Is the head gasket gone ? no water loss, no oil/water mixing, no smoke, no power loss

FastLife91

Torque Junkie
Points
57
Location
England
Car
Ford Focus mk2
A few weeks ago my car was loosing water, I could not find a leak anywhere and even replaced the expansion bottle.
I decided to get a chemical test done on the coolant ( well, water as doesn't have antifreeze in atm) and it changed color almost right away and the man said the head gasket is gone. there was no symptoms at all other than loss of water.

The other week I had a big water leak, found it to be from a metal pipe near back of engine, had a small hole in it, since fixing the pipe I have had no water loss whatsoever in the past 3 weeks or so, also there is no smoke, no oil/water mixing, no power loss (other than what I suspect to be from bad MAF wiring loom)

I am wondering if oil may have got into the hole on the metal pipe (as also had leaking turbo pipe at same time ) and that is why the test has revealed bad head gasket ?


Is it possible that the head gasket might not actually be gone on my car ?


There did seem to be a rather lot of pressure when we disconnected a radiator hose after the car had been off for 2 days but not sure if this means much ?


cheers
 

FastLife91

Torque Junkie
Points
57
Location
England
Car
Ford Focus mk2
Mayo on the oil filler cap is the classic sign, is there any?

Tbh bud this car sounds like a money pit.
Go buy my old one from mercland, it's sound and they will give you a 3 month warranty.

http://mercland.com/car.html?id=2972

Nope, no mayonnaise looking substance on the oil cap, oil itself looks perfect jet black, no oil/water mixing at all, no smoke at all, no power loss,

I'm looking at getting timing belt done soon and just want to know if I should replace head gasket in the process but I'd rather just replace timing belt if the head gasket is fine.


Any advice please and ideas ?


Thanks
 

FastLife91

Torque Junkie
Points
57
Location
England
Car
Ford Focus mk2
Definitely in future make sure that you use the correct type of anti-freeze in the correct dilution. Water alone is not a good idea.

thanks for the advice, I will make sure I do that

In regards to this thread, have you anything to input to help me understand what may be going on ?


cheers
 

HDi fun

TC ModFather
Points
637
Location
Buckinghamshire UK
Car
Passat 2.0 TDi
Not off the top of my head. I am slightly puzzled as well. Is the exhaust 'steamy' when the engine is fully warmed?

EDIT: you've already said no exhaust problems, sorry, missed it.

OK. After fixing the metal pipe have you filled and bled the cooling system thoroughly? It could simply be air somewhere in the system. Heater matrix is not uncommon.
 

FastLife91

Torque Junkie
Points
57
Location
England
Car
Ford Focus mk2
Not off the top of my head. I am slightly puzzled as well. Is the exhaust 'steamy' when the engine is fully warmed?

EDIT: you've already said no exhaust problems, sorry, missed it.

OK. After fixing the metal pipe have you filled and bled the cooling system thoroughly? It could simply be air somewhere in the system. Heater matrix is not uncommon.

Hi

Nope, no steam from the exhaust when cold or warm. no smoke out the back either and very minimal to no smoke at all in freezing conditions. no power loss, no oil/water mixing, no loss of water


No, I have not bled the system after repairing the metal pipe but we did try bleeding it before.


any thoughts on this ?


thanks
 

HDi fun

TC ModFather
Points
637
Location
Buckinghamshire UK
Car
Passat 2.0 TDi
Start it from cold (fully cold - engine off for 8 hours or more) with the AC compressor off and the car climate/heater temperature set to max. Fan on lowest speed setting.

Remove expansion tank cap and watch things while then engine warms up. This can take a long time with diesel engines. Be prepared to wait twenty minutes or maybe much more.

What you are looking for is a drop in level when the thermostat opens. If there's a radiator cap (many don't now) you can remove that as well. Squeeze the soft rubber coolant hoses and see if there's air in those. You can add coolant at any time the level drops. Keep the cap(s) off.

There might also be bleed valves on the block, head radiator and thermostat housing. open these one at a time and check they are wet. If air is coming out keep each one open until coolant flows out and then close it. Top up to the correct level with engine running.

You might have to do this many times in succession over several days. Obviously caps back on etc before you drive the car. Once the caps are in place the system will run up to operating pressure so don't open anything now. This is the time when a leak might be forced due to the system which is designed to operate above atmospheric pressure.

Pressurised systems are the normal now. It's done to raise the boiling point of the coolant beyond 100 degrees.
 

HDi fun

TC ModFather
Points
637
Location
Buckinghamshire UK
Car
Passat 2.0 TDi
I am starting to think that it hasn't. Hopefully our buddy here will find out the same thing. HGs don't fail will no loss of power, no loss of coolant, no oil water mixing, no exhaust symptoms etc. But let's get through the obvious with him - this is what TC is all about.
 

FastLife91

Torque Junkie
Points
57
Location
England
Car
Ford Focus mk2
Start it from cold (fully cold - engine off for 8 hours or more) with the AC compressor off and the car climate/heater temperature set to max. Fan on lowest speed setting.

Remove expansion tank cap and watch things while then engine warms up. This can take a long time with diesel engines. Be prepared to wait twenty minutes or maybe much more.

What you are looking for is a drop in level when the thermostat opens. If there's a radiator cap (many don't now) you can remove that as well. Squeeze the soft rubber coolant hoses and see if there's air in those. You can add coolant at any time the level drops. Keep the cap(s) off.

There might also be bleed valves on the block, head radiator and thermostat housing. open these one at a time and check they are wet. If air is coming out keep each one open until coolant flows out and then close it. Top up to the correct level with engine running.

You might have to do this many times in succession over several days. Obviously caps back on etc before you drive the car. Once the caps are in place the system will run up to operating pressure so don't open anything now. This is the time when a leak might be forced due to the system which is designed to operate above atmospheric pressure.

Pressurised systems are the normal now. It's done to raise the boiling point of the coolant beyond 100 degrees.

Thanks for helping.

I already tried a similar process of trying to bleed air out of my cars' cooling system, I removed the radiator cap and let it idle,waited over 40 minutes and the level basically stayed the same with no loss or it didn't even rise either really.

I will try that again.
 

FastLife91

Torque Junkie
Points
57
Location
England
Car
Ford Focus mk2
I am starting to think that it hasn't. Hopefully our buddy here will find out the same thing. HGs don't fail will no loss of power, no loss of coolant, no oil water mixing, no exhaust symptoms etc. But let's get through the obvious with him - this is what TC is all about.

Thanks , I'm hoping it hasn't too !

I have no symptoms of hg failure whatsoever, my car does chug at idle sometimes but I noticed this driving it home the day I bought the car. A garage charged for a head gasket not long after I got the car as it was loosing water but I found out they lied and replaced only the water pump, that was 11 months ago and the car was chugging before then
 

FastLife91

Torque Junkie
Points
57
Location
England
Car
Ford Focus mk2
Why did your man think the gasket was gone?

An engine repair garage did a chemical test on the water and it changed color almost right away indicating HG failure, however I didn't know at the time that a metal cooling pipe had a hole in it and I wonder if oil that was leaking from my turbo hose has somehow got in it and that is what the test changed color ??
 

SLEEPER

Pro Tuner
Points
562
So what does this chemical test look for ?

I assume that it can only be oil which isnt really a 100% test for a head gasket. You could do a compression test.

If the car runs right ,doesnt lose oil or water and they dont mix id leave it alone and drive it keeping a good eye on levels and keep checking the oil filler for gunge.
 

gladrags

Torque Junkie
Points
202
Location
UK
Car
Focus 2.0
If you're chasing a mysterious water leak in your engine it's always bearing in mind the oil cooler which can go porous internally and cause oil and water to mix.

Ford Focus Oil Cooler.jpg
 
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