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Q: Coolant loss and rough idle after replacing the head gasket on 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier


After having an overheating problem in the car I had the head gasket replaced since water and oil were being mixed. After this replacement, the overheating problem has disappeared. However, the car now shows a rough idle and it is still experiencing coolant loss (2-3 Litres every 2 days). Does someone have an idea about this? Could this be releated to the head gasket replacement?
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One thing to keep in mind with the cavaliers is that it is IMPERATIVE that you have the oil changed EVERY 3,000 klms (or US equiv thereof)!! It has to do with an air venthole that WILL become clogged and ultimately blows head gasket after head gasket, if the oil and filter isn't changed within the recommended intervals. I know it doesn't directly pertain to ur issue at hand, however, cavalier owners will find themselves unnecessarily redoing their heads because someone neglected to tell them this piece of crucial "owner should know" knowledge! I am faithful to the cavalier breed and would hate to see them lose their fanbase due to an owner's unfortunate ignorance or that of an inept grease monkey! (While ur at it, drop the tranny pan and change that filter too!!)
Did they resurfaced the cylinder head during the head gasket job?
Did you get the car checked for coolant leak, and there is no external leak?
Do you see thick, white smoke from the exhaust?
The coolant either leaks externally, drips out somewhere i.e.: there is a loose hose clamp, leaking radiator, or leaks internally, in this case it would mix with the oil or gets into the combustion chamber.
Get it checked for external leak first - ask a coolant system pressure test. If no external leak than they will know what to check next.

Indeed, the cylinder head was resurfaced during the head gasket job. A pressure test was made to see if the leak is external, however nothing was detected. Concerning the rough idle I was told it was normal after replacing the head gasket and that I had to replace the Spark plugs (which I did and nothing changed).
No white smoke comes from the exhaust!
I don't know in what direction I should proceed!
Pull out the dipstick from the engine and transmission and see if the oil looks normal, not like a grey milkshake.
If that's good, buy a new radiator cap, the old one might not seal correctly and lose steam instead of liquid coolant.

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