Vauxhall Owners Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, the trauma was me when I realised how much it was gonna cost to repair! So just to make sure the money is being well spent can I just ask for a bit of 'expert' advice and guidance.

First noticed a problem with an oily scum in my coolant bottle just before Christmas when I was preparing for a drive from London to Scotland. It had been in for a service 4 weeks prior with no problems, to be honest I thought that someone at the garage had mistakenly put oil in the coolant bottle. I checked the oil at that time and could see no problems there with the levels being adequate.

After Christmas I took the car back to the garage and they couldn't see anything wrong and as the oil had taken me up to Scotland and back without the need for topping up and was still adequate they didn't think it was the gasket. They flushed through the system for me and it seemed to be fine.

Whilst checking the water again for a trip to Devon I noticed the oily scum had returned so checked the oil but that was still okay. I didn't know whether it might be down to the normally very short daily trips I make but after taking it back to the garage they now say it is the head gasket and it needs to be replaced.

The car is only four years old and has been serviced regularly and is reasonably well looked after by me. I have been quoted for 7 hours labour and for pressure testing to the cylinder head and skim, with replacements for the head gasket,oil, cambelt etc the whole job is going to cost over £700.

Does this sound like a lot? Does this sound like the right diagnosis? And if so what have I done to the car for this to happen so soon? I have only ever driven one other newer car besides this one and none of my old bangers have ever had anything as major as this needed doing. Help please!





*
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
£700 is a bit steep but if you live in London everything tends to be dearer there and these days mechanics/garages seem to charge what they want which is why i try to do everything myself (if it wasnt 4 me being so lazy)!
There isnt a huge amount you can do to determine if the gaskets gone apart from actually taking the head of and checking. If theres oil in the header tank as u say ther is this is usualy a sign of h/g failure. Also check the colour of the oil underneath the oil cap should be black but if h/g is gone will probably be a brownish white colour sometimes described as mayo. this does not always happen though as water can not always get where oil can and vice versa, also depending where on gasket the break is. You could try finding the biggest water hose on the car and squeaze it a few times really hard, i tried this on a friends rover 220 and water started dripping straight from the front of the h/g after a garage had told her that wasnt the problem!! It doesnt need to be losing a lot of oil/water 4 the h/g to be gone, i know someone that drove 4 over a year after noticing oil in the coolant and coolant in the oil! this wouldnt be advisable, but is pos depending size of break and how the car is driven. It does sound like the head gasket but is a bit strange with the age of car and with it bein a diesel?

Although you could go buy yourself a haynes manual for £15, a head set shud be no more than a £100, this will have everything needed for a h/g change. a tub of oil 4 about a tenner and some water free out of the tap!! and give it a go yourself?

Its not easy but is not that hard either, just take your time and remember where everything goes and you should be able to do it no prob, hey i did it!!!! i dont know how much differnce between doing a diesel to a petrol, cant imagine it bein much different.

Whether you do it or pay the garage i hope this helps :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
After Christmas I took the car back to the garage and they couldn't see anything wrong and as the oil had taken me up to Scotland and back without the need for topping up and was still adequate they didn't think it was the gasket. They flushed through the system for me and it seemed to be fine.
Just noticed this properly, if they flushed the 'system' being rad, header tank and all water ways because there was oil in there, im pretty sure that the only way oil can get in there from the engine is from the head gasket? does anyone know any different?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
C4llyT said:
So the oil and coolant levels haven't gone down at any time?
The coolant level has needed topping up, but despite repeatedly checking the oil it always just seems to be mid way between min and max on the dipstick.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top