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MJG50

New injector cured supposed head gasket problem?

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Posted (edited)

I bought a Jaguar XK 5.0 litre from the block. Soon afterwards, the dreaded engine management light and restricted performance limp mode came on. It felt as though there was some kind of misfire.
 
I took to the main dealer who read the fault codes, there was only one and this was a seized injector. They replaced the injector, tested the car from hot and cold and it ran fine. I've driven the car since and all seemed fine. I did think it was getting quite hot but the temperature gauge has always been bang in the middle and the water and oil levels were all fine. The temp read out on the dealer diagnostics was 97 degrees which is meant to be about right as they are supposed to run hot.
 
About a week later, I took the car for a short run to get a new set of tyres and to my surprise, I could see a massive puddle of pink coolant in front of the car! I opened the bonnet and the water level had dropped from the max to about 10% in no time at all! I've heard that water pump and crossover pipe failure is common on this engine so I assumed this was the problem. I've never seen a car lose so much water! 
 
I thought I'd do a bit of digging into the history of the car and the last owner who traded it in took it to their main dealer with the same misfire - this main dealer reckoned that the car needed new heads, hence the previous owner traded it in. Their diagnosis after reading the fault code was to test the cylinder block, they concluded there was no compression in the engine and that a coolant pressure test confirmed new heads were required!!
 
It seems very strange to me that one dealer says a car needs new heads whereas the dealer I took it to diagnosed a new injector and the car ran fine afterwards. Is it possible that the massive water leak is due to needing new heads? It's not something I've come across before, the water was clean when it came out the car, the oil level is still at the max and there's no mayonaisse under the oil cap.
 
I'm taking the car to a very local workshop for inspection as I'm afraid to drive it very far when losing water. I'll top it up to the max literally every couple of miles.
 
This could possibly be a post that could be of interest to Dave :)

You can see why prestige isn't exactly working for me at the moment..................I might start looking at Fiestas next!!
Edited by MJG50

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Posted (edited)

TBH sales wise I don't usually touch Jaguar these days, since the hey day when they discontinued the original straight 6 and V12's but I used to do a lot of those back in the 80's and 90's, owned a fair few too.

The V8's I've worked on a few now, there are 3 or 4 running around these parts who are good Customers of my Workshop, normally I'm dealing with Coils, ABS Pumps and water ingress causing Electronic issues on them. My customers have already had Pumps and Timing Chain upgraded Tensioners now.

The V8 Jag's are a money pit, much more so than an equivalent Mercedes ;)

Water Pumps are a common item, and absolutely pour coolant out when they really let go.

You need to find a good indie near you, and don't believe anything a main dealer tells you.

Start with a cooling system pressure test, any good honest mechanic should be able to do that and confirm if it is Pump or not, then go from there ;)

HTH 

Edited by Dave2302
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Talking of fiestas we took one in part ex last month customer advising the main dealers had advised the head had gone, 20 mins in our workshop diagnosed a split in the water bottle which under extreme pressure heat would eject coolant everywhere £20 fix. 

Main dealers sent what they used to be mostly full of spotty young kids who couldn’t diagnose anything without a machine. 

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/\ /\ /\ lol they can't diagnose with the machine either ;)

"Fitters" not mechanics.

If that Jaguar needs a head job I wouldn't fuck with it, I'd get a known good engine from a trusted source and swap it out !!

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Thanks for the advice Dave - I like the bit about about not believing anything a main dealer tells me! I did wonder if the dealer told the last owner it needed new heads to get him to trade it in at a very low price!

The nearby workshop I'm taking it too comes highly recommended and at least this is a mechanical rather than an electronic issue so any half decent mechanic should be able to confirm what's causing the massive water leak with a cooling system pressure test. 

I used to love all the 80s and 90s Jaguars, I was pretty lucky with those and never had one with a major problem. I had quite a few of the 4.0 litre V8s and they were all fine.

The fact that water poured out so fast possibly suggests it is the water pump but I can't hear any noise from the pump - I thought if the pump fails it makes a racket but I have to just wait and see what the workshop says. If anything, the fact the water comes out so fast could make it easier to diagnose, it's not as though it's a very small leak.

That's encouraging to hear a main dealer got it wrong about the Fiesta head gasket - I was hoping it might just be a split in the Jaguar water bottle but the level stays the same when the car is parked. A friend suggested getting a new cap so I'll try that first but I'm sure its not coming out of the cap.

Tbh, I'll probably stick it back in the block if it needs new heads. It would be pretty tricky sourcing a 5.0 engine and I'm not sure who I'd trust to fit it!

It's just frustrating as I check everything I possibly can at the auction - just makes me think I should go back to going for ex-lease stuff rather than pxs. 

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Dave2302 said:

TBH sales wise I don't usually touch Jaguar these days, since the hey day when they discontinued the original straight 6 and V12's but I used to do a lot of those back in the 80's and 90's, owned a fair few too.

The V8's I've worked on a few now, there are 3 or 4 running around these parts who are good Customers of my Workshop, normally I'm dealing with Coils, ABS Pumps and water ingress causing Electronic issues on them. My customers have already had Pumps and Timing Chain upgraded Tensioners now.

The V8 Jag's are a money pit, much more so than an equivalent Mercedes ;)

Water Pumps are a common item, and absolutely pour coolant out when they really let go.

You need to find a good indie near you, and don't believe anything a main dealer tells you.

Start with a cooling system pressure test, any good honest mechanic should be able to do that and confirm if it is Pump or not, then go from there ;)

HTH 

I used to sell a lot of Jags and Dave is spot on with his comments. Sold hundreds of xj40, x300 and x308 xk8 etc. Used being the word here. 

I'll add that once the water pumps go these V8 engines 'cook' in no time and take either the head, or head gasket with them. They are a fragile lump so possible that's its taken the block with it. 

I'm guessing the injector was just another issue?

Do a pressure check on the coolant system and then a CO2 sniff check to try and diagnose further. 

They may of changed the routing but check for split engine to firewall heater flexible pipes. They can split and leak and are worse under load as the engine shifts about. 

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Thanks for the advice tradex. I'll be very careful with the car and ensure it is fully topped up when taking it to the workshop up the road. 

According to the main dealer I took the car to, the injector was the only issue and the car drove fine once this was fixed. It seems strange that the new injector fixed the car at first if the heads had failed and there was no compression before. As far as I know, the water pump was fine when the previous owner had the car, the only issue was the misfire.

I'll get the pressure check on the coolant system done and ask the mechanic to check all the pipes.

I'm no expert on these later V8s but I'm hoping that such a rapid loss of water is more likely to be a water pump than a head but time will tell. I haven't ever heard of head failure causing water to pour out so fast but I'll just have to wait and see.

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better to buy it with as massive leak than one thats had snake oil added to hide a leak

can you imagine selling it and the owners 100 miles down the motorway and it blows

not worth thinking about is it

bread and butter is the way to go because donkeys are only 2 1/2 for shitters

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I'm just going to throw this out there, but could it be possible that whoever did the Injector job had to undo a jubilee and move a hose to get at it, then rushed the job and left it loose ?? 

Seems funny it wasn't pouring out before and a few miles later it is ............ 

No doubt your garage will find the issue ;)

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Thanks again Dave, it is possible but I've done about 40 miles in the car since the new injector and it drove fine. As you say though, if it was left loose it may have taken a while to come lose. The main dealer who did the injector has done a fair bit of work for me in the past and I've always been pleased with them but it's a definite possibility. I know if I continue with prestige I need to take your advice and find a decent mechanic and stop using main dealers! 

Maybe I should mention to the workshop looking at the car this week it's just had a new injector fitted?

I've just called in on the workshop (in a different Jag) and they can't look it til Friday! Probably a good sign they are busy but I need to stop worrying about this til then! 

Unfortunately, I'm no mechanic but I'm still hoping the fact that the water was literally pouring out fast points to something like a hose, pipe or waterpump. I'm sure I've said it before but even just before and just after the water came out, the engine was still running fine. It's not like there was a massive bang or smoke billowing out the car when the water poured out.

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Posted (edited)

Trouble with main dealers are they employ 17yr old apprentices and one master tech who doesn't get involved with older cars , least thats the case round here anyway .

I run one of these 5.0 litre XFR beasts , love it , but my son works on it so its not been near a main dealer ,  i will ask him when he gets back if he knows anything about your problem , seems coincidental   that's its happened after the injector work , He's had mine in a million bits changing chains and tensioners and guides , new pulley on super charger , VVT parts replaced before the re map , never had water problems though . 

How many miles has it done ? cos some things changed in the engine on various years . 

Edited by David Horgan
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Thanks David, that is so true about main dealers. It's 8 years old and has done 77k so it's possible the master tech wouldn't get involved with something so old.

Totally agree about loving these cars, ironically when I was driving the car just before the water poured out, I was really enjoying it :) I've never driven an XFR but have heard they are awesome.

I was a bit worried it could be the chain when the eml came on just out of the block but the engine sounds so smooth with no rattles at all.

Apparently, the water pump and the crossover pipe attached under the inlet manifold is a known weak point of these engines and it's never been replaced on mine. I'm just hoping that the first main dealer is wrong about the heads. I'm dwelling on this far too much really, at least I didn't sell it like this as the buyer would have no doubt kept driving it and would have done a lot of damage with no water. At least I'm in control of the situation at the moment.

Thanks again for asking your son, I can't get the car looked at til Friday so I'm in limbo til then.

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The only other thing I haven't mentioned is that when I got the wheels refurbed the painter had a lot of trouble getting the near side front wheel off. Apparently the nuts had been overtightened (more so than he'd ever come across before) so he had to do a lot of drilling and bashing to get them off. It's probably not relevant but maybe this could have loosened something? I drove the car about 20 miles or so after the wheel refurb though - it's not like the water poured out straight after the refurb. As I say, probably not relevant but that's the only other issue I've had with the car.

Thanks again for all the input - much appreciated :)

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I started up the car earlier and maybe I'm thinking the worst but I'm sure I could smell a whiff of coolant on the oil filler cap - I am starting to think it could be the head gasket again! :unsure:

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Good news so far, I managed to get it looked today and the water is coming out of the water pump so it looks like it's just the pump :)

2 garages have now looked at the car and didn't think it was the head gasket so that main dealer that thought it was may have said it to get their px offer price down

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Water Pump ...................

There you go ;)

I remember all the V12 Pumps I used to do way back, in those days Jaguar would actually sell us a kit to rebuild them :lol:

Jaguar Vee Engines and fucked Water Pumps go hand in hand................

It is when the stupid drivers run them low on Coolant leaking from the Pump that they end up with Heads etc, like all Engines, they don't like getting hot !!

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Thanks again for your help Dave, I must admit I was fearing the worst but it sounds like its just the pump :)

Thankfully I didn't drive the car very far once I saw the leak. 

The engine does seem to run fairly hot in my opinion ever since I got the car but the temp gauge always stays in the middle. When I had the new injector fitted, the engine temp read out was 97 degrees and apparently that is normal for this engine.

 

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That is normal for most Engines since CAT's were fitted in the early nineties, most temperature gauges in the clusters read a little lower than the real value in the ECU to stop the general public being terrified by how hot they really run ;) 

Not like the good old days when Engines ran at 72 - 80 c 

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1 hour ago, Dave2302 said:

That is normal for most Engines since CAT's were fitted in the early nineties, most temperature gauges in the clusters read a little lower than the real value in the ECU to stop the general public being terrified by how hot they really run ;) 

Not like the good old days when Engines ran at 72 - 80 c 

yes in the good ole days a weetabox was your friend for a thermostat gasket

and seedless jam was beaut for a headgasket quick fix

now we have steel headgaskets and aluminium,a disaster waiting to happen if water level drops

one of the reasons im a vauxhall free area  :lol:

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Posted (edited)

35 minutes ago, jason doyle motor sales said:

one of the reasons im a vauxhall free area  :lol:

You and me both, although I quite like them as Workshop Customers :lol:

Edited by Dave2302

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It can be a bit alarming how hot modern engines run, I remember the temperature gauge on a petrol W203 Mercedes going up extremely high many years ago. It's probably just as well Jaguar gauges are preset to be stuck in the middle since the mid 1990s even if that doesn't reflect the true temperature! I'm sure all the 1990s Jaguar V8s I had run really hot too but back then I wasn't so paranoid! 

Don't get me started on Vauxhalls, I wouldn't touch one after a bad experience! I bet they are fantastic cars if you own a workshop though! :)

I collected the XK yesterday and the workshop is pretty sure the head gaskets are fine, the psi check was ok and from running and having a good look at the car they can't see a head gasket issue.

I've gone for a couple of short blasts since and the car goes very well. I did notice the water level was a bit higher the first time and a bit lower the second time but I'm hoping it is normal for the water level to take a while to settle down after a new pump is fitted? I've never actually had a water pump fitted before (even though in the past I've bought a few cars that were known for pump failure)

The garage mentioned I should check the levels afterwards as there could be an airlock in the system.

I'm not going to advertise the car for a while as I want to be 100% sure it's ok but I think the head gasket panic is finally over, I'll just keep a close eye on the water level for the next few weeks.

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1 hour ago, MJG50 said:

I collected the XK yesterday and the workshop is pretty sure the head gaskets are fine, the psi check was ok and from running and having a good look at the car they can't see a head gasket issue.

Back when I owned a workshop (I'm not technical but employed mechanics).  We had a head gasket tester, you screwed the contraption on to the radiator or expansion tank and it would change colour (I guess from sniffing CO).  Is this still a thing?

Popular thing that tool was, back in the Rover days :lol:

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Yep, I bought a "sniffer" way back, used it then but don't do many Head Jobs these days ;)

I think Head Gasket technology has actually improved since the 80's / 90's, either that or its so cold up here that the bastards never overheat :lol:

Nearly had one last week, but turned out to be just an Airlock (1.4 207 Pug)................

It had had a T/Stat at a "lesser" Garage who obviously didn't bleed the little bastard correctly :rolleyes:

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1 hour ago, Dave2302 said:

Yep, I bought a "sniffer" way back, used it then but don't do many Head Jobs these days ;)

I think Head Gasket technology has actually improved since the 80's / 90's, either that or its so cold up here that the bastards never overheat :lol:

Nearly had one last week, but turned out to be just an Airlock (1.4 207 Pug)................

It had had a T/Stat at a "lesser" Garage who obviously didn't bleed the little bastard correctly :rolleyes:

I think that 1.4 Pug unit is prone to HG issues mind.

You're right though, I haven't heard of a head gasket go for a long while (queue the jinx).  Rover going put a stop to that.

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Posted (edited)

14 hours ago, Mark101 said:

I haven't heard of a head gasket go for a long while (queue the jinx)

Yeah, we both "cue'd" one into the disaster queue now :lol:

Edited by Dave2302

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