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head gasket failure or not, mechanics answer

1563 Views 17 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  214 Si Mod'd
I suspected my car had HGF, it had leaked all the coolant and overheated when I was driving it and then there was white smoke out the exhaust afterwards. Anyway I took the car to the garage today, the guy does some sort of compression check on the coolant bottle. The gauge didn't go up quite as he was expecting for HGF, it did go up buy a small amount in about 5 mins though but not through the roof. So he reckons the head gasket is probably on it's way out but is ok for now. Added to that there was no white smoke out the exhaust today as there was previously, he put that down to condensation. He has a look underneath the car for leakage of coolant, there's a bit of blue marks around the water pump but wasn't leaking at the time. He recommends using this leak stopper thing you just put into your coolant to solve that problem.

I drive away saving myself 500 quid to fix it. Obviously I'm happy with the saving but did this guy give a proper assessment of my car? I'm probably going to bin the car soon so if it's ok for another 5k miles or so then that'll do me.
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if its a Rover Coupe 1.6 i'll buy it off ya, i'll start at £50 :dddc:
If your gonna dump the car then there is no point in repairing it. Just bung some of the engine seal stuff in it such as K-seal
I have a Friend From work who used that sealent, he told me it did no good as it went straight to his sump and clogged everything up and the car was deemed F****d and was in need of an engine replacement, by all means use it but b careful to use the correct amount as it can do more damage than good if the wrong amount is used, if youre dumping it, dump it at mine :lol:, wat litrew is it btw.
I think you got the wrong idea when I said I was going to bin it soon, I meant maybe in a year or so. Also when I say bin it I mean sell it on. So do you think it'll last that long with what my mechanic said or should I get some proper repairs done? I was really just concerned as to whether the mechanic checked my car properly.

cheers for the advice on that sealant, i'll make sure I'll be doubly careful and read the instructions.
ashy said:
If your gonna dump the car then there is no point in repairing it. Just bung some of the engine seal stuff in it such as K-seal
Never ever put that crud in a K series engine. The waterways are small enough as it is without being blocked completely.

Get it repaired properly.
Stu said:
Never ever put that crud in a K series engine. The waterways are small enough as it is without being blocked completely.

Get it repaired properly.
Agreed - bodging won't be condoned around these parts! Imagine some poor sod taking on something like that, you can just hear the words "ah k-series.. they all do that"

Sounds like it needs a new waterpump - get one of those fitted (at a different garage preferably!) and a new cambelt and it'll be right as rain!
I did put some sealant in my coolant (was like a doggie biscuit) that you crumble into your water. Only supposed to use 1 bar i ended up using 2!!!

I know i shouldnt of but i was desperate at the time - Was the rad that was leaking btw!

The engine still outlasted the car tho ;) and it had a fair bit of caning too!

Don't really recomend the stuff tho - As Stu said it could block the water ways in the head etc.! Easy enough to change the water pump anyways and dosnt cost all tht much either :cloud9:
I agree with the comments about the sealant, waste of time. There's evidence the coolant pump has been leaking so get that changed rather than bodge it. You could end up paying out a lot more later on with that gunk in there anyway.

interesting comments about the sealant, the mechanic guy seemed to highly recommend the stuff saying they'd used it to fix some cars and they've been going fine for years. I'd be interested to hear some more comments about this stuff, it'd cost over 100 quid to fix the water pump compared to a few quid for the sealant. Maybe you lot were just using a bad brand or something.

thinking about it, the garage I went to was only a small one and the guy I spoke to said the boss had gone home early, so he was there on his own, he was probably in his mid 20's. I'm kind of thinking maybe this guy was some sort of apprentice and didn't really know what he was doing and usually relies on his boss to back him up, but since he wasn't there he thought he'd dish out some advice which might have not been the best. Maybe I'll take it to a different garage and get the head gasket checked out again.
Thats the thing though - the K ain't your ordinary lump that spanner monkeys are used to bodging, as it won't tolerate an iffy cooling system. Whoever this guy was (and regardless of engine too), as a garage mechanic/owner/whatever he shouldn't be condoning or promoting the use of a bodge or quick fix - if the pump needs replacing then it needs replacing - simple as!

(imo :ziplip: )
Water Pump is about £30
Timing Belt is about £20
£10 worth of special tools (not including the usual stuff), sockets, etc
Save the coolant that is already in there
Some swearing getting the tensioner and crank bolts loose all you need. Unless something else is wrong as well of course.

I would avoid coolant sealant as you describe, unless you aren't bothered about the car.
If your temperature gauge starts to creep up higher than normal, or the internal heater stops throwing heat out, then STOP. No excuses. Keep an eagle eye on the coolant level until all is well, and even then keep an eye on it.
I tried K-Seal when my GH went.

Did nothing.

But on the plus side, I got the HG repaired about 2 weeks later and the mechanic had no problems cleaning it put.
I think for anyone who owns a car with the K-Series engine it can be quite important to use a garage that has experience with that engine. As mentioned it's far more fussy than other engines when it comes to cooling and sometimes a more delicate hand is required for fixing problems.
Maybe i'm over cautious but i only let mechanics who have worked on K series for years play with my car, unless i absolutely have to go somewhere else.
One of the members on this forum used the K-seal when his HG went as a temporary measure. He said it repaired the car in minutes and has been fine ever since.
until the coolant needs replacing and it will be just as bad again
I think the k-series engine can be more robust than some people give them credit for!

My ex Si had HGF and before i had passed my driving test (Not keeping an eye on the temp needle) while it was idling, it shot up a few times to the red!!!

Did the HG and was fine and dandy!

The coolant pipe on the back of the head had come loose some months later.....

All the coolant had run out and the temp needle started going up, i pulled over asap, no coolant!!! Turned the engine off, left it for 10mins, got down the rd. and overhetaed again.

Left it for 30mins, crawled home+coasted down hills to try and keep the engine cool and as i got into my st. the needle started going up again.

Fixed the prob and the engine was sound and never really had any probs with it :D
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