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head gasget faq's.

barters3 Feb 13, 2010

  1. barters3

    barters3 Member

    Im fairly certain my head gasget has gone.
    In short; i am losing small amounts of coolant, the coolant system has been presure tested.
    I have got white creamy substance under the oil filler cap and a small amount on the dipstick.
    Occasionally i get lumpy idle when engine is cold, which i am told could be water being burnt off.

    If this is the case i will be getting a mechanic who i use for regular servicing etc to do the work. How many hours labour would a hg replacement take?
    I will be supplying the bits. What exactly will be needed?
  2. ben_turbo1

    ben_turbo1 Member

    I think around 8 hours is reccomended for labour on a head gasket.
  3. barters3

    barters3 Member

    ok mate thanks.
    what about parts, will any bolts need replacing or will it just be the gasget.
    Will i need to replace the coolant and oil?
    sorry if the questions seem stupid, i have limited knowledge on the subject.
  4. HTC

    HTC Active Member

    Very rare for 1.8T head gaskets to go unless the engine has overheated. They are metal and take alot of abuse easily. Do you do short journeys? If the engine isn't warmed up properly in cold weather you will get condensation in the cam cover which produces the white goo. Also the oil coolers have been known to fail but that is usually down to not using the correct mix of anti freeze.

    I would take the car for a longish drive to really warm it up and see if the goo disappears. Having said that if you are losing coolant then I guess you have to have a leak somewhere. Look for pink deposits around connections related to the coolant system. Is the exhaust kicking out excessive white smoke? Have you done a sniffer test to see if there are hydrocarbons in the coolant?
  5. domburg

    domburg Member


    i had very similar problems to what you were experiencing on my 99 s3, the Car has never once overheated, however, first thing in the morning it would run really lumpy for about a minute, also it was gradually using more and more water over the period of about 2-3 weeks, also i noticed there was steam coming out of the back (i wasnt sure at first and put it down to the cold weather). after not being able to find anything obvious wrong i decided to take the head off, again i couldnt see anything wrong, the gasket didnt have any breaks or cracks. so i sent my head of to be pressure tested and found there were no problems there and it was holding very good pressure, turns out the head was warped, so its now been skimmed and im in the process of putting it all back together.

    if you decide to get the head tested you need to remove the camshafts, which requires a special tool, alternativly i got my local audi specialist to remove and refit the cams to save the hassle and buying (or making) the tool

    the parts i have used are

    head gasket kit - cant find the receipt but think it was around £45
    head bolts - £31.50
    cam cover gasket - 20.79
    oil and filter - 44.19
    head bolt tool £7

    the pressure test and head skim came to £52

    all that comes to £200

    ive also decided to re-new some stuff whilst everything is in bits like, spark plugs, some breather pipes and a sensor that was faulty.

    hope you get it all sorted mate
  6. barters3

    barters3 Member

    thanks for the replys.
    i always used to get a bit of condense on the oil filler cap, but it was a small amount and more of a green colour. I now have a lot of white creamy substance and it is on the dipstick now aswell.

    I am taking it to have a 'sniffer' test today, so hopefully il get a some answers.....
  7. barters3

    barters3 Member

    the sniffer test showed that gases are entering the coolant. so il be getting the hg replaced.
    Hope it isnt a warped or cracked head.

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