head gasket but no overheating?

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My Name: BillWSS

Experienced Member
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:30 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2006 (56)
Engine Size: 1.4 i
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 40
Trim Level: Touch
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)

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Hi all,

Got a 2006 1.4 c3 and for the last 20k has had a small bit of oil in the expansion tank. Initially shwoed my garage when i found it and was told not too worry too much as the car wasn't giving off any signals that the hg had gone. Coming up to 57k miles the oil is getting slightly worse and my garage reckons the hg is to blame. My real concern is that do you guys reckon the blocks going to be cracked/warped because of how long it's been driven? Bare in mind, car has never overheated, there's only oil in coolant and not the other way around, no excess smoke and car doesn't run badly at all..

Thoughts?
My Name: Missing Lincs

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Posts: 843
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:29 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2004 (04)
Engine Size: 1.1
Fuel Type: Petrol
Trim Level: Desire
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: United Kingdom
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Hi BillWSS

It does sound like you've been lucky, if the car has never overheated that sounds hopeful.

My question would be, are you sure its the head gasket? I'm not saying that it isn't but 57k isn't a massive mileage and from what you said the problem started around 37k?

Also in my experience head gasket problems get worse quickly, 20k is a lot of miles for only slight worsening.
If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence and pretend you never tried :lol:
My Name: BillWSS

Experienced Member
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:30 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2006 (56)
Engine Size: 1.4 i
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 40
Trim Level: Touch
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)

Post

We have flushed the system a number of times but i can't think of what else it could be. No oil cooler on these ones. It's an extremely strange fenomnoa.
My Name: shoestring

Experienced Member
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:57 pm
Model: C3 2013-2017 Facelift A51
Year: 2014 (14)
Engine Size: 1.1
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 26000
Trim Level: VTR+
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: EB0 PureTech 3-Cylinder (68 PS)
Been thanked: 3 times

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Has previously been said 20k is a lot of miles for a head gasket to not have got worse or gone altogether. If the car still runs and performs ok I doubt head gasket.
If you have oil tracking between an oilway on the head gasket and a waterway you almost always in my experience have the reverse and will also have water in the oil. You can soon check if this is the case because the oil will have turned a creamy colour, like condensed milk. Pull the dipstick and see. If so you definitely have a head gasket problem.

However I have seen similar to this before and my theory, and I rather suspect is what you have going on,is the antifreeze (coolant mixture)in the car prior to finding this phenomena had not been changed for a good few years and the glycol in the antifreeze had broken down and simply turned into an oily type liquid. Flushing it out will be hard and perhaps impossible it now being in every smal crevice inside the engine block.
If you now have fresh coolant (antifreeze mixture) in the car I would just run the car as normal and see what happens. My guess will be nothing much.
My Name: Missing Lincs

Moderator
Posts: 843
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:29 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2004 (04)
Engine Size: 1.1
Fuel Type: Petrol
Trim Level: Desire
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: United Kingdom
Has thanked: 45 times
Been thanked: 32 times

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That was going to be my next question, are you sure it's oil in the coolant?
If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence and pretend you never tried :lol:
My Name: BillWSS

Experienced Member
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:30 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2006 (56)
Engine Size: 1.4 i
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 40
Trim Level: Touch
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)

Post

Thought everyone would be keen to hear the result.

Garage got the head opened and confirmed it was the gasket. Dropped the car off at 9am this morning and got a call at half 4 to say it's all be done. Super speedy.

It has cost me nearly 700 quid to do though but heyho! I'm off the the alps next week so it needed doing.
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My Name: C3CAR

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Posts: 2621
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 10:01 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (02)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 140000
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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BillWSS wrote:Thought everyone would be keen to hear the result.

Garage got the head opened and confirmed it was the gasket. Dropped the car off at 9am this morning and got a call at half 4 to say it's all be done. Super speedy.

It has cost me nearly 700 quid to do though but heyho! I'm off the the alps next week so it needed doing.
Thank you for the update :) Enjoy your time on the Alps
My Name: shoestring

Experienced Member
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:57 pm
Model: C3 2013-2017 Facelift A51
Year: 2014 (14)
Engine Size: 1.1
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 26000
Trim Level: VTR+
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: EB0 PureTech 3-Cylinder (68 PS)
Been thanked: 3 times

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£700 to replace a head gasket!!...Blimey.
Surely they must have done something more than just replace the Head gasket for that price?
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My Name: C3driver52

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Posts: 1854
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:40 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (03)
Engine Size: 1.4 i
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 79984
Trim Level: VTR+
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
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shoestring wrote:£700 to replace a head gasket!!...Blimey.
Surely they must have done something more than just replace the Head gasket for that price?
I would imagine it's mostly labour charge with the VAT on top. Head gaskets themselves are around £20, you need a few other gaskets and it would be worth doing the oil and coolant because they are probably contaminated now, and the rest is stripping it down, cleaning it up and putting it all back together. Not a cheap job, but a little too common for the C3 :|
My Name: RobiNadiaC3iLatte

Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:51 pm
Model: C3 2006-2009, Facelift model
Year: 2006 (06)
Engine Size: 1.4 i
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 75957
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)

Post

Ours is a 2006. Had it for 3 years to pootle about town doing only 2,000 a year to bring it to 75,000.
I had the timing belt done 2 years ago, but it only dawned on me in November that there was no record of a coolant change MD hadn't raised it.

I took it in for an engine oil, coolant and brake fluid change back in November. It passed its MoT but they said there was oil in the coolant and changed it anyway, "Keep an eye on it", they said.
Indeed, 80 miles later it was fine, another 20 miles and expansion tank was pressurised and the fresh red coolant was a pale brown oily sludge.

The last time I had a head gasket go was in the 1980s on a Peugeot 305. Dear oh dear. It could be worse. Not sure how though and I pray I don't find out.
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