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07 1.4 Head Gasket/Water Coolant/Engine failure - Nat-Vauxhall
Hi There

I need a little advice. I have a Vauxhall Corsa 07 plate its on 2 and half years old and under warranty until May 10. Its had all its relevant services (not at Vauxhall, but at my local car garage, my book has been stamped and i have the receipts). I have had a winter check at Vauxhall last year so it has been well looked after. The past few weeks i have heard a weird noise from my heater when i put it on highest setting 4. I popped into the Vauxhall garage as i had a front light out which they fixed and they couldn't spare me 5 mins to look at the car and said that i had to book it in. So.... i made an appointment but as they didnt have any courtesy cars untill the end of the week i had to wait until then. During the week the heater stopped working and cold air was coming out, i called them and stated this and they said for me to check my coolant level as this would be the reason. When i checked this it was slighlty below the level so topped this up and the heater came back on. The snow came down heavily the next few days and i was unable to move my car so asked whether i could move my appointment until the following week, once again they had no courtesy cars available until the end of the week so had to wait until then. Over the next couple of days i kept checking the water level as the heater kept going cold so i kept topping this up so that it could last until my appointment. Last Thurs my car broke down on the way to work and it completely died. I had to get recovery and the recovery man said that it looked as though the head Gasket had blown and the water coolant container was leaking into the engine causing it to overheat and cut out. The vauxhall garage originally said that this should be covered under warranty , but now there technicians have looked at this they said that they may not pay for this as they think i've driven for too long on low water causing more damage. The next coming days they are going to be sending a technician from head office to determine who should be liable. I'm not silly and no that they are going to get out of this as it looks as though its going to be a big job and they may have to replace the engine. I'm so annoyed as the car is so young and the recovery guy said this normally happens on cars 10 years old. I've had problem after problem with this car since i've had it and this could end up costing me a fortune (2K plus), do you think i have a case to take this futher? Kind Regards.
07 1.4 Head Gasket/Water Coolant/Engine failure - Dynamic Dave
do you think i have a case to take this futher? Kind Regards.

You knew the car had a problem but continued to drive it. Likewise you also made the garage aware that there was a problem, and unless they said it was ok to continue driving it as long as you kept the cooling system topped up (and have written evidence) then it's down to your own negligence that the car has suffered potential head gasket failure. Sorry to sound blunt, but you had all the warning signs telling you there was a fault.

Regardless that they didn't have any courtesy cars, surely you could have made alternate arrangements for the kids to be take to and from school / journey to work or shops, etc and left the car for them to be looked at, even if it meant asking other parents or colleagues to help you out, or to take a days leave from work.

Not too sure about Vauxhall warranties now (and it may still only apply to NetworkQ warranties anyway) but if your car is is off the road for more than 24 hrs then a courtesy or hire car should be made available to you.

07 1.4 Head Gasket/Water Coolant/Engine failure - oilrag
It sounds as though you did your best Nat - in the severe weather and juggling other life tasks - while making efforts to keep the fluid topped up. Not everyone would have been so diligent and many would just have driven it until it was wrecked, without opening the bonnet at all.
I`m assuming that knowing about head gasket failures and all the technical detail around that was not something you were aware ot at the time.
There is a lot of detailed knowledge on internet forums - and sometimes a tendency to beat someone over the head with it - if they are down and do not share the same interest.

Lets hope this thread shows some compassion as it develops and doesn`t turn into an opportunity for some people to get `the buzz of the day` by having a go at you.

All the best to you - and good luck in getting it sorted.
07 1.4 Head Gasket/Water Coolant/Engine failure - Nat-Vauxhall
Thank you for your reply! :)

Its a bit annoying as i no the car wasn't right as it was drinking the water coolant, but you'd think when i rang the garage and gave them all the signs there the ones that are meant to know what there talking about and should have said to me that it sounds like the signs of a head gasket failure you want to book the car in asap, i would have taken a day off wok to get it all sorted, but as they were so relaxed and were just saying to keep the coolant topped up i had no idea that there was further damage. I didnt know anything about the head gasket etc untill the recovery guy looked at my car.I'm just really angry as its my word against theres at the end of the day and there so reluctant to do jobs under the warranty anyway let alone when its going to be this high figure to fix! :(

Kind Regards!
07 1.4 Head Gasket/Water Coolant/Engine failure - jbmanchester
I own an 07 Corsa - nightmare!! Serviced always at Vauxhall garage. Annual service at the end of November (no problems leading up to it). Two days later coolant light comes on! It was a Sunday so Monday morning rang garage. They had no courtesy cars available that week and stated that I should keep coolant topped up and it would be ok to drive. I was not happy with this and left it with them on the Monday to be checked out. The following day they rang me to say cylinder head had gone and they were waiting for engineer to confirm if it could be done on warranty. They confirmed this was covered on warranty ( car has only done 14,000 miles). Over a week later my car was returned to me. I have barely used it over Christmas and during the snowy weather. Last night I parked on my newly laid block paved path and discovered oil on it from my car as I left for work. It only take 5 mins to work where I immediately called the garage. Again no courtesy cars but 'pop in and we'll have a look at it, so long as you check the oil it will be ok to drive' I queried my warranty should I drive the vehicle and was told 'well this is a grey area'! I had just started a late shift at work and decided to call the AA. He told me straight away it need a new oil switch? and the engine steam cleaning due to oil everywhere. Had I have driven it anymore the engine would have seized!! He also discovered two rusty bolts lying around under the bonnet that appear not to been put back last time!! I now have no car yet again and am waiting to hear if it will be done under warranty. This is the worst car and service I have ever dealt with!! Stick to your guns - looks like this could be some sort of fault on this car. Although mine was fine until I took it for a service. Once sorted I am getting rid!! Good luck.
07 1.4 Head Gasket/Water Coolant/Engine failure - Nat-Vauxhall
Hi There

I'm so sorry to hear your troubles also. I cant believe your having to go through this nightmare too. The garage has now had my car for 2 weeks and we're still in limbo of who's going to cover the costs. Mean while i am having to pay for courtesy car hire which has cost me nearly £300 so far!! Absolutely nuts. I have seeked legal advise from my legal team at work and they have advised me to contact the trading standards which i have done and they are backing me and advised me to contact the Managing Director of Vauxhall. My legal team have put together a letter which we have sent and today i recieved an email response from his PA to say there extremely sorry that i've had to write and that they will deal with my query asap. Even the Service Manager at my local Vauxhall Garage thinks that i should pursue this as at the end of the day this is a faulty product still under warranty and they are in breach of the act 14:2, unstisfactory quality of goods. Really do push this as to begin with i was being walked over where now i have all this positive backing i am striving for Vauxhall to compensate (as a new engine and for them to fit it will cost £3500!!!). Its good to know that its just not my car at vault, feel free to mention my case if you write to them and if they need my contact details i am happy to help as it will help both of our cases if we're in the same boat.
Best of Luck!!
07 1.0 Head Gasket/Water Coolant/Engine failure - jon66

My head gasket on my vauxhall corsa 2007 1.0 with only 19000 miles has gone. i would be extremley grateful if you could send me a copy of your letter that your legal team drafted for you. Thanks for your help. Jon

07 1.0 Head Gasket/Water Coolant/Engine failure - 1litregolfeater

Be careful before diagnosing head gasket failue on the 1.0 and 1.2, maybe others.

Don't leap to conclusions. Water in oil is more frequently caused by failure of the chain cover gasket than head gasket.

At least with Corsa C and B. Production changes may have shifted the focus of failure since then.

07 1.0 Head Gasket/Water Coolant/Engine failure - injection doc

whilst i sympathise with your predicament you do have some responisbility to look after your vehicle & you knew something was wrong! making excuses like snow & the garage too busy is just an excuse.

All the years I have worked in the trade I have seen so many cars destroyed where they have been driven to distruction !!!!!

Its funny how know one can manage without their car ! once its broke altogether.

I have seen engines seized solid because owners have tried to squeeze just a few miles out of their car before they replace a leaking rad for a few pounds.

I think its time cars were fitted with sensors that shut the car down when water or oil gets low ! or cat is getting too hot etc. All this limp home business just means cars still get driven with warning lights on.


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