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Hello.

I've done a couple of searches, and am at a weird point with the escort.

car: 93 escort, 36000 (yes, that's correct, thirty six thousand miles original), 5 speed, 1.9

after an intriguing day at the autox (they had a circle going in the right direction in the middle of the course) - the car started to blow plumes of smoke.

now here's the weird part - yeah, there's oil missing/burnt off - but, after letting the car idle for a while, the smoking problem goes away.

If i let the car sit over night, the car drives fine. at very random times (varying rpm's and load and weather conditions), the car will decide to smoke like mad for like 3-4 mins - and then stop. the car drive ok, even if the gas mileage has plunged down insanely. i just have to add oil.

any ideas? I am assuming that it's either the head gasket, or the piston rings. i know neither are cheap. but could it be as simple as an oil seal?

Thanks!
 

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I was leaking oil through the head gasket into one of my exhaust ports. Before the leak became major, it had the same problem as you(random plumes of smoke). This got worse to the point where I had to fix it. I replaced the head gasket myself and it cost me 30 bucks for the gasket.
 

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Oh yeah! You might wanna check to see if your car is has these special head bolts, i forget what they're called... Anyway, the bolts are designed to twist and stretch when installed so that the head seats perfectly. But, If your car has these, you can't reinstall them or they will snap (I broke a few) and they're a pain to retrieve from the block then. They will put you back another 25-30 dollars. Thats about 60 bucks to do it yourself, keep in mind a garage will want about $600 or more because ofthe labor involved. If your going to tackle this yourself, post here if You get stuck. Just make sure you label all the wire connections and vacuum lines before you go ripping the top end off.
 
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