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Uh oh! Head gasket or cylinder head?

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Tommy53, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. Tommy53
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    Tommy53 Member

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    Hi
    The coolants been going down recently and I've had a vagcom in that has shown me my radiator isn't working. It struggles to start on a cold engine and blows out white smoke when it finally does. Theres also white stuff appearing under the oil cap.

    The car is the 53 plate a3 2.0 tdi and I'm sure it's never had a head replacement on it. The fact all this started when I think I noticed my radiator / cooling fan failing makes me think its head gasket? Because maybe it's getting too hot, however I'm a rookie at all this.

    Any thoughts? Obviously as many will know the 53 plate heads a prone to crack so I'm not sure which it will be!

    anyone know a rough cost of both a head replacement or head gasket replacement?

    Cheers
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  2. tdi-man
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    tdi-man Active Member

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    possible new head needed :(

    plus new cam belt and water pump and labour to do it

    cooling fans aint cheap :(

    remove head and get fully tested

    think my bill was 2000.00 but had the bottom end rebuilt as well.
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  3. Tommy53
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    Tommy53 Member

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    Aww :( that's the last thing I need with my turbo going too! Probably be easier to do an engine swap! Can pick them up off eBay for about 1200 fitted with less mileage than mine
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  4. tdi-man
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    tdi-man Active Member

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    I look into this bottom ends on these engines are very good so I would get a new head done as you may put another engine in a be back to square 1 at least u know if u get your head done its brand new
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  5. Chillout
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    Chillout Member

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    I would pressure test in situ first as it could be your oil cooler mixing before ripping it to bits .
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  6. Tommy53
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    Tommy53 Member

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    Ahh I see! Got some big decisions to make really. Only bought the car last week and its got massive proems he's managed to hide, surly I've got some sort of rights to get my money back (wasn't a trader it was private) :(

    what head did you buy for the engine then? Did you replace it with yet another 'porous' one?
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  7. Tommy53
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    Tommy53 Member

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    thanks for the reply. Getting it tested tomorrow, he's told me to take it for a good drive and then he will do it straight off when everything is pressurised and warm. So hopefully I should get some results!
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  8. tdi-man
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    tdi-man Active Member

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    if its private sale and u have receipt id go to trading standards see what they say.

    if you ask me he new it was going so that's why he sold it.
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  9. Tommy53
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    Tommy53 Member

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    Think there is also citizens advice. It's just proving it what is the hard part. I did get it for £2500 which is very cheap but like you say he must have know, which helps prove that he sold it with faults.

    The joys of being young and buying rubbish :ohmy:
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  10. cal 7888
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    cal 7888 Member

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    mine does the exact same thing! When cold it doesn't struggle to start but sounds like its running on 3! And lots of white/grey smoke smells very diesley! And my fan does run quite alot! But not loosing any water (I don't think)! Tbh to me it sounds like you head gasket has gone! If you loosing water and getting mayo in the oil cap!
    #10
  11. boost-addict
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    boost-addict Member

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    found this from another website

    its all happened to us, ive had my fingers burnt once. but what can you do. go back to him and see what he says, worst he can say is no or f off

    way i see it.
    check the oil cooler, on a a4 its between the enigne and filter. not sure on the a3 location sure its on the lower front right.
    if that fails have head pressure checked and maybe even head off,
    i wouldnt advise a engine swap
    turbos can be rebuilt for little money, your unit rebuilt is considerably less then a new one.

    no dig at you but next time, once youve found the car you want and 100% going to buy book a full rac inspection, dosnt cost much in comparision to what it would cost on major part falure costs £135 i think thats money well spent if the car is a ****ter, but on the flip side you cant do it every time you want a car, so some reserch in to the car. were and what to look for

    and also i bet you didnt even check the dip stick or the oil cap, did you even take it for a test drive for a good 15 mins

    any seller would have no problems if the person has cash in there back pocket and wants the car

    linky
    Motor Vehicle Inspection & Car Checks | RAC


    hope you get it sorted, its a big unneeded frustration when things like this happen, but therre are plently of dishonest people out there.
    which is a shame really
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013
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  12. Mr. B
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    Mr. B English...not so good

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    Great advice, have you got a link to the website quoted?
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  13. boost-addict
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    boost-addict Member

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    you know i dont,it was only a forum, i just went googling as i do when im trying to help someone.

    did find this info tho

    the following link is a direct download link to citizens advice bureau advice/guide to buying second hand cars and what rights you have.
    no virus included i double checked my self

    think it is the 5th page, also some contact info for advise on such situations.
    https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&r...=0crIVqLQpNiPdXpcZ3Uj2g&bvm=bv.47534661,d.ZWU



    out of curiosity were did you buy the car from?
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  14. Tommy53
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    Tommy53 Member

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    Bought the car from a 'mate' :/ every time i speak to him he claims that it was fine when he sold me it. But within four days id see it as very unlikely all this would happen. He also serviced it not long before i bought it and now i have seen the coolant issue it makes me think that he was trying to hide the white emulsions etc.
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  15. boost-addict
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    boost-addict Member

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    dam, to me thats 10 times worse for a mate shiz on you, that is if he knew,

    thing is shiz happens daily and unfortantly it went pop on you.

    thing is it is likley it could happen, its possible the broken fans were to blame for the head gasket.

    but i would get the head pulled, and change the timing belt as you may as well, theres not lots of work involved to remove a head, its not totally difficault but for one that has not much experience obviously its a mountain to climb from your view.

    to be fair just get prices for a head gasket renewel and it "shouldnt" cost more to replace timing belt as its got to come off any way,
    also make sure you ask you want it pressure tested too. and then go from there, id say a easy £300 job. and then depends on how deep the hole goes. it may just be a easy gasket swap and be done, or it could be a warped head, and need skimming, or worse a cracked head. but you wont know any of this till the head is removed for inspection
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  16. Tommy53
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    Tommy53 Member

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    Thanks for all the input here! it's in the garage at the minute and they are checking out the EGR cooler before we jump in and get the head off. Ill make sure the timing belt gets done and fingers crossed the cost of all this wont be too much :(
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  17. boost-addict
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    boost-addict Member

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    Dont have the belt changed unless
    A. The head comes of
    B. you resolve the problem and find its the oil cooler

    Other wise youe wasting money as itll come off again if the head does have to come off

    Thats cool this forum has loads of knowaglble people thats why i use this site
    #17
  18. boost-addict
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    boost-addict Member

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    Dont have the belt changed unless
    A. The head comes of
    B. you resolve the problem and find its the oil cooler

    Other wise youe wasting money as itll come off again if the head does have to come off

    Thats cool this forum has loads of knowaglble people thats why i use this site
    #18

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