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MJG50

New injector cured supposed head gasket problem?

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I've found that the coolant level varied quite a bit after fitting the new water pump. I've only been taking the car for short runs as I'm a bit afraid to go on a really long trip in case the car is using water. 


The level finally seemed to settle just above the max line over a couple of days so I thought it was ok. But this week, the water level seems to keep falling and after a short trip today, it is just below the minimum line! I'll have to top it up before I drive it again.


I've only driven about 80 miles on very short trips in the 3 weeks or so since I've had the water pump replaced but is it normal for the water level to fluctuate so long after the new pump was fitted?


I'm beginning to worry that there is something actually wrong with the headgasket again as the water level is low but as far as I can tell the car drives fine. There is still a vast amount of power available. I'm thinking that maybe I should top it up to the max and then take it for a longer run? But I'm worried that if it is using water, a longer run will use a lot of water!


Maybe I should contact the garage who did the water pump to check the car out again?


Many thanks again for all your help.

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On 5/8/2019 at 7:28 PM, Mark101 said:

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.

They are also prone to being diagnosed wrongly back when they first came out i used to have a punt at the suspect ones in the block as you could steal them for dust, but my ratio of bad ones over good ones went way into the red so stopped that game.

 

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Posted (edited)

After reading the comments & the jobs you have had done

Your water level soundn't keep on dropping, maybe after the first drive after having a water pump done but not after then

If It is the headgaket has gone, it sounds like cylinders to water system, this will increase pressure in the water system & can make other water system parts fail due to over pressure. you won't get any mayonnaise, could get missing, might only leak at certain temps so could pass a compression test.

If your not fully into mechanics, its similar what happens when you use a soda stream machine, the bottle being the water system & the gas being the pressure leaking from the cylinders.

To start with the basics, run the engine for a few mins & check how hard the top hose is, drive for 5 mins & check it again, repeat, if the pipe gets rock hard, I would say its the headgasket. Then go to a garage & have a sniff test done(some liquid that changes colour with exahaust gases) cheap & easy test with no stripping down

You might not know how to judge the hardness of the hose, if not try another car to compare

In regards to having the water pump checked, if you have an external leak you won't get water system pressure & the top hose will be soft, not a bad thing as then it could just be a badly fitting pipe then etc.

Thanks

Edited by ModernBagsofRubbish
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A simple coolant system pressure check will detect a leak, BUT DO IT COLD OR THE CONTRACTING COOLANT ETC CAN GIVE A FALSE RESULT. Sorry for the shouty caps but its such a common mistake made by many mechanics. Need to leave overnight to ensure a proper result. Yes, some leaks only occur when hot so you can do both, remembering the safey aspect of course.

A CO2 sniff test will aid head gasket/cracked head issues, but this has the hallmarks of a simple leak......possibly cracked plastic t/stat housing (there is a metal upgrade part or was that earlier engines?), pressure cap, split headed tank, heater matrix anything that can degrade after time etc.

A trained nose can usually detect an external coolant leak (and even burnt coolant going thru the engine), had this only last week when a guy with a Disco TDI came and bought from me. Out of interest I had a look around his Disco and I could smell that tell-tale smell of leaking coolant. Yup, weeping waterpump.

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Many thanks for the replies ModernBagsofRubbish and tradex - I'm not very mechanically minded and thankfully haven't had an issue like this before. It is highly possible that the main dealer that diagnosed the head gasket has gone was right and that increased pressure in the water system made other water system parts fail due to overpressure. It seems such a coincidence that nearly all the water came out of the car recently and that although the garage thought a new water pump would cure it, the fact is the water level is still going down which is a real concern. There's no mayonnaise but very occasaionally, there is a very slight misfire/knock that only happens when the car is idling. I noticed it when moving the car yesterday and it seems more likely to happen when the engine is hot - waiting at traffic lights the other day I noticed a knock and the rev counter jumped slightly. This misfire doesn't trigger the engine management light but it is pretty disconcerting. So after getting the new injector and new water pump, it doesn't seem like this has cured the problem.

I'm just wondering really whether it is worth getting the head gasket checked as the garage I use just seem to think it's fine and seem reluctant to check it. Even if they check it properly though and say the head gasket is fine, I can't sell the car with the occasional knock/misfire as no doubt this will get worse in time. I'm beginning to think the only answer is to get shot of it on a spares or repairs basis. It is such a shame as apart from occasionally when idling, the car drives 100%

 

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21 minutes ago, MJG50 said:

Many thanks for the replies ModernBagsofRubbish and tradex - I'm not very mechanically minded and thankfully haven't had an issue like this before. It is highly possible that the main dealer that diagnosed the head gasket has gone was right and that increased pressure in the water system made other water system parts fail due to overpressure. It seems such a coincidence that nearly all the water came out of the car recently and that although the garage thought a new water pump would cure it, the fact is the water level is still going down which is a real concern. There's no mayonnaise but very occasaionally, there is a very slight misfire/knock that only happens when the car is idling. I noticed it when moving the car yesterday and it seems more likely to happen when the engine is hot - waiting at traffic lights the other day I noticed a knock and the rev counter jumped slightly. This misfire doesn't trigger the engine management light but it is pretty disconcerting. So after getting the new injector and new water pump, it doesn't seem like this has cured the problem.

I'm just wondering really whether it is worth getting the head gasket checked as the garage I use just seem to think it's fine and seem reluctant to check it. Even if they check it properly though and say the head gasket is fine, I can't sell the car with the occasional knock/misfire as no doubt this will get worse in time. I'm beginning to think the only answer is to get shot of it on a spares or repairs basis. It is such a shame as apart from occasionally when idling, the car drives 100%

 

lets keep hoping...the slight misfire could be a coilpack they eat them for breakfast, or even a worn plug causing a misfire or the coilpack to misfire, Pugs come to mind, plenty change coilpack units when its the acutal plugs that are fucked, a new coilpack unit just hides this fact and often both are changed and bingo all is well.

B)Get the basic checks done and then take it from there.

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Thanks again tradex - I must admit I've got so cheesed off with this XK that part of me just wants to get shot of it! It's been a long time since I've had a car that's been such a pain. I can't remember the last car that caused me so many headaches. It's made me tempted to change to more mainstream stuff but then again that's not without it's problems either!

I definitely should get it checked out though - am I right in thinking that one of those head gasket tests that change colour to show the head gasket has gone are reliable? I'll get onto the workshop to do this.

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You need to find a garage to do the basic checks, if they sound like they are going to make a big job of it, move to the next

What area are you inn

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