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What Are The Symptoms Of Failing Head Gasket?


funkyg
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I have a horrible feeling that my head gasket could be on it's way out.

I've noticed that recently I'm getting quite a bit of white smoke. I know while it's really cold there would be white smoke anyway when the car starts up, but I can go about 15 miles down the motorway and the way to work and while I'm sitting in a jam still get a little bit of white smoke from the exhaust. Can't see any when I'm driving and the engine is warm though.

Also the engine can sometime seem a bit rough and have the slightest misfire when cold and accelerating from about 1000 revs.

My Oil level seems fine, as does the coolant level, and I don't seem to have any 'mayonaise' around the Oil filler cap. It's just had it's 70K service (I've had it for the last 20K miles) and they never mentioned any problems with it.

Am I just worrying unnecessarily about the smoke with it being cold outside?

Should the white smoke stop altogether while it's cold or is it normal to have a bit of white smoke in this whether. Mine's the 2001 2.0 VVTi.

Cheers!

Mike.

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The white smoke may be because of a few things. But common signs of the head gasket going are water in the Oil or Oil in the water. Either that or either one of them can leak into the combustion process and be burnt. But again, your water or Oil levels will slowly drop as the pass through.

If your levels seem ok, this isn't the definitive answer that your head gasket hasn't failed however.

Think it may need checking out mate. White smoke is only normal during cold starts and a little on cold days. Just like you breathing out in the cold weather.

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You know what, I think I may have been worrying over nothing. Last night on the way home there was no smoke at all.

I was off work last week and the only journies I had been doing was to drop the missus off at work, round trip of less than a mile. ie the engine wasn't being allowed to get warm

Yesterday was my first day back, doing proper driving blasting down the motorway. Could it be that it was just burning off all the condensation in the exhaust system? This morning again was fine, a little smoke for the first mile or so and fine after that.

Mike

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Sounds like everything ain't as bad as it sounds which is a bonus this side of crimbo!!

I think you'll know if you've got a failed/ failing head gasket after a while. It would get worse, pretty quickly normally.

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You know what, I think I may have been worrying over nothing. Last night on the way home there was no smoke at all.

I was off work last week and the only journies I had been doing was to drop the missus  off at work, round trip of less than a mile. ie the engine wasn't being allowed to get warm

Yesterday was my first day back, doing proper driving blasting down the motorway. Could it be that it was just burning off all the condensation in the exhaust system? This morning again was fine, a little smoke for the first mile or so and fine after that.

Mike

It's not smoke, it's water vapour, all engines do it in cold weather until they reach operating temperature.

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