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Car head gasket

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
So my car is losing oil and engine coolant (not excessively, but noticeably and have to top up every now and then), and there's yellowish gunk at the top of the oil canister so water in the oil, which leaves me to deduce that the head gasket may have gone :nervous:

I have a feeling this may be expensive to fix? :shocking: Anyone know how much it's likely to cost if it needs replacing?

It's going in for its MOT on Sat so I guess I'll find out then, wouldn't mind being prepared though

Its there anything else that could be causing these symptoms? And how will I know if it's the head gasket, I don't want them to be ripping me off.

Bah

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just to add the goop if round the top of the oil cap and at the top of the pipe, not when I check the oil by the dipstick
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    At this time of year, many cars that only do short runs will develop a mayonnaise-like substance on the oil cover, so that's not a sure sign. Using oil and coolant can be a bad sign. Is there much pressure in the cooling system after a 3-5 mile drive? With the cap slowly unscrewed, there should typically be little or no hiss on a healthy car. Mine will hiss for less than 2 seconds after a 10 minute drive at this time of year.

    How much oil and coolant is it using, and over what period of time? And what car is it?

    Most garages will check by chemically examining the coolant for combustion contamination. Another test would be a compression test, where all cylinders should give a broadly similar reading(within 10% typically).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's a ford ka. It also sometimes revs uncontrollably with the clutch down, and my friend who had a ka said hers did the same when the head gasket went

    I haven't checked the hiss, drive to work is about 3 miles so will check tomorrow. Just unscrew the cap a little bit?

    The coolant is a funny one, it'll lose it fast until the level drops under the join of the tank (leading me to believe the seal was a bit faulty), but it'll lose it very slowly after that. Have to top it up every month or so, but I only drive it about 3 miles a day and about 30 miles on weekends

    Was naughty and didn't check the oil as often as I should have until it went right down, probs lost half the oil in about 3 months

    The stuff in the oil tank looks like thick melted chocolate. There isn't any on the dipstick but the oil is only a few days old

    I'm worried!!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Also it's going to the garage saturday morn, is it ok to drive the three miles to work and back tomorrow or should I not risk it?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I guess an answer is irrelevant now ;)

    Good luck at the garage!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well it passed its MOT! Oil leak somewhere though so not burning it. Gonna have to take it back in and find out why it is revving like a loon with clutch down

    All in all not too bad! Phew
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    kangoo wrote: »
    Well it passed its MOT! Oil leak somewhere though so not burning it. Gonna have to take it back in and find out why it is revving like a loon with clutch down

    All in all not too bad! Phew

    I used to have a KA, many moons ago, and the revving thing happened. It needed popping to the garage for an ECU reset/reprogramming. Apparently it was a reasonably common fault and didn't require any mechanical fixes.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    g_angel wrote: »
    I used to have a KA, many moons ago, and the revving thing happened. It needed popping to the garage for an ECU reset/reprogramming. Apparently it was a reasonably common fault and didn't require any mechanical fixes.

    Oh right! That's handy to know! Was it a lot to fix?

    I was wondering if the gas pedal was sticking a bit, was gonna try a bit of wd40 (oh wonderous stuff)

    The internet is fab for knowledge, but you do end up self diagnosing problems, similar to when you have a cold - type in your symptoms in google and diagnose yourself with several kinds of cancer! I'll take it back to le garage to have a wee look

    Btw was your revving problem intermittent or constant? Mine will do it for a day, or even just an hour, and then be fine for a few weeks
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It depends whether the car is 'fly by wire' acceleration - off the the top of my head, i'm not sure if KA's use this or not - i think they do, but someone may correct me.

    I think the excess revving is a common fault on fords - one of 2 options:

    1) Idle Control Valve (also known as a 'stepper motor'), which regulates the amount of air into the engine - sticking open lets too much air in, revving engine - sticking shut doesn't let enough in, causing engine to possibly stall.
    2) Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) - does what it says on the tin - reads the position of the throttle - if faulty, will show incorrectly, meaning over/under revving.

    To find out if problem 1, this can be cleaned easily using WD40 - anyone who is handy can do this for you. If number 2, just replace the TPS.

    Up to you which you try first - i'd try the TPS :chin:
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