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Old 12-02-16, 01:47 PM   #1
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Default Diagnosing a blown headgasket?

Howdy--my girlfriend's dad thinks her 106 has a blown headgasket, because sometimes it's hard to start and it looks like there is a bit of oil in the coolant.

I'm not so sure that it's a headgasket. I started the car for a minute today, and it started easily and ran smoothly.

Is there a definitive way to diagnose a bad headgasket? What are the symptoms?

Besides a headgasket, what else could lead to oil in the coolant?

Thanks.
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Old 12-02-16, 06:08 PM   #2
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what engine
when was it last service, coolant change, oil + filter, air filter, spark plugs (if petrol), fuel filter.......
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Old 13-02-16, 11:24 AM   #3
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On a petrol engine you would find that the oil and water would mix either in the coolant or in the oil and the heater will go cold it can sometimes affect the smoothness of the engine too.
DO NOT assume any emulsified oil on the filler cap means gasket is done as this is a separate issue it can mean its the gasket but it usually means the car only does short runs.

This is a common mistake people make guy down the pub syndrome i call it

On a diesel the general rule is it will pressurise the coolant and the heater will go cold with NO oil and water contamination BUT on a diesel a cracked oil cooler can cause oil and water mixing WITHOUT any other head gasket symptoms.

Again guy down the pub syndrome can get this wrong
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Old 03-03-16, 09:48 AM   #4
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Hi! I'm not sure waht engine it is. I think a TU1. It's a slow two-door with the last body style.

It doesn't smoke, it starts easily (except every now and then it cranks but doesn't start, I don't know what the problem is because it cranks very well--not low battery--but just doesn't fire up. Then I wait a second and try again and I'm off and running).

I changed the coolant... It came out crystal clear until it was almost empty, then there was a maybe 6" x 6" layer of black oil that covered a quarter of the container I was draining into.

The car doesn't smoke, it runs fine, it doesn't over heat....

One question about bleeding / purging coolant though... I saw in the manual you need a special bottle to purge the coolant, since the highest point in the resevoir is higher than the bleed points...

I filled the coolant reservoir and bled the three points in order from lowest to highest, and they all spat out coolant.

But I'm not sure that the heater is full of coolant. Hot air blows out of the vents when the car is warm, but I haven't been able to get the thermostat to come on.

Should the coolant be at the low mark when the car is cold? Right now it's at the high mark when it's cold.

Thanks so much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by reliable406 View Post
On a petrol engine you would find that the oil and water would mix either in the coolant or in the oil and the heater will go cold it can sometimes affect the smoothness of the engine too.
DO NOT assume any emulsified oil on the filler cap means gasket is done as this is a separate issue it can mean its the gasket but it usually means the car only does short runs.

This is a common mistake people make guy down the pub syndrome i call it

On a diesel the general rule is it will pressurise the coolant and the heater will go cold with NO oil and water contamination BUT on a diesel a cracked oil cooler can cause oil and water mixing WITHOUT any other head gasket symptoms.

Again guy down the pub syndrome can get this wrong
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Old 15-04-16, 09:57 AM   #5
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My 206 had almost identical symptoms and it was indeed the head gasket. So I'd say that's the problem.
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Old 15-04-16, 12:29 PM   #6
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Coolant should be at high when cold. The starting issues could be nothing to do with the head gasket. Get a diagnostic done to see if anything shows up. You still haven't said what engine it is - petrol or diesel, engine size etc. This info should be on the V5C document.

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Old 15-04-16, 01:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crowned View Post
...
One question about bleeding / purging coolant though... I saw in the manual you need a special bottle to purge the coolant, since the highest point in the resevoir is higher than the bleed points...
A tip from my mechanic - If you don't have the special "bottle", just unship the reservoir and support it as high as it will go whilst filling, with the engine idling. This will achieve the same object - to increase the head (pressure) to help drive air out.
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