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newby here. I think i'm having head gasket problems

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by nico2000, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. nico2000
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    nico2000 New Member

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    [Sep 9, 2010]
    I recently noticed my car (A3 1.8T S-reg 1999, 125'000 miles) is letting water into the engine as when i take the oil cap off a lot of steam comes out the cap hole.
    The oil is still clear and no oil has mixed with the water (well it is not visible in the expansion tank anyway).

    Can anyone tell me what might be the problem with the car? i suspeceted a head gasket failure but it is not showing all the signs, just some.

    Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. I hessitate to take it to the garage in case they try to fix a gasket and the problem still persists.
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  3. Sarah's A3
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    Sarah's A3 MODERATOR V6 S3 Hybrid Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 9, 2010]
    Hiya and welcome.

    Doesnt sound like waters in there, usually you get this if you do a lot of short trips as it doesnt have time to warm the oil up so you get condensation. If water gets in the oil it usually also has a 'Latte' look/gunge to it around the cap.

    Hope it helps but if you are still unsure post your question in the A3 8L part of the forum.

    Any pics?? Good luck
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  4. nico2000
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    nico2000 New Member

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    [Sep 9, 2010]
    hi, thanks for the reply. Water is deffinately getting in there, it kind of resembles a kettle when i have the oil cap off. i'm not getting any milky oil or oil in the water just water in the engine.
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  5. CHRIS555
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    CHRIS555 DOPE with added OCD

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    [Sep 10, 2010]
    Sounds daft, but you are giving the car a few hours too cool down before opening up? As if it's hot I would have expected steam as it warns you against scoulding.......

    PS. Welcome to the site!
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  6. Sarah's A3
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    Sarah's A3 MODERATOR V6 S3 Hybrid Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 10, 2010]
    I agree with Chris, if you are opening it when hot you will see steam like a kettle! I still dont think you have water in there unless like I said above you see the gunge etc.
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  7. murran
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    murran Active Member

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    [Sep 11, 2010]
    is the coolant level dropping?

    if the levels dropping and you have mayo under the oil cap/oil residue in the coolant reservoir then id be worried
    but then it could still be the oil cooler unit......
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
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