Alfa Romeo Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
490 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Was preparing to change my stat and checked the coolant to find a sludge on the cap and some in the tank.

Coolant level dropped from max to min.

Oil is fine, cap clear.

Car has been running cold for a while has think the stat has been sticking open.

Anyone got any ideas what the sludge is?

Radiator only 1 year/10k old.

thanks
 
H

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Ive heard its quite normal and nothing to worry about! My car does it and the car has always run spot on, also my friends Delta Integrale and my bro's fiat 20v turbo both do it,Im no top mechanic but Im pretty sure youve got nothing to worry about!:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
871 Posts
Just do a coolant change, I would personnaly say it's fine just could be down to a cheap coolant
it's fairly normal that they go between max and min, so don't worry
 
R

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
I'm guessing that if you can change your own stat you already know what the worst case scenario is?

Mine has always had a slight residue, but I'm not sure if that is just normal or just a bit left over from when the head gaskets were changed. I used to worry about the level dropping from max to near min (but never any lower) but not any longer. They seem to just find their own level and then stick there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
490 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The bad news has been annouced, flushed the sludge away and got my garage to do a oil test in the coolant.
It was positive for oil so a gasket is shot :cry:

Anyone got any ida how much it will cost to fix? Will involve a cambelt change, skimmed heads and I guess a whole lot more.
 
R

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Brace yourself and prepare to be boarded...........including VAT, mine was about £1125 from an independent specialist with a very good reputation on here. :wow:
 
D

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
nelo, bad news mate, mine went 4 days b4 xmas, including labour and the list of parts below i paid £750 inc vat.
fully re con head, skimmed, pressure tested, valves lapped and resealed and new valve stem oil seals.
new followers
head gasket set
new cam belt, tensioners and idler pulley
8 spark plugs
new oil and filter
4 litres of red anti freeze
new water pump
new balance shaft belt

all done by one of the indies on here
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,142 Posts
Are you really sure that is proof of a gasket failure? The sludge almost certainly is an emulsion caused by coolant mixing with a bit of oil but it seems normal as other have said, mines always had it. Emulsion on the oil cap would be a different matter, as would the coolant level continuing to fall rather than finding its own level.
 
H

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
I agree with simon, it seems not to be abnormal to have a small deposit of sludge in the expansion tank.I wouldnt do anything drastic just yet,but if the coolant is disappearing fast then thats a problem! Good luck anyway,I have my fingers crossed for you!:thumbs:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
491 Posts
If i were in your position i think i would change the thermostat first. but before you actually change it put some cooling system flush in the system then run the car and then take the hose of and the thermostat off then flush the system through with a hose you will be amazed at the sludge & colour of the water that comes out once it is clear water coming out stop fit your new thermostat and re fill your system and just see what happens first before you shell out a load of money on something it may not be, for the sake of £40.00 first it is worth a chance. Good luck i hope it works out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
If i were in your position i think i would change the thermostat first. but before you actually change it put some cooling system flush in the system then run the car and then take the hose of and the thermostat off then flush the system through with a hose you will be amazed at the sludge & colour of the water that comes out once it is clear water coming out stop fit your new thermostat and re fill your system and just see what happens first before you shell out a load of money on something it may not be, for the sake of £40.00 first it is worth a chance. Good luck i hope it works out.
That sounds like a good idea, back flush and forward flush, then fit your stat and replace the anti freeze and try it

Good luck Al :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
Have to agree with most of the answers on here. Just flush your cooling system, change your stat n see what happens. I'm no expert mechanic but I know from years of messing about with cars including my current Spider that sludgy coolant is not necessarily a sign of a major problem. If you had a light brown emulsion in the oil filler cap, then that is a different story, but even that is not always a sign of a blown headgasket (although ususally is). Wish you the best of luck and hopefully you'll cure it easily.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,030 Posts
If you had a light brown emulsion in the oil filler cap, then that is a different story, but even that is not always a sign of a blown headgasket (although ususally is). Wish you the best of luck and hopefully you'll cure it easily.
Emulsion in the oil filler cap is RARELY a sign of a blown head gasket. My 147, in common with many other cars I've owned, suffers from it & I've NEVER had a head gasket fail. It's a natural result of cars doing a lot of short runs in cold, damp weather & is simply cured by driving the car long enough to get thoroughly warm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
490 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Thanks for the messages everyone, coolant flushed yesterday and I filled it up with some nice pink Paraflu, didn't think of changing the stat as was worried the nice new stat wouldn't like the sludge if it comes back but see the logic of doing that now.

Will check again on the weekend and give a well known indi a call.

I drive the car 2x20miles a day with 70% of that over 40mph but maybe the dying stat didn't help.

The car drove so well this morning, like it was telling me to do everything I can to keep it on the road :)

thanks for the positivity, I'll update the thread
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38,919 Posts
Quite a few V6 cars I have seen have had a film of oil in the expansion tank. It is not really anything to worry about.

I would change the thermostat though otherwise you may end up with brown mayonaise inside the cam covers due to the fact the engine won't get hot enough to evaporate it.


However, although I haven't had a headgasket go on me I am told the V6 tends to run perfectly well even though the gasket has gone...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
My 156 overheated last week and when I opened the cap I noticed a big lump of a brown deposit on the bottom of the cap. I'd had a leaking radiator earlier which I replaced and cleaned out.
I have noticed that on cold start, the idle is erratic and the engine splutters for a short time but clears fairly quickly. I'm guessing that the head gasket may be leaking and the water is being burned off from cold. Any ideas?
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top