Don't try this at home. - 3500S
Easter Sunday and I'd said I'd visit the parents for lunch and a chat. It's a simple journey, 85 miles up the M40 which is a doddle. So the journey goes without event and probably the last trip my trusty Rover 623 GSi makes there before its gets sold. It all goes without absolutely no event at all until I get off the slip and stop waiting to turn onto the A-road.

Only the engine doesn't feel too great and there's a nasty vibration coming into the car. Check the dials, oil light ok, battery light ok, diagnostics ok, rev counter, wobbling a bit.

So I kill the stereo and get the window down, it sounds like a lawnmower.

Oh dear, it's a clear road so off I go and it sounds like its about to stall at first but it picks up and it's fine again, 60mph.

Next roundabout, slow down, sounds a bit rough, more vibration in the car. So I need to get off these A-roads with no lay-bys. Only now checking the rear view, smoke, not too much but smoke nonetheless.

Oh dear.

I limp into town and try to coast the car, it's not smoking now, it's a James Bond-esque smoke screen. Cars backing off, I'm looking out of the rear view and it's white with that oily blue tinge, nothing in the background just smokescreen.

So I find a road, park up. I've made it within 2 miles of my parents and call home, Dad mutters something about the oil. I had it serviced only 3,000 miles ago, new oil and I checked it a fortnight ago. I open up the bonnet and check the oil. %^%&ing hell ! No oil. Dad arrives, start it up, it sounds a bit lumpy and then ticks over fine nicely on a blip of the pedal, smoke everywhere. I have a pint of the usual oil in the boot for top-ups and we decide to pour it in to at least get something in there. Start it for a while to get it around the engine.

So I call the RAC on Easter Sunday and get a tow home.

My own, Dad's and fellow neighbour classic car nut all think it's a head gasket failure. But it's used all its oil and the water isn't too depleted but it's below min on the expansion tank. As for the mayonnaise on the oil cap, nothing. The exhaust has no sooty water, just lots of soot. All I could think about is I was totally oblivious to this on the way there and it would have not been unlikely to have experienced an engine seize if I'd done any more miles that week.

So the moral of this story, check the oil at least once a week. NEVER rely on the oil light, it never came on at all and there must have been less than a pint in there. I know I check the oil for my other car religiously but for one week on my daily driver didn't and this happens. s**s law? Absolutely. Glad I bought the cheap RAC cover with my car insurance, too right.

God knows what's wrong with it, I really hope it's a slight split in the gasket but with that much smoke I know only too well it could be something a lot more expensive.

Oh crap.


Value my car