Possible dead cylinder head gasket? - NickBe

I have a 1999 Renault Clio 1.6 Si and have noticed a few worrying symptoms. It\'s done about 53000. I suspect a dead cylinder gasket, and would be grateful for some advice.

- Slow loss of cooling water. Yes - topping it up with additive.
- Bubbling noise behind dash on accelleration.
- Dried residue below join between sections of engine, below the exhaust outlet, between 2nd and 3rd blocks.

The engine has not overheated.

Is this known as the \"cylinder head gasket\", or is it something else? What would be involved in changing the gasket and how much should it cost? Is it going to fail expensively at any time soon?

What\'s causing the bubbling noise?

Has anyone got any other advice?

Many thanks, Nick

Possible dead cylinder gasket? head? - steveb
Get it too a garage quickly. My Corsa is in now for a CH Gasket change with exactly the same symptoms. Eventually you will lose compession/power/possible warped block etc.

Mines 10 years old however with 50k up.


Possible dead cylinder gasket? head? - steveb
Follow up

The bubbling noise is air passing through the heater matrix as you are losing coolant.

Eventually this will probably lead to an air block within the head and cause an overheat and damage.

Possible dead cylinder gasket? head? - Cheeky
Could be the cylinder head/gasket etc. but as it's not showing signs of overheating, it could be something else (sorry, not helpful). However, check for the yellowish 'mayonnaise' in the oil filler cap or on the end of the dipstick. This emulsified stuff is usually a give away to cylinder head problems.

Either way - get it to a good garage pronto and see what they say.

Good luck...
Possible dead cylinder gasket? head? - NickBe
No sign of mayo. Maybe it hasn't got that far yet.

I can see dried residue below gasket, so that will need replacing.

What is the likely underlying cause of this? One garage specialising in heads wanted £660 to replace gasket, skim head, replace water pump, thermostat, timing belt. Sounds a bit over the top.

Thanks for you useful hints so far.

Possible dead cylinder gasket? head? - Victorbox
If no overheating and no mayo on oil filler cap, it could be just a leaking core plug - usually round metal caps pressed flush into the engine block. Cheap to replace if you can get at the one that leaks. Alternatively, something like the thermostat housing could be weeping coolant which then runs down the outside of the engine and dries on a convenient spot like the head gasket join. Are you sure the leak is coming from the head gasket? Maybe worth a can of Radweld to see if leak stops before shelling out on a new head gasket. Any decent garage should be able to pressure test the cooling system to be sure it is the head gasket that has gone.
Possible dead cylinder gasket? head? - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up)
If it is a head gasket then £660 is a bit over the top £400-£450 more like it based on a 1400 Clio that I did recently replacing headbolts cam belt etc.

Happiness is a T70 at full chat!


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