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Hi folks, Series 3 Spider 2000, all well until we get to about 70 mph then steam and bubbles from the header-tank. I suspect head-gasket although there's no other symptoms (e.g. oil pressure okay, no sludge). Any other suggestions before I take the plunge? Many thanks.
 

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First I would check for any sign of overheating-how does the temp. guage read when it starts its bubbling act?
If it is too high, check the radiator that it is hot all the way through, and that bottom and top hoses are equally hot. You might have a block, or air in the system. How do the hoses feel? Bloated and hard as though they have air in them?

If engine is running normal temperature, try doing a cold pressure test on the system (any decent workshop will have this gadget, a radiator pressure tester), which screws into where the radiator pressure cap is, then is pumped up say to about 10 lbs.....you wait to see if it holds pressure.
Another test is a hot test- screw in the tester, then run the engine to warm...tester guage should go to about 7lbs pressure...if it shoots up to say 15lbs, the gasget is allowing gasses into the water system.
.....oh and keep heater valve open at the same time...

It is a great gadget to invest in, and all your friends will call around for a test!
US seems to lead the way in these testers, in the UK these are not easy to find in Halfords! Sykes Pikavant do one or two (if that is an English company?) Not cheap items in any case, about 60 to 100+ quid.
 

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This is a stupid question - but how can you tell the heaader tank is bubbling at 70mph?
 

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This is a stupid question - but how can you tell the heaader tank is bubbling at 70mph?
Hi folks, Series 3 Spider 2000, all well until we get to about 70 mph then steam and bubbles from the header-tank. I suspect head-gasket although there's no other symptoms (e.g. oil pressure okay, no sludge). Any other suggestions before I take the plunge? Many thanks.
I'm assuming it's the steam he can see not the bubbles :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Bazza, Cause it blows steam out, I stopped, took a look and it's bubbling, done this on a few occasions. The car is SORN for winter so I thought I'd investigate before next season.
Spiderserie4, I like the sound of the pressure test tool, I'll look into that. I understand the header tank cap also has a rubber seal which is pressure rated, worth a cheap replacement.
 

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If your rad is sealed like my S4 then the pressure tester has to be one that works on the header tank itself....like this one (the coloured bits screw onto the header tank in place of the cap):
And yes check the header cap is holding pressure...that might be the cheapest solution!
 

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Ah right. Told you it was a stupid question!
I had this image of someone hanging on to the front bumper, looking under the bonnet as you razzed along the motorway!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Can't see how it's a 'stupid question' 'specially when I clarified what I meant, Spiderserie4 and ADF understood. Some people, always gotta have the last word eh!
 

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Do chill out. :rolleyes:

I was clearly saying that my question was the stupid question.
 
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