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Discussion Starter #1
First post on here, I have had a good look around and have read a few posts on the old HGF problem and loss of coolant after it has supposedly been fixed.

I have narrowed down a few possible, but as I really don t know my **** from my elbow, I thought I would post here before I head down to the garage and sent a few rockets up peoples arses.

Here goes.

Model - 416i 1996 non Honda



I had a HGF about a week ago and sent it into a local guy who normally does my servicing. He warned me that if the head was running really hot then I may need a new engine but he sent the head off to be skimmed any way. The engineering company skimmed it twice and the mechanic said that it was good enough so fitted a new HG and brought it back to me. Next day I had problems getting it started and noticed a big old puddle of coolant on the ground where I was parked. At the mechanics, he found that the coolant was leaking round the right hand side where the HD was. He tightened the HG it up and it looked like it was not leaking any longer. However, being paranoid, I checked the coolant level daily and it was dropping I also had problems starting up every time. So I took it back today.

I found these forums after coming back from the garage, so what I witnessed was fresh in my mind.

He looked for a leak, which was non existent. He then pulled out the main RAD hose (coolant pissing everywhere) and poured a cupful of brown stuff into the hose, let it settle and then re-connected the hose. He said it was proper Rover stuff!?! Whatever that was..

Next, off came the bottle cap and he just poured in new coolant and water (quickly) right up to the brim! He then told me to take it for a drive to let the 'stuff' circulate, when I did and returned half an hour later. There was steam coming off the RAD roundabout the hose, which was odd as any excess coolant should have been burned off during the drive. The next thing he did was unscrew the bottle cap and made a comment about how the engine was really hot and I must have been booting it on the drive! Hot coolant erupted all over the place! He shrugged his shoulders and said that was because he had over filled it. In poured some new coolant and on went a new cap for good measure. I was then sent on my way.



Now, since reading a few posts on here, a few alarm bells are ringing. Can any of you kind people please help with any further info? A few things I have noticed as well that may help. The engine sounds quite rattley in low gears and has a definite drop in power. The cab heater is VERY hot. After a run, the exhaust, cab heater and engine smells off coolant. There is rather a lot of steam in the exhaust

????
Thanks in advance for any help!
 

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a few alarm bells are ringing

Hi there , and welcome..:)

There are a few things that are quite alarming about your post..

Firstly the mechanic was right (on ONE count) to get the head checked out, but why did the engineering company need to skim it twice?? Sounds like they did something wrong the first time... :shake:

The mechanic should not have retightened the head bolts, and god only knows what additive he put in there. I'm sure this guy has all the best will in the world but it doesn't sound like he knows his **** from his elbow, and i'm not just talking about k-series specific stuff here (like stretch bolts) what was he doing opening a pressurised cooling system quickly like that, adding new coolant without bleeding etc. Sounds real dodgy.

After the first time when coolant was leaking out after the HG was replaced, it should have been looked at properly, not just had the head bolts retightened but the source of the leak identified and rectified, with the head coming back off if necessary.

Being honest, I don't like your chances with the head thats on the car now. If it was mine, I go back around to this garage and demand he pay to get it fixed at a garage (pref MGR) where they know what their doing, under warranty.

Hope this helps
Mike

EDIT : sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you did ask. Maybe someone else will come along with a happier response.
 

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From what you say your mechanic scares me...... :scary:

You say he tightened something up to cure the leak....were these the head bolts?

They should be tightened in a very specific manner and to a very definite torque (tightness)....you don't just keep tightening them to solve a problem elsewhere.

The "brown stuff" sounds like some kind of radiator/block sealant.....once again it isn't the correct way to repair a genuine fault....

The coolant reservoir should never be filled to the brim, as water is heated it expands in volume and space is needed for this to happen ...this expansion causes the system to pressurise....this is normal and is designed in by the manufacturers....once again though if the reservoir is too full the pressure
will be excessive..

The smell of coolant from the exhaust and steam would suggest that coolant
is leaking into the cylinders...possibly the reason for lack of power...was the inlet manifold gasket changed for the newer green one?

Sorry to say but it's time to go back to your mechanic.....
 

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It has been debated before but, all the head-bolts (not camcover bolts) should have been slackend off (possibly changing the HG again in the process), checked for 'excessive streching', maybe all replaced and torqued-up properly - at very least.

Re-filling with coolant should be done slowly, in a certain way, and with a the correct water/Anti-freeze ratio.

Being as kind as possible; it is obvious that the person who did your car doesn't understand Rover (K16?) engines... or, your post is a wind-up... seriously.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys, you have just confirmed what I suspected and then some! Off to the garage to fire a huge rocket up an ****. What kind of legal recoarse do I have in such matters? Do I give the guy a chance to fix it (yeh, like that sounds like a good idea..) Or get a second opinion from MGR dealer in town? Either way, I am just at that point where I want my car running again.


Cheers all!

BTW Rusty Bullet, Nice Avatar. Ah them was the days....
 

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Baw Flinger said:
Thanks guys, you have just confirmed what I suspected and then some! Off to the garage to fire a huge rocket up an ****. What kind of legal recoarse do I have in such matters? Do I give the guy a chance to fix it (yeh, like that sounds like a good idea..) Or get a second opinion from MGR dealer in town? Either way, I am just at that point where I want my car running again.

Cheers all!

BTW Rusty Bullet, Nice Avatar. Ah them was the days....
I've posted this just recently, but for ease...

There are no guarantees, but the best thing to do is go to a reputable (dealer?) and tell them you suspect HGF; they can do tests that ‘might’ put your mind at rest.

I am no lawer but you might have to give the 'mechanic' a chance to make good anything he's done wrong - free of charge. You'd probably have to prove a) he didn't do a professional job and b) was responsible for any subsequent problems. You would be just as well asking CAB, but act quickly!

Meanwhile, keep an eagle-eye on… the coolant level (daily and/or before and after any long journey), it should barely move. Check the coolant isn’t ‘oily’. Check the dip stick and/or oil filler cap doesn’t have light brown ‘paste’ where oil should be. Temp. gauge must not go above half-way, stop the engine if it does. Internal heater must be working (blowing hot when warmed up) all the time, stop the engine if it fails... and if you get any of these, seek good professional advice straight-away.

Cheers

P.S. Baw Flinger, yes they certainly were, just been looking as some (poor quality) bootlegs!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
When you say oily.... My water bottle is full of mayo, he never cleaned it out after the repair, which I thought was a bit odd. Is this bad?!?!
What or who is CAB?


Cheers again!

Hah, I was a thrasher you glamie! Nuclear Assault & Slayer for me!!!
 

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Baw Flinger said:
When you say oily.... My water bottle is full of mayo, he never cleaned it out after the repair, which I thought was a bit odd. Is this bad?!?! What or who is CAB? Hah, I was a thrasher you glamie! Nuclear Assault & Slayer for me!!!
a) According to the official Rover manual the water-ways should be flushed.
b) CAB - Citizen's Advice Bureau
c) A saw Slayer on there first ever headliner in England (at the old Marquee), and on the 'Decade of Agression' tour. Seen Kreator, old Motorhead, etc, but yes, I was a bit of a 'glam' (got the women though), I'm certainly not now however!

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks again guys!!

Yeh, I spoke to MGR today and pretty much got the same reaction as you guys, all be it a bit more PC. It sounds like he ****ed up the HG when he was putting it in and its leaking into the cylinder. On a side not, aparantly he should have changed the oil filter as well but this is not on the invoice. So I'm off to see the man today armed with much more facts than I did yesterday, will let you know the outcome. I hope to god he can fix it this time, MGR want £600-£700 for a HGF even though I know it will be done properly.

Kreator, now there was a band. I saw them play with Exodus and Death Angel one year. Ah, such sweet memories of childhood. I still got all the ladies tho, as I had longer hair than all the make-up crowd :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Right, just got off the phone to him and he's going to come down tomorow to pick up the car. I told him Coolant was defo getting into the cylinder and he said he would get it re-scimmed and a new HG put in.

Now here is the bit that has got me worried. He claims that after it has been scimmed this time, if the HG goes again the engine is done and I will need a new one?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Please tell me that this guy is true to form and talking out of his backside!
 

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The troubles you are having with your Rover is the exact same problem I have had since I got my HG replaced. Literally, every thing you have posted on this site from the loss of coolant, excess steam from the exhaust, poor drive are exactly what I have experienced with my Rover 416 Si.

I noticed that my engine started to cut out in lov revs, particularly when changing down gears and noticed that the engine would take two or three attempts before starting which it never had problems with before. I also noticed that I was loosing coolant on a daily basis and was having difficulty finding the source.

Armed with this I took the car back to the garage (5 times!!!!!!!) to have the mechanic check it out and he did a chemical test and found no obvious problems with the head gasket. However, after asking other people on this site I've been advised that this test doesn't necesarily prove that the HG is all clear as a compression test is required.

I am no mechanic by any means and wouldn't know one end of a wrench from another but after consulting others on this page you may need to get the HG done again or at least find out where your leak is coming from. In my case I was losing coolant slowly but people have told me that it may be seeping into the cylinders as I get quite a lot of smoke coming out of the exhaust and can smell the coolant burning.

Having spent the good part of £370 getting it done the first time I've decided to part-ex the car and opt for something a little more mundane but a car that doesn't have this problem attached to it. Apologies for those Rover fans out there but I need my car to be reliable.

I know this is probably not a helpful thing to say but maybe helpful to others reading this post, whenever dealing with these Rovers (particularly those with the K series engine) take it to a specialist Rover garage or a garage that is RMI approved. It may cost more to get the job done but I tried to go for the cheapest cost option and have been burned.

Seriously, it is not worth it. Be thankful that the nice people on this site can give good advice for free!.
 

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Ive done 3 head gaskets on various cars and never skimmed a head yet!,just cleaned everything up with wet and dry paper,put new gasket in and slapped it back together worked every time,ur mechanic sounds like he doesnt know what hes doing or doesnt take enough care to get things right,coolant leaks can also come from inlet manifold gasket if it has a waterway
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks chaps, dont know much else right now and will just have to wait. I help out on other forums not conected with cars, so its nice to get some good advice on something that I have no idea about.

Ta!! Keep you posted!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Got me car back today and just did a 100m motorway round trip with no bother. Engine sounds great, good power, no loss of coolant and no over-heat.

He called me up to the garage to show the HG that was taken out looked like there was no damage and had the brand new one sitting on top ready to go. I ran through everything that I got on here and MGR with the chap with the bonnet open. He sounded suprised at a few of my gesturings ;) and started talking a bit more technical so I threw a few more things at him. A new HG went in and a few 'other' :) things checked. Lo and behold, it seems fixed now but I suppose we will have to see if it holds up. *touching lots of trees*

Huge thanks again guys for the help you put in!!!!
 
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