C32 Head Gasket?

callahan

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Hi

I have been seeing quite a loss of coolant in my car (2003 estate) and did some digging around yesterday. All I can find is that the expansion tank was damp underneath, so it may be leaking through the cap when under pressure. However, I put over a litre in and it still wasn't quite up to the mark.

When there I did notice some oily deposits on the rear of the cylinders on the driver's side. Checking under the oil cap there was a tiny bit of 'mayonnaise' like reside, but it was tiny?

Obviously I have been dreading any issues with this car but knew it would only be a matter of time.

Any suggestions on what to look for etc?

Thanks
 

AMGeed

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Check your water pump behind the belt. Often a failing pump starts with a very small leak that is hardly noticeable.
The mayonnaise like deposit inside the oil filler cap is quite common and usually points to condensation during the colder months.
A compression leak test is usually carried out to determine if the head gasket is leaking.
 

streethawk

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Is the oil level rising? And if you smell the oil you can normally smell antifreeze in it if it's that bad. Could just be the cap that's had it.
 
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callahan

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Check your water pump behind the belt. Often a failing pump starts with a very small leak that is hardly noticeable.
The mayonnaise like deposit inside the oil filler cap is quite common and usually points to condensation during the colder months.
A compression leak test is usually carried out to determine if the head gasket is leaking.

Thanks, I'll take a look tonight. The mayonnaise was very minor, so hopefully not too serious. The car had been idle for two weeks but had the dreaded 'check coolant level' message when I started it up again.
 

AMGeed

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Thanks, I'll take a look tonight. The mayonnaise was very minor, so hopefully not too serious. The car had been idle for two weeks but had the dreaded 'check coolant level' message when I started it up again.

Take the car for a run to warm up the coolant then stop the engine and feel with your fingers if there is any coolant weeping from the pump.
Hopefully that, or faulty coolant filler cap is your problem and not the dreaded HG.
 
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callahan

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Is the oil level rising? And if you smell the oil you can normally smell antifreeze in it if it's that bad. Could just be the cap that's had it.

I did want to check the level, but with no dipstick it makes it tricky.
When I try through the display I get 'perf serv on time' which might be because I had the engine running to get the car to a flat surface. Will try later.

The oil in the cylinder is pretty black, so I was thinking of changing it anyway - I'll have sniff later!

Thanks
 
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callahan

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Just noticed that while moving it off the (gravel) drive to get it level to check the oil, I left a trail. Hard to tell what this is, but possibly coolant. There is a damp patch at the bottom of the off side front wheel well, but I can't see anything else dripping now.

The gravel makes it hard to tell if there are any leaks - I would leave it on the road but I think someone has gone on holiday and left their car in front of my house, a black polo hasn't moved for 10 days!
 

Gaz74

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See if you can lay a piece of cardboard under it, and if it has wet patches (oo-er) then you know you're leaking from somewhere and a better idea of which side of the engine bay.
 
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callahan

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See if you can lay a piece of cardboard under it, and if it has wet patches (oo-er) then you know you're leaking from somewhere and a better idea of which side of the engine bay.

Glad I wasn't the only one who thought that when I wrote 'damp patch'!

Good idea though, thanks.
 

AMGeed

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There is a damp patch at the bottom of the off side front wheel well, but I can't see anything else dripping now.

That is where the AC drips after being turned on in warm weather. That could also be where you have coolant leaking as well:dk:
 

Gaz74

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Isn't that also the location of the intercooler pump? Or it's just where the leaking coolant is gathering..
 
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callahan

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I thought the intercooler pump might be there too, which worries me slightly.

I'll try a few things tonight and report back.
 

RyanMuller

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Off side front wheel area is where the intercooler pump is, check all the clamps?

I was losing coolant when the charge cooler packed in, had to top up every 2 weeks with coolant but I didn't have wet patches under the car - sound's like yours is coming from somewhere else.

Would be interested to know once you find out.
 

AMGeed

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There is a damp patch at the bottom of the off side front wheel well, but I can't see anything else dripping now.

That is where the AC drips after being turned on in warm weather. That could also be where you have coolant leaking as well:dk:

Sorry, I misread the first quote thinking n/s wheel well:doh:. As mentioned later, ic pump sits there.
 
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callahan

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Just as an update, I am keeping an eye on the car for now and will add to the thread if I find anything.

Thanks
 

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