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Driving along the M25 yesterday in the Spider when the temperature gauge suddenly shot up from 90 to 120 - heater went cold - so coolant loss.

Managed to get onto the hard shoulder very quickly right by an SOS point with armco protection.

AA man arrived within 10 minutes. Looked in the header tank - no coolant - looked like it had been forced out through the filler. Filled with plain water when cool - AA man wanted me off the motorway before towing me and the nearest slip road was about a mile away. I was only willing if the temp stayed stable.

I started up tentatively - all good temp - slowly went up to 90 and stayed there when the fans (turned on aircon) kicked in. Drove short distance to A12 without incident and then got towed to Avanti Autos in Ipswich.

As suspected head gasket(s) - revealed by pressure test.

The bad news not cheap - about 20 hours labour. The good news - it was due a major service in 3k miles - cambelt, water pump etc so it'll not be a vast amount more to do the heads at the same time. I had already put the money aside for the service.

The good news - it happened before the service - I would have been well upset if it had happened after the service.

So - I'll be a Mito passenger and occasional driver for the next couple of weeks. (Not to mention me old farts bus pass).
 

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:(

The HG would have been an effect - not the root cause. Definitely worth checking the rad and all the pipework for leaks.

With the head off, it may also be worth considering renewing the valve stem oil seals. Not too much extra cost and if the head needs to be skimmed the valves may be coming out anyway. If your oil consumption is noticeable, the seals should improve that.
 

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:(

The HG would have been an effect - not the root cause. Definitely worth checking the rad and all the pipework for leaks.

With the head off, it may also be worth considering renewing the valve stem oil seals. Not too much extra cost and if the head needs to be skimmed the valves may be coming out anyway. If your oil consumption is noticeable, the seals should improve that.
The guys at Avanti will do a thorough job - I trust them implicitly. I agree that the HG is normally an effect. What is odd is that it happened suddenly - within 30 seconds from 90 to 120 degrees and the whole loss through the header tank filler. No leaks showing on the pressure test either or when running. The rad and pipework are only about 18 months old.

Oil consumption is negligible.
 

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'98 GTV V6
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I feel your pain. Had the head gaskets inc head skims on Betsy changed this time last year, work carried out by Alfashop in Norwich. Didn't come cheap, but glad got the car/heads done. whilst the heads where off, had all new valve guides fitted with the valves re-profiled :biglaugh: Mine was done due to oil leaking into the middle of the V, oil feed seal on head gasket had perished thus leaking oil.
 

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Head gaskets on V6 engines can fail due to old age, the material degrades and then fails. My GTA failed @ 175000 miles. Left standing for a couple of months with no issues. The failed when I started using the car again. 100000 miles + ?
 
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