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Most of the time if you have water in your oil you ruined a head gasket. If they took off the cover it was probably the valve cover. If they could see the pistons they would have had to have pulled the heads off and they would know for sure and would have fixed the problem as it takes a while to get the heads off and you would be able to see a crack in the head they had just taken off. If you lost all the water out of the radiator and the engine overheated you might have cracked the head. Some good mechanics can tell by looking at the spark plugs but if you have water in the oil it is not a good sign, something is usually serious. Have it checked!

If you cracked your head, you don't need a new engine. You will either need to have the crack repaired or get a new or remanufactured head.

I was losing about a quart a month, then a quart a week, then a quart a day of coolant in a Chevy 350 (Suburban). It ran pretty rough, real hard to start. Sure enough, after removing the heads, the cylinders were full of water. Its a wonder it ran at all. The heads had little cracks in them. It seems the cracks get started, then slowly eat out the head gasket, then the leak gets bigger more cracks, more leaks and so on until the cylinders fill up with water.

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โˆ™ 2015-07-15 18:19:37
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Q: Does water on the pistons mean you cracked the head?
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Assuming you mean coolant (not water), you probably have a bad head gasket or a cracked head.

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