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Discussion Starter #1
Poor old bus - Tarquini (my 94/M well-'ard Mo-Fo skinny body V6) has lately been using a teeny bit more petrol than normal (29mpg vs 32) and has taken to losing water from the cooling system - nothing major but thelevel needs topping up every couple of weeks whereas it used to be okay for months at a time.

I had a nose about in the engine room and it all looks fine but when I looked in the coolant tank, I noticed that there seems to be some oily brown gloop floating in it.

I fished it out with one of my mum's teaspoons (I was round there at the time) but it doesn't look like it should really be there.

I have horrendous images of a knacked head gaskets and so on but the oil looks clean and shiny and there's no gunge under the oil filler.

At the moment, the beast is running normally apart from that but it ain't good, is it?

Ralf S.
 

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Oil and water mixing in the engine produces a mustard tan coloured goop.

Just keep an eye on the inside of the oil filler cap, the dipstick and the coolant filler cap.

You say you're losing water. Are there any obvious leaks ?
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Never mind the water.........how the hell do you get 32mpg outta your V6, I get 23mpg eek!

wrinx
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Cos you have a right foot made of iron Wrinx. Still will hurt anyone whos arse you kick.

Marcus
 
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Hi!

I am loosing a little water at the moment too in my 2.0ts. I have just changed (1000km ago) the thermostat and the heater tap. I have had several people tell me to just keep an eye on it and it could be still 'finding it's own level'. I will keep ya all posted. I don't have any gunk under the oil filler cap nor any oil in the header tank that I can see.

Thoughts anyone??

:cool:
 

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Wasn`t there a recnt thread where oil was in the water? Sounded like a head gasket but JB helped to point it to something else? Sorry I forget! I hear the 24v V6 is prone to head gasket failure although this is supposed to be due to poor servicing :confused: I have no idea how this is relevant to gasket failure unless it means that the oil channels get gunked up. The 12v may well have the same 'feature'.

Wrinx, I`ve just been up to the Lakes for the weekend. 380 miles at a cost of exactly £26.50 in Autogas. Yep that is 0.7p per mile because the gas is cheap, but this equates to 23.75mpg. This is as good as you but gas has a lower calorific value. If you can do no better than my gas consumption figures then you are very badly off!
Never mind the gas, I get between 28-32 with petrol, including around town - what the hell are you doing eek! :D Try a long motorway journey at a steady 70-80 and see if that consumption cheers you up. wink Or talk to me about gas conversion coz I get £50 if you buy it through me :D :D
 
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Yep - about 90% of my mileage is on motorways or on emptyish B-roads. I don't often potter about in traffic or get stuck in queues.

Normally I park the lad at 85mph (about 3700 rpm) and leave him there. I used to get within 1 or 2 mpg either side of 32mpg. Then one day recently I noticed I was struggling to get 30. It's not quite right.

There's nothing at all in the oil - it looks all lovely and golden in there but I do have that French mustard floating in the coolant.

It's only appeared recently as I first noticed the coolant level was low (the light came on) so I topped it up about 2 weeks ago. At the time I had normal greeny-blue coolant with a bit of scale evident (obviously Tarquini has lived in a hard-water area most of his life).

Then last weekend the light came on again. This time when I topped it up, I noticed the filler was a bit greasy and when I put the new coolant that mustard stuff floated to the top.

The last posting along these lines turned out to be a cracked block (yikes!) but that was a tweeny-spark. If Tarquini's monster V6 block is cracked, I'll eat it.

What's the usual test for these sorts of things? Will my normal mechanic be able to spot a head gasket/cracked block or is it a main-dealer job?

If it's a duff gasket, is it a simple (cheap) thing to fix? Any other jobs that could be done at the same time, to take advantage of the fact the engine is in bits?

Ralf S.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Ralf

I think one test is to get an emissions probe and stick it in your expansion tank.........ooh er missus!!! This will tell you if the gasket is on the way out.

Other coolant loss could be down to a radiator thats on the way out, check the fins, are they looking tired? Water could be evapourating through this or a pipe somewhere but not enough so that you would notice.

If you are doing regular motorway miles there shouldn't be a build up of moisture in the engine which is one cause of "mayonnaise" in the oil. Sorry, but it sounds like the gasket it on the way out eek!

wrinx
 
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Discussion Starter #9
I'd be more concerned by the fact that your 'Coolant level low' indictor works!
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Mine does too but its bloody annoying, going off all the time when its got no business to eek!

wrinx
 
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Discussion Starter #11
sounds like one of the head gaskets has gone. :( any mechanic worth his salt will tell you if it has gone the problem is which 'bank'of cylinders has the problem.a compression test might tell you.if its the front bank its not too bad to do but dont let the guy do it if you dont trust him.if its the rear bank the jobs about the same but obviously more difficult because you have to lean over..dont forget the v6 has wet liners so they MUST be checked for level and if in any doubt replace the seals.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Cheers JB. I bet it's the rear bank, eh?

What's "checked for level" mean?

And what seals? Any mileage (so to speak) in changing them anyway?

Ralf S.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
the cylinders on the v6 are called wet liners that means that each cylinder bore is just a metal tube pushed into the base of the block when the heads are pulled off sometimes the liner 'move' as well,under the liners are tiny thin sealing rings and if they crack as a result water can leak into the cylinders. so there for if the liners move or they arnt all level either water will get in or the heads wont seal around the head gasket.the liners need to be a tiny bit higher than the block so when the head is re-fitted they seal properly. :)
 
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Discussion Starter #14
BTW the first job i ever did on an alfa was a v6 head gasket...................genius. :D
 
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