Sudden overheating followed by white smoke from exhaust. on 1999 Ford Escort

I was driving down a city street, going about 35 mph, when I approached a stop light the engine started idling really roughly. When I accelerated from the stop light my engine temp rose very quickly until it was overheating. I also noticed when I accelerated white smoke was coming out of my exhaust. There wasn't white smoke until after the engine started idling roughly.

by in Evansville, IN on January 21, 2013
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1 answer 2 comments
ANSWER by , January 21, 2013
Sounds like the head gasket has failed and needs replaced. The white smoke is the coolant burning off that has gotten into the engine oil through the failed gasket. It is also why you are are losing coolant into your oil.
COMMENT by , January 21, 2013
Someone told me that I had cracked my block and that my engine was ruined. Could that also be a possibility? I told them that there would be coolant in my oil if that was the case and they said I wouldn't be able to see it on the dipstick anyway.
COMMENT by , January 21, 2013
sounds more like a head gasket but if take the heads off you should be able to see if you have a cracked block