Jemma

head gasket or radiator??

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So, I have a Gen 7 2003 Toyota Celica vvTI. The coolant has been leaking 
slightly for a couple weeks and I have been topping off with no overheating, 
although heater has been on an off intermittently. I noticed a substantial leak 
from radiator yesterday all of a sudden and immediately topped it off with K 
seal and took it to a garage. Engine temperature went slightly higher (1/4 
inch) than normal but not what I would call overheating, and only for a couple 
of miles maximum. There had been no loss of performance and the Oil is 
clean as a whistle. Mechanic seemed very skeptical and dismissive of even 
looking at it. He then rang me early this morning to say the head gasket had 
gone (or a cracked cylinder - he didn't seem sure), and said basically he 
wasnt interested in fixing it. My question is this: other forum posts have said 
the HG on the gen 7 are 'bulletproof'. The car did not overheat, Oil is clean, 
the garage seemed unhelpful. Can i just get the radiator fixed and see what 
happens? What should I do?

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Hiya Jemma you 're experiencing one of the few common problems that will arise eventually on the gen 7 s that is in fact a relatively simple and inexpensive fix ie. Radiators slightly leaking and air blocks entering the system you can pick up radiators from about £30 and can be done in a couple of hours trickiest part is the bleeding with toyota red spec antifreeze afterwards once done this will then sort it for years if you plan on keeping it.

The hg s and cylinder heads can crack as on any car but as you've said are very robust on the gen 7 s and it sounds very unlikely from what you've said that this has occurred in your case if you've just started experiencing these symptoms, to properly diagnosis you would have to do various tests.

I would say if you plan on keeping the car just get the rad changed and bled properly as per the instructions/parked uphill and try not to let it overheat too much in the meanwhile k seals etc aren't really going to solve the problem for v long with our radiators, but having put some in it mite also be worth flushing the system simply before adding the new coolant hope this helps

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As gez says...not an uncommon problem with the Gen 7...I had my Gen 7 for over 2 years and it had a new rad before I bought it...fabulous car to drive though..and still miss it after nearly 3 years.

It won't be the head gasket...Just replace the rad, Jemma...but make sure you follow the instructions on the underside of the bonnet.!!!...otherwise you'll get problems....and do make sure you use the right premixed long life Toyota coolant.

K seal wasn't a good idea I'm afraid.

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Hi,

Also worthwhile to replace the thermostat was well has thats probably been cooked with the overheat, if not already worn out.

Its fine to use Toyota antifreeze but if  you do not know  what been in there its best to give it a flush as lots of fluid still remains even when the radiator is drained.

If using concentrate antifreeze ensure you use DI or Distilled water, not tap,  available at most big supermarkets , car section, for a £1 a big bottle

 

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Thanks for that. To clarify. The radiator did bust a leak - about a pint leaked out while I was parked on the supermarket. I put K Seal in it and drove to the garage straight away about two miles. The car didn’t overheat only slightly - the gauge only went up just over halfway at most. Would this warp the head??. The garage seemed convinced it was toast before they even looked at it and hey were very reluctant to see it. They rang me first thing to say the HG was gone. I’m sceptical but am assuming they did a compression test. They also said they ain’t interested in fixing it.  I’m trying to find out if this is indeed a HG or if they are giving me the run around to make me go away. 

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Doesn't sound as though you would have cooked the head tbh....it's the rad that's gone not the HG...just put in a new rad....but as said, get rid of that K seal as best you can with a good flush.

They should have done a sniff test to check for HG failure.

Garage clearly doesn't want the job.....go somewhere that does.

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Looks like I might have a similar problem. The coolant is low in the expansion tank which I have topped up twice since the summer (the first with ordinary water!). But when I loosened the little white knob on the rhs, coolant trickled back in to a decent level. I'll take to to the garage but would like to know what's going on beforehand. Many thanks in anticipation.

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