156 Coolant Mystery
First Post - hope some of you can shed some light. I have an Alfa 156 1598 with 129,000 miles on the clock. Head Gasket failed 6,000 miles ago and was skimmed. Ever since she's been drinking oil at c. 1l per 400miles. I have been told this isn't uncommon on older Alfas and there are one or two oil leaks about (despite the fact my main dealer claimed to have replaced all seals etc in its last service) so I have accepted more oil as a increased running cost. Now, however the coolant is vanishing into thin air, and has emptied itself twice in the space of a few days. There is no obvious coolant leak going on.
There is some brown gunge in the coolant tank, I understand this isn't necessarily the end of the world, but more worrying I think I can also smell oil in the coolant. However there is no emulsion in the oil, or gunge or oil cap - oil looks fine.
I have been doing a few short journeys, TBH I'm worried to take her too far cos she may not make it home!
IS it the Head Gasket? or possibly the radiator? .... or something we haven't considered? I have an irrational attachment to the car (obviously ... it's an Alfa!) so am keen to hold on to her but not at ANY cost ... does the above sound like the end of the road?
Thanks in advance for your advice. I'm caught between a Main Dealer ripping me off (last service they didn't even fill/change the oil!) and an Indie who is not an Alfa specialist per se, so I figured the best place to check was here!