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Potential Headgasket leak


Lewis Newton
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Hi, I have recently noticed the creamy coolant throth around the oil cap, and have been told it's a headgasket problem, however the heaters still work perfectly, and I have been told that the heaters usually stop working when the headgasket goes. Also, the car seems to run perfectly fine and I don't have a problem with it. I tried using some K-Seal Ultimate headgasket sealer, in the hopes it may fix the problem, which it did for about a couple weeks, before I noticed the problem happen again. Is it a good idea to keep running the car, as it is my daily ? It would be pointless me getting a full headgasket replacement as it would cost more than the car is worth. It's a 2005 zetec climate with only 60k miles on the clock and seems a bit premature for the headgasket to go, especially seeing as I never really take the car to over 3.5k rpm or on long journeys. Is there any other way coolant could be leaking into the oil ?

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Yes the white/creamy crap on the filler cap is a tell tail sign that the head-gasket has blown. It doesn't mean you heater stops working providing there is enough coolant in the reservoir. Your heater uses waste heat from the engine so instead of dissipating that heat through the main radiator to the atmosphere, it goes to the cabin instead. The headgasket sealer you pour into coolant tank is a waste of time and causes more damage than good. It might block the gasket leaking, but it also blocks the important coolant passages, pipes and water pump meaning more work when it does get stripped as you'll just run into the same problem a few months down the line.

If you're going to get it fixed do it now before it starts causing more damage. It really doesn't do any of your other components any good by having the water/oil mixture. It might save you having to strip the head. If you plan on scrapping it then just keep an eye on the coolant level to make sure you don't overheat and break down. Check the coolant level when you can. In theory if it has hardly dropped then you can get away with running it into the ground for longer. Likewise if it's dropped loads then I wouldn't really trust the car. 

The fact you never go on long journeys greatly reduces the life of an engine as you don't get it up to operating temperature for long enough.They're meant to me driven! Whilst headgaskets generally fail at higher milages, they are just a gasket and can fail at any time, especially when the engine isn't looked after. In terms of other causes, there's nowhere else really for oil and water to mix. The headgasket is the weakest link by far (unless you punch a hole in the engine block, but you'd know about that pretty quickly lol). 

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2 minutes ago, isetta said:

what engine is this?

1.4 Petrol

3 minutes ago, Luke4efc said:

Yes the white/creamy crap on the filler cap is a tell tail sign that the head-gasket has blown. It doesn't mean you heater stops working providing there is enough coolant in the reservoir. Your heater uses waste heat from the engine so instead of dissipating that heat through the main radiator to the atmosphere, it goes to the cabin instead. The headgasket sealer you pour into coolant tank is a waste of time and causes more damage than good. It might block the gasket leaking, but it also blocks the important coolant passages, pipes and water pump meaning more work when it does get stripped as you'll just run into the same problem a few months down the line.

If you're going to get it fixed do it now before it starts causing more damage. It really doesn't do any of your other components any good by having the water/oil mixture. It might save you having to strip the head. If you plan on scrapping it then just keep an eye on the coolant level to make sure you don't overheat and break down. Check the coolant level when you can. In theory if it has hardly dropped then you can get away with running it into the ground for longer. Likewise if it's dropped loads then I wouldn't really trust the car. 

The fact you never go on long journeys greatly reduces the life of an engine as you don't get it up to operating temperature for long enough.They're meant to me driven! Whilst headgaskets generally fail at higher milages, they are just a gasket and can fail at any time, especially when the engine isn't looked after. In terms of other causes, there's nowhere else really for oil and water to mix. The headgasket is the weakest link by far (unless you punch a hole in the engine block, but you'd know about that pretty quickly lol). 

Ah okay, thanks, clutching at straws as this is my second of the same car for this to happen to me. Coolant is barely leaking really as I have been driving it for around two months and haven't had to fill it up yet. Hoping it'll last me till may when I get a decent car, and when I mean long journeys I meant multiple hours where it might overheat, I always let the engine heat up and never really drive for less than 10-15 mins really

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11 hours ago, btmaldon said:

If you are only doing short journeys and not loosing any coolant you will get a build up of condensation in the top of the engine that turns into the creamy crap as you put it in the filler cap. You may be lucky.

Yes as i do very,very short journeys i had this a lot on my Corsa which i think most cars will do this just seems vauxhall was very bad and it blocked up the vent pipe.

My 1.6 fiesta  Ti-vct now i don't get any but i change oil every 6 months being doing shorts trips.

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Take it for a good run for 50 miles +,  preferably on the motorway , and get it thoroughly warmed up . That should evaporate any moisture that's collected in the oil.The creamy white substance is emulsified water and oil.

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