head gasket on a friends daughter Ford Ka yesterday. No sign of coolant loss over 3 days(mainly short journeys) but this is a video of the exhaust on tick over.
Last edited by Shadeyman; 04-05-12 at 22:01.