General How To.... Diagnose a K Series Head Gasket Failure - Page 3 - MG-Rover.org Forums
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post #41 of 264 (permalink) Old 20-09-2008, 17:55
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Butting in on this..

I am new to this Rover KV6 HGF phenomena but a victim nevertheless!. I have no idea where to get this Exp Tank Cap but I stripped mine, cleaned and replaced the cap finding the breather part was blocked and not seating properly, allowing leakage at normal temp and pressure. However for piece of mind I need a spare.

I also replaced Thermostat and radiator and did a pressure test and gas test all to no avail; IT STILL OVERHEATS.

Now I suspect the Water Pump as when I put the heater on to MAX the car does not overheat. This suggests to me that if it runs cool when the heat is being dumped (on passengers) then the flow through rad etc is not capable.

Has anyone any idea how to test the pump as it looks a nighmare to access it.


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Originally Posted by benjy400 View Post
Thanks for that, I'm hoping its just a case of cap and fan as previously mentioned, the gauge is always just below middle which was throwing me a bit, I assumed it would read high if the water was boiling. It happened yesterday when it was really hot weather and I'd been pootling around town for about 20 mins which makes me think its the fan.

Can you advise the best place to get a replacement cap? Is it as simple as a quick visit to Halfrauds?

Lastly, does the diesel engine suffer from this problem as I'm eying up a 400 SLD and don't want to be faced with this problem if I change!!

Thanks again for the info and quick reply!
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post #42 of 264 (permalink) Old 21-09-2008, 10:35 Thread Starter
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The V6 is not prone to head gasket failure, although not immune as with any engine. From what you report, it is not the reason for your overheating.

When does the engine overheat? If it is when stationary or moving slowly, does your cooling fan work? They are prone to failure.

There is very little that can go wrong with a water pump and if you can keep the engine cool using the heater, this will not be your problem. It is more likely to be a blockage in the radiator.

So - check that the radiator fan works. Check that the radiator gets hot from top to bottom when left at idle for 20 minutes.

See previous post if you want to try a new cap.
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post #43 of 264 (permalink) Old 22-09-2008, 15:49
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In regards to the cap I did indeed get one in here from good old Halfrauds! I wasn't sure of the part number as I'd seen two different ones on here when I did a search!!
It seems they are one and the same and was confirmed by the nice helpful assistant. 2.99!!

Took it for a very long spin (100 miles) yesterday and had no problems at all!
Might be tempting fate but hope its done the trick!

I think it was HC606 for the rover part number and FC501 for the equivalent cap, please DO check this though as I'm going on memory!
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post #44 of 264 (permalink) Old 23-09-2008, 18:15
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In regards to the cap I did indeed get one in here from good old Halfrauds! I wasn't sure of the part number as I'd seen two different ones on here when I did a search!!
It seems they are one and the same and was confirmed by the nice helpful assistant. 2.99!!
I hope my issue is as easy as that to solve! Noticed high temps the other day and had suspicions it might be HGF but reading this thread I now have my doubts.

First clue was my coolant container keeps draining itself. High temps yesterday, added 1.5 litres of water to tide me over. Noticed it was empty today, went to Halfrauds and added 1.5 litres of 50/50 mix parked up outside. I ran the car for 10 minutes parked without revving - no high temps, no level drop, no drips, no steam. Great. Then did a 5 minute drive and the coolant had all disappeared. Bah.

How much does the system hold in total? (It may be a bit dry.) Surely I couldn't lose that much from a bad cap in that time? Perhaps it's garage time. On the plus side, at least there's no mayo :-)

EDIT: I have learned to read! 0.17 in the Haynes manual, duh... 5.5 litres. Hmm...

Last edited by goldaryn; 23-09-2008 at 18:27.
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post #45 of 264 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 13:38
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I should know this and don't have a manual to hand but where and how many coolant bleed valves are there on a ZS? I have found one...rhs of engine as you look at it on the rigid pipe connecting to the lower radiator hose.

I have a similar experience to Goldaryn above. Suspected hgf but went through Diesel's post and have eliminated that. No leaks, no steam, no mayo, exp. tank cap okay, heater belts out heat like a goodun, radiator heats up from top to bottom, fans come on okay when needed but I lose coolant over the course of a week's normal driving or quicker on a fast run.
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post #46 of 264 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 15:30 Thread Starter
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I think there is only one, plus the vent pipe to the top of the header tank, but if your heater works, then you don't have an air lock problem.

If there are no external signs of water staining to indicate a leak, you need to remove the belt cover to check the underside of the water pump. Failing that, if you have a plastic inlet manifold, it would be worth fitting a new gasket as they can leak internally. If the loss is only slight, then check that the filler cap is holding pressure otherwise they can leak water vapour.

If all else fails, a system pressure test may be worth considering.
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post #47 of 264 (permalink) Old 14-10-2008, 12:07
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ok i think i have learnt a lot from this thread. few silly questions. how high is high temp ?? i know there is the 60 and then midle line with no number and then the 120. my mgf sits on between the middle line and 120 on long runs(25-30 kms). is it high ???
second question. today i opened the expension bottle cap. and the pressure noise came out as i opened it. liek openning a coke bottle. the car was driven 90ks. then i let it sit for like an hour. is it normal??? i think the engine was still hot after an hour. anyway is it bad to to open the cap when still little bit hot ???
1 more thing. in the morning i let the engine idle for 2/3 min untill the water gets half way ?? useles?? cheers. i am a novis !!!!
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post #48 of 264 (permalink) Old 14-10-2008, 12:37 Thread Starter
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Engine temperature - take little notice of the temperature gauge, it tends to show cold, then middle then hot in three steps. The true engine temperature fluctuates quite a lot depending on running conditions in spite of the actions of the thermostat.

Coolant tank - the cap is called a pressure cap. It is supposed to keep the system pressurised to prevent it from boiling. Some parts of the system around the exhaust area run at considerably above normal boiling point. Don't take the cap off when the engine is hot!

Warm up - the best way to warm up an engine is to drive it gently. Even when the gauge reads normal, the engine will be far from fully warm, the oil may take 20 minutes to reach temperature.
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post #49 of 264 (permalink) Old 19-10-2008, 20:01
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Originally Posted by 1955diesel View Post
I think there is only one, plus the vent pipe to the top of the header tank, but if your heater works, then you don't have an air lock problem.

If there are no external signs of water staining to indicate a leak, you need to remove the belt cover to check the underside of the water pump. Failing that, if you have a plastic inlet manifold, it would be worth fitting a new gasket as they can leak internally. If the loss is only slight, then check that the filler cap is holding pressure otherwise they can leak water vapour.

If all else fails, a system pressure test may be worth considering.
Thanks Diesel
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post #50 of 264 (permalink) Old 23-10-2008, 18:43
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maybe a daft question, but i'm not techy at all, but will there always be mayo when there is HGF - i know from the first post that the presence of mayo does not always guarantee HGF, but if there is HGF will there always be mayo?

i'm having coolant leaks, but no sign of mayo, fans seem to be working and blowing hot air etc, and i'm maybe just being paranoid
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post #51 of 264 (permalink) Old 23-10-2008, 21:58 Thread Starter
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Sounds like you just have a leak (which needs fixing!).

If coolant leaks into the oil in any significant quantity, it will produce mayo. Similarly for oil leaking into the coolant. This is because engine oil contains an emulsifying agent to prevent the oil and water from separating. The crankcase always has some condensation in it which the oil must be able to cope with.

If the head gasket leaks externally or if it leaks gas to coolant, then there will be no mayo to be seen.

A little cream coloured mayo deposit on the oil dipstick/filler cap is quite usual in winter or when short journeys fail to bring the oil up to temperature.
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post #52 of 264 (permalink) Old 24-10-2008, 06:27
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Thanks mate. The coolant leak only came to light a couple of days ago when I checked it again after running low at the weekend. It's going into the garage today to get a new exhaust fitted so I'll get them to check it out there and I'm hoping that's all it is - unfortunately I'm a worrier and I always see the worst case scenario! Never even heard of HGF till I registered here last weekend, so hoepfully I'm just being a hypochondriac
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post #53 of 264 (permalink) Old 24-10-2008, 17:03
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was in the garage today. radiator leak. looks like my paranoia was unfounded
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post #54 of 264 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 15:45
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So - Head Gasket or Inlet Manifold Gasket?

Hmm. Fantastic article with a wealth of detail!

I have a 1999 414i with 78k on it. Been very reliable so far!

Here are my symptoms:

1 Started car to come home from work, it seemed to struggle - stater motor went "Clonk" a few times. After 5 or 6 clonks it started and I drove home - about 10 miles. Was wondering if starter motor was failing.

2 Noticed vapour behind car after a mile or so but it was dark. even at this stage suspect HGF but watched temp guage like a hawk, no problem on way home.

3. Stopped engine when I got home, waited 1 minute and restarted it OK.

4. Following morning could not start car - just Clonks from starter motor.

5. Took plugs out and found cyclinder at the drivers side of the engine full of water. This must have found its way into the cylinder overnight

So the question is - could this be the inlet manifold gasket or should I bite the bullet and change the head gasket too?

Any advice gratefully received! Thanks in advance....
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post #55 of 264 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 18:43 Thread Starter
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It is the right cylinder for it to be the manifold gasket, but you can't tell without changing it. Chances are that this is the problem if you are having no other symptoms. As mentioned earlier, if coolant is reaching the cylinder, then gas will be being blown into the cooling system. This results in "air" locks, no heater and a boil up. The only exception might be due to a cracked liner. Don't see those too often though.
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post #56 of 264 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 10:53
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Smile Thank you!

OK seems like thats worth a go first - no sign of cross contamination between coolant and engine oil so If I can avoid having to change the HG thats a big bonus. Many thanks to you. Here's hoping.......
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post #57 of 264 (permalink) Old 09-11-2008, 22:40
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Question Oh Dear - Still Playing Up!

Ah well - I changed the inlet manifold gasket today, no obvious signs of a break or other damage but fitted a new one.

Started up OK and seemed to be running well. A bit of steam from the exhaust though, ran it round the block to see if it would clear.

Coolant level fell a little on the trip (About 5 miles) but I'm not sure if that is just the system settling down after refiiling.

But there is too much vapour coming out for my liking - so its decison time - do I change the HG or just monitor the coolant?

The odd thing is that I have had no symptoms like mayo other then a very small amount in the inlet manifold, just a trace inside the thottle body. No sign of water in the oil or oil in the expansion tank at all. Could I have HG failure and no symptoms like that?

Has anyone had a similar experience?
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post #58 of 264 (permalink) Old 10-11-2008, 10:06 Thread Starter
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But there is too much vapour coming out for my liking
This is a regular complaint on the forum. I'm afraid that this is what Rovers do. I had one once that was just embarrassing and would almost envelope the car at traffic lights, but it didn't use any coolant.
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post #59 of 264 (permalink) Old 14-12-2008, 13:28
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..Just another head gasket adventure

Hello everyone,I'm new to Rover and new to the forum,this thread has been very helpful but I seem to be out of luck and in need of someone who really knows "the stuff".Here's what happened:
A month ago i bought a used 216si,beautiful looking,in very good shape,'96,for a good price.On my way home with it i noticed exessive white steam from exhaust.To cut long story short,after 2 days coolant went dry and engine started overheating,getting worse since.Did research,found this thread,prayed it was the inlet manifold gasket,unfortunately,it wasn't.The mechanic working on it is very experienced and trusted,but hasn't worked on Rovers.The 2. and 3. cylinder were full of water,HGF remedy on the way.Bought the new gasket set,all filters,belts,thermostat,bolts,head shimmed,mechanic taking his time as i wanted everything checked and repaired.Seen his work,engine looked new,he even commented how cyllinders looked incredibly new for its 90000 miles.All good news.Yesterday he started the engine,started immediately,temperature stable,wonderful.And then the shock.Coolant level started to drop down,and locomotive breath from the exhaust kicked back in.No external leak.Like nothing has been done.My mechanic pulling his hair,and i'm out of my mind.
What could it be?Liners?
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post #60 of 264 (permalink) Old 14-12-2008, 21:05 Thread Starter
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Ignore the steam, lots of them do that.

If it is losing that much water, it must be going somewhere and I doubt that it is going past the gasket or you would be reporting heater failure and engine boiling. This occurs due to the combustion gas being blown into the system which then stops the flow.

If it is not ending up on the floor, the only other alternatives are that it is in the oil (turns it a pale brown colour) or the inlet manifold gasket has gone. Even new ones can fail if the manifold has warped.

Are you sure it is losing coolant? Could it have just been an air lock that has now cleared? What does it do now when you run it?
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