Preventative Maintenance - Graham
As part of looking after your own car you follow the servicing schedule & change the cambelt et al. However is there anything you can do to avoid cylinder head failure ?? Or is it inevitable on a high mileage car ?

Any advice welcome
Re: Preventative Maintenance - oldepharte
What do you mean by failure?
Re: Preventative Maintenance - John Davis
My opinion is that if the vehicle has an aluminium head (and most now do), there is some advantage in making sure that the cooling system is well flushed out and the antifreeze/inhibitor renewed fairly regularly. The inhibiting character of many antifreeze solutions, degrades after a year or two but, I seem to remember someone recommending a new type wherein the inhibitor lasts much longer. I feel that a good antifreeze/inhibitor helps to avoid the corrosion around the vunerable points of the head, which, in turn can lead to head gasket failure, particularly with diesels. I don't think that head gasket failure is inevitable on high mileage vehicles and, there is some wisdom in checking that all bolts are torqued up to the correct setting although, this should be treated carefully so that the "stretch" type bolt/ torque loading is not exceeded and, in turn, lead to failure.
Re: Preventative Maintenance - David W

John is right.

Head and/or gasket failure isn't something you have to suffer. Regular coolant changes are the maintenance essential item and then make sure you never never overheat the engine. If the gauge starts doing something unusual check it out. If it starts to overheat stop and get assistance. Never try and get to the nearest garage with it boiling.

With an old Land Rover diesel you can re-torque the head. A modern car with stretch bolts and angular torque figures will likely be a disaster if you fiddle with it.

Re: Preventative Maintenance - David Withers
I would just like to add a 'warning' that it is especially important in a diesel engined car to keep the corrosion inhibitor up to strength to avoid a process known as cavitation, i.e. the imploding of gas bubbles formed in the coolant.

Where the inhibitor is weak, the combustion pressure waves in a diesel engine can cause cavitation around the cylinders resulting in severe corrosion of the outside of the liners and thence coolant leakage into the oil side of the engine. My niece suffered this with her Peugeot 106 diesel and it was VERY expensive to put right.
Re: Preventative Maintenance - Rob
I'd back this up a forth time. Change the coolant every 2 years, to renew the corrosion inhibitors.


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