Oil in Water reservoir - head gasket cost.

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My Name: Raggy

Experienced Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:32 pm
Model: C3 2006-2009, Facelift model
Year: 2007 (57)
Engine Size: 1.4 i
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 56000
Trim Level: Cool Summer
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
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Probably been said before but after last service, mechanic (who I trust) said to keep an eye on water as he had noticed there was a slight bit of oil on the surface of the water reservoir. Looked and there is, slight oily film on surface and slight build up around edge, never really used to be there. No question is from what I have read (performance is OK etc) I think it’s the head gasket between the oil and water galleries at one corner, so would need replacing. What kind of cost would I be looking at for a garage to do it or what costs if I were to attempt it myself (and how bad/easy a job). As it’s a 57 plate is it worth spending more money on it?
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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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Raggy wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:20 pm Probably been said before but after last service, mechanic (who I trust) said to keep an eye on water as he had noticed there was a slight bit of oil on the surface of the water reservoir. Looked and there is, slight oily film on surface and slight build up around edge, never really used to be there. No question is from what I have read (performance is OK etc) I think it’s the head gasket between the oil and water galleries at one corner, so would need replacing. What kind of cost would I be looking at for a garage to do it or what costs if I were to attempt it myself (and how bad/easy a job). As it’s a 57 plate is it worth spending more money on it?
Hi

If you can strip the head off an engine, then you can change a head-gasket.

It is more of a time consuming job of many steps, rather than anything technical requiring expensive set-up and diagnostic equipment.

If it is a job you are doing yourself and want to keep the car for a while, it is also worth doing the other jobs that you find along the way, anything from injector seals to burnt valves. Not worth stripping it all down to only put worn out parts back on.

The gasket itself is about £25 or so (click and enter reg) but it is all the other jobs that start to add up like replacing the coolant, even the oil.
My Name: Raggy

Experienced Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:32 pm
Model: C3 2006-2009, Facelift model
Year: 2007 (57)
Engine Size: 1.4 i
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 56000
Trim Level: Cool Summer
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Has thanked: 11 times
Been thanked: 5 times

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Thanks, just looked at what the car is worth and def not a garage job so will come down to when it gets too bad if I think it’s worth it.
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My Name: Ozvtr

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Posts: 937
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:31 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: Other
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
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It's not a job for the casual DIYer. I'm not saying it cant be done, there are literally dozens of Youtube videos. Look up TU3JP head gasket replacement.

But there are lots of little tools that you may need to buy that you may not have in your tool box. For example the head bolts have an odd head shape and you may need to buy the compatible socket (not expensive). Speaking of head bolts I would recommend replacing them but there is a specification on the maximum length they can be. When re-tightening old bolts you run a real risk of snapping them!

When was the last time you replaced the timing belt? Water pump? Will the cylinder head be flat? Will it need machining?

Sorry but if you open up a tin of worms you should be prepared.
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