Is this correct?
As Paranoia strikes since my engine is a little lumpy on cold starts so I googled the issues and not 1 single page I read listed these as symptoms. Everyone with a Head gasket issue on a V6 (of the 20 or so topics I have read) mentioned oil contamination of the coolent.
And to further confuse what we already know of the HG issues, Is it not more likely that the engines were run for too long with a dodgy thermostat and/or aged coolent? The first thing i have done on every Alfa I have owned was replace the coolent and thermostat and I always see a dramatic improvement on running temp and warmup time. The number of Alfa owners I speak to that are convinced that normal running temp is 70 or it is normal to drop below 90 on a run convinces me of this further.
there are a few ways a head gasket can fail..the common one is between the cylinder(s) and water jacket causing the coolant to over pressurize and start popping of coolant hoses,rad caps,it will basically ''discover'' the weak points and they will fail first...very commonly misdiagnosed as dodgy hoses or leaking rad, inexperienced or unlucky owners can end paying for the entire coolant system to be replaced before the dreaded HG diagnosis is arrived at...lots of mechanics throw parts at it until its fixed!
less common and harder to diagnose is between cylinders , your combustion is meant to be confined to one cylinder at a time, when combustion gases from one escape into another this causes lumpy idle,misfiring and is common mostly on re-starting when the engine is warm...it can also be between the cylinder and coolant port, this is a problem because coolant can corrode the engine internals ,pit the cylinder head, but can also diminish the lubricating properties of the oil and because the car will still run it often goes undiagnosed causing damage over time.
the other common type is between water jacket and oil passages/lubrication system leading to emulsified oil...
I have seen all of these types of failures on cars I have worked on over the years an even a cracked cylinder head on an E36, I am strictly a weekend spanner wielder but deliberately look for cars with trouble to buy! partly because they are cheap and partly because I enjoy learning new stuff and problem solving.
my daily driver goes to autolusso for all but oil and air filters and brake pads..