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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:36 am 
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Hi all new to the forum!

So I discovered That white milky stuff under my oil cap (Tiny bit on the dipstick which has not returned after being wiped off and no smoke from the exhaust) I Then realised my car had run out of coolant which had only been filled a couple of weeks before. Took it to the mechanic and he said head gasket failure, I agreed and told him to go ahead with the repair.

He then phoned me and said he had found another gasket that was likely the cause of the leaking coolant so He has replaced that and told me to run it for a couple of weeks and get back to him. (didn't charge me any money) That was 3 days ago and the coolant level has barely dropped since then. (I've driven about 40 odd miles)

The problem is whith the milky stuff I cleaned it off last night and have done 2 18mile trips since then and it has appeared back on the oil cap already... This seems like a bad sign to me because I would expect the 18 mile trips would be long enough for the oil to heat up properly and not cause the moisture.

Anyway I guess what I'm asking is, does this sound like a blown HG or not? I can't decide.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:23 am 
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The milky stuff is emulsified oil usually. It can happen from a blocked breather but given the history I suspect that there was some residual water still in the crankcase that had not drained out with the oil change. It is unlikely to be the head gasket gone again, I am sure the mechanic knew what he was doing as he spotted the other failed gasket. As long as the vehicle is driving okay keep an eye on teh coolant level and see how you go.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:18 pm 
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Hey thanks for the reply!

I will check to see if there is a blockage with the breather like you say. Never saw a gasket problem before and the car isn't even that old (It's an 09 astra) so I wouldn't have expected it to be so worn. Depends how it's been used I guess

The car appears to be reaching 100 on the temperature gauge pretty quickly when at idle aswell causing the fan to kick in. I've never seen this before so I'm not sure if this means the car Is overheating at all?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:18 pm 
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DWD is correct, except you did not mention an oil change which would be advisable if the coolant leak is fixed however, the lack of coolant from an external leakage can lead to overheating and head gasket failure; in general there IMO no other gaskets that separate oil system from coolant (perhaps some turbo's)and you say the coolant was filled a few weeks back ask why did it need filling?
Whilst the engine is running Oil pressure is above coolant and you should also get oil scum in the radiator cap etc; after engine stop, oil pressure becomes ambient but the coolant system should remain pressurized at least until cool, this is when it mostly gets into the oil side.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:13 pm 
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Thanks for the reply. Once I'm convinced the coolant leak is fixed I will look at getting the oil changed. I also need an O2 sensor as I'm getting a bank 1 reading. So will probably get that done at the same time.

I'm still not sure if it's normal for the car to be going over the 100 mark after 2 or 3 minutes of idle. Will have to get my mechanic to have a look at what's causing that aswell.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:08 am 
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does your car had a 100 mark on the temp gauge?

water pump not knackered?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:36 am 
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Yeah with the astra there isn't a gauge per say, it gives you the exact temperature on the computer. I'm not sure there have been so many problems since I bought it I wouldn't be surprised to be honest. I will have to get someone to give it something of a mini Mot to try and get to the bottom of all of these symptoms


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:47 am 
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Most models I know, the fans come on from their own sensor switch in the rad ( or with a/c on) whereas the Temp reading will be from a sensor near the thermostat, hence in your Astra they seem to back each other up that your engine is Hot.
How good is your Mechanic??


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:18 pm 
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Probably need to take it for a longer run. I had a similar issue with a Rover 10+ years ago, after a longer run it became obvious there was an issue with the cylinder head gasket.

Can your mechanic do a compression test on a hot engine?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:01 pm 
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He's someone I used to use with my old Peugeot because my dad used to use him I've just stuck with him since I bought this car. He always done well with the Peugeot but with this one I'm starting to get a bad impression. There on the face of it seems to be little effort being put into diagnostics.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:03 pm 
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I am going to take it to a different garage tomorrow. Lay out these symptoms.

Thanks for the help guys.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:05 pm 
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Flush and drop the oil asap if there is water in there it will coat every thing and the oil will not get to the parts it needs too, then you end up killing the engine or at least blocking the oil feed to the cam chain leading to cam chain rattle or stretched chain

Do a hydrocarbon test on the coolant aka sniff test if there is any oil, exhaust in the water or water in the oil that will pick it up

also as it getting hot very quickly I would check the stat and remove and flush the rad

what engine ? and what repair was done for 'Free' ?

1.4 petrol ? Its not that common but the water pump passes through the cam chain cover/chest, if the gasket on the cover lets past you end up with water in the oil


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:46 pm 
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I've ordered one of those tests and will have it within the next few days. He just said he found a gasket that was leaking coolant as he started to strip the engine. To be fair I have now done about 70 odd miles and it's lost very little coolant when I checked it yesterday so it looks like it has fixed the leak.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:48 pm 
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He obviously didn't believe there was actually water in the oil? Or surely he would have changed it?


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