Rover 75 KV6 2.5 Head Gasket?
I wonder if any of you kind forum posters might help with a bit of a problem I seem to have? :-)
I bought a Rover 2.5 V6 Connoisseur SE (2001/X) a couple of weeks ago as a private sale, was happy with the car and did several hundred miles of slow motorway (constant 60-70 mph due to busy roads – never really put my foot down) driving with only one issue. One day after leaving the motorway at about 30 MPH, but not in traffic, the temp gauge shot to max, but as soon as I pulled over it went back to normal and I drove home (50 miles) without problems. Checked all the fluids and the oil was golden and the coolant ok, but watery coloured.
I took the car to a mechanic I trust to check and he said he couldn’t find anything obvious, the cooling fan cut in as expected etc, but that in his opinion there could be trouble lurking that would not easily show and in his opinion and experience I should sell it as a major (expensive) problem may be lurking undetected.
I drove the car for the next week, including about 40 miles of town stop-start traffic watching the gauge like a hawk without any obvious problems. (normal temp during town driving on the trip diagnostic was between 94-110). Then on Saturday I needed to drive from London to Birmingham. 11pm at night, normal motorway speeds with a bit of hard acceleration to see how it performed on the empty roads and to cut a long story short, it overheated just before the exit to Oxford services (122+ on the trip diagnostic).
I pulled in to the petrol station, turned off the ignition, waited a couple of mins and then rather foolishly opened the expansion tank cap, which as expected spat a bit of coolant out over the engine. Strangely however, this coolant wasn’t very hot – in fact I could stick my finger in the tank and it was cooler than a hot cup of tea! I topped up the coolant with water, put the trip into diagnostic mode to read the temperature and limped home. At 60 MPH in the middle of the night I was still getting a temperature reading of 96-100 and the heater would only blow cold on full heat (slightly warm on the drivers side).
On checking the car the next morning I’ve discovered the oil on the dip-stick is now black, the coolant is a reddish rusty colour, and where the coolant spat over the engine it’s left white mayonnaise like traces, which it also now has a trace of under the oil cap. Running the engine cold with the cap off, I can see water running from the top hose (which I've read here is normal).
So, am I right in thinking this sounds like the head gasket and if so is it worth repairing? I paid £1600 as a private sale which might be a bit high but it was what I was looking for. I’ve a friendly mechanic who says he’ll do the work if I can get the parts and details of bolt torques, setting timing etc, which I’m having great difficulty finding. The more I read on here the more onerous this sounds. Even if the head is replaced I’ve also now discovered the slow fan speed isn’t working and I can just see the car becoming a money pit as it would appear to have had cooling problems before.