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  1. #1
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    S3 head gasket issues?

    Well, I put the question mark there, but I'm pretty sure it is (unless I'm wrong?) - lots of white smoke out the exhaust upon startup and once warmed up (I initially thought it was because of the cold weather). Looked underneath the oil cap and there is a creamy substance under it.

    I'm gutted.

    Anyone know how much I should be looking at to get it repaired?

    Are there any other items I should replace at the same time?

    Oh, and should I keep driving the car or refrain from doing so till I get it sorted?

    Thanks...
    Current: Audi S3 (2002) in black...
    Previous: Renault Clio Williams 3 (1995)

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  3. #2
    s3dave's Avatar
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    are you certain it is gone? get it pressure tested or sniffed for gases in the coolant resevoiur

  4. #3
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    So the mayo-type substance under the oil filler cap and white smoke might not indicate it's the HG?
    Current: Audi S3 (2002) in black...
    Previous: Renault Clio Williams 3 (1995)

  5. #4
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    no just condensation forming in the engine due to being cold as well as short trips,what your experiencing is normal.
    James
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  6. #5
    Mpathe's Avatar
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    short trips especially in cold weather can make a build up of white cream on the oil cap, is there oil in the water bottle? and get a compression test done before you go ahead and get the head gasket done as it not a cheap job if your getting a garage to do it.
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  7. #6
    s3dave's Avatar
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    Have you got a vid of the smoke?

  8. #7
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    Wow I hope you're right James...!

    I observe other cars during these weather conditions and they don't smoke half as much as mine...
    Current: Audi S3 (2002) in black...
    Previous: Renault Clio Williams 3 (1995)

  9. #8
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    If it smoked as much as you say it would run like crap,like on 2 or 3 cylinders,its due to the cold that you can see smoke from your exhaust,my car will be like this all the way to work and never stop...
    James
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  10. #9
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    What distances do you drive?
    James
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  11. #10
    Sandip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by s3dave View Post
    are you certain it is gone? get it pressure tested or sniffed for gases in the coolant resevoiur
    What Dave said

    Head gasket/ head failures are quite difficult to diagnose on S3's because they tend to drive normal even when the gasket or head is gone lol Mine was pulling 190g/s with a cracked head
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  12. #11
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    I do mostly 15-20 mile round trips to work/home, some short journeys to the shops, also longer distances now and again 100 mile + (but not often).

    I will try and get the tests done tomorrow if I can. Will try and get a video on here later too.

    For now, I have some pics, but judging by what some people are saying I am perhaps worrying over nothing:





    Last edited by darkfibre; 5th December 2010 at 22:46.
    Current: Audi S3 (2002) in black...
    Previous: Renault Clio Williams 3 (1995)

  13. #12
    [Dave B]'s Avatar
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    When did you last changet the oil? I do short trips but my oil cap has never looked like that.....
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  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Funky_Junky View Post
    When did you last changet the oil? I do short trips but my oil cap has never looked like that.....
    Changed the oil around 6-8 weeks ago.

    I just checked the oil level and it is no longer in the "hashed" area of the dip stick. It's well below that (will be topping up shortly).
    Current: Audi S3 (2002) in black...
    Previous: Renault Clio Williams 3 (1995)

  15. #14
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    I have to agree with the guys on here, your oil cap looks ok if you are doing short journeys, Ive seen a lot worse than that on other engines with no hg failure. It would most likely to be using coolant if it had gone and possibly building up a lot of pressure in the expansion tank, maybe bubbles in there too.
    Best way is to take it to a garage and get them to do a block test on it. this should confirm if its okay or not. Also white smoke can be the turbo seals leaking oil into the exhaust. I know my previous 53 astra gsi turbo did this and it smoked like hell sometimes then would be fine when warmed up. swiftly got rid of it afterwards and went back to vag.

  16. #15
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    I'm pretty sure you guys are correct in that there is probably nothing wrong. Took it to a garage this morning, checked the coolant and it was still at a decent level. Under the advice of the garage I topped it up to a level where I would visually see if it falls in a short space of time. Cleaned the oil cap, so I'll monitor it and see how it goes.

    Thanks for the replies thus far.
    Current: Audi S3 (2002) in black...
    Previous: Renault Clio Williams 3 (1995)

  17. #16
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    Testing dodgy Chinese gear...

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    OK - my 2 cents....

    I think that, on the S3s in particular, the little oil cap extension chamber jibby jobby thing is the culprit. The bit that goes onto the rocker cover and brings the oil cap up to the height of the engine cover.

    I never used to have my engine cover on.... Oil cap was direct onto the rocker... Never saw any goo in there come cold or warm.

    However, when I have the 'little oil cap extension chamber jibby jobby thing' on, I get some under the cap.

    I know my HG is good, as was the last one, and the one before that... I know the head is good too.... Also, when trialling the above theory, I returned the oil cap to the rocker cover and didn't get any mayo at all.

    Basically, it's a big chamber, which when the engine is warming up, will have condensation inside. That condensation is the cause of the mayo you can see, well at least if my theory is correct...

    So.... would you try this and see what happens?
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  18. #17
    SiGainey's Avatar
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    Interesting welly - this oil cap extension jibby jobby... I don't think mine has one and when I looked at ETKA there was nothing listed, so I assumed it was a difference in rocket cover... Do you have a pic of said jibby jobby?


  19. #18
    Welly's Avatar
    Testing dodgy Chinese gear...

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    I shall have a good look....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prawn View Post
    Wellyboots, you are quite literally my most favourite pikey in the entire world




  20. #19
    Welly's Avatar
    Testing dodgy Chinese gear...

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    OK - VAG CAT is down due to moving servers, so I had a rifle through my old photos....

    This is the best I can come up with....

    The 'little oil cap extension chamber jibby jobby thing'

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    "Marriage is like a coffin and each kid is another nail."
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  21. #20
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    Thanks. Perfik!

 

 

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