Head gasket blown on 1.4 petrol at 97000 km

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My Name: frisket

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Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:59 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2005 (55)
Engine Size: 1.4
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 92000
Trim Level: VTR+
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No

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Symptoms: white smoke from under the car after anything longer than a work or shopping run; engine fan cutting in very frequently. Coolant level very low.

Diagnosis: overheating, coolant leaking from head gasket and dripping onto hot exhaust

My garage says the head gasket is blown and I see no reason to dispute this. They also claim the timing belt needs replacement, although this was replaced about 18 months ago.

Their quote for the whole job, including sending the head out to a specialist for testing and alignment, comes to well over a grand (Euros, I'm abroad).

If it has to be done, so be it, but IMHE a head gasket shouldn't blow in the reasonable life of a car. I haven't had one go for 40 years or more. Is there something about head gaskets on C3s that makes them prone to leaking? Or is this bad luck?
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My Name: Arfur Dent

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Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (52)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 100000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: DV4 16-valve diesel (90 PS)
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Symptoms: white smoke from under the car after anything longer than a work or shopping run; engine fan cutting in very frequently. Coolant level very low.

Diagnosis: overheating, coolant leaking from head gasket and dripping onto hot exhaust
Or could it just be one of the many cooling hoses on the back of the engine sprung a leak? The garage have looked at it, but if it was my car, I would look myself or get someone to double check before spending huge sums of money.

Nothing wrong in getting an independent second opinion.

If it has to be done, so be it, but IMHE a head gasket shouldn't blow in the reasonable life of a car.
All the more reason to suspect some plastic pipe to fail and leak coolant rather than the head gasket.

Your symptoms are not classic head gasket ones, but they are similar to a cooling pipe pin hole failure.
They also claim the timing belt needs replacement, although this was replaced about 18 months ago.
They may be saying this because the belt will have to be partially removed to release the head. You are advise to replace the belt in these situations, but it is not mandatory and the decision is based on the age of the car and the remaining expected life of it.
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