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Thread: Head Gasket 2.2 petrol?

  1. #1
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    Default Head Gasket 2.2 petrol?

    Noticed the cream on the dip stick and up the shaft of the stick. Also on the under side of the oil filler cap

    Now normally I would think head gasket as the cream is water mixing with the oil but it has been doing some silly low miles in this cold weather

    It had lost half a pint of anti-freeze the other month but no more.

    Just over a months warrenty (not V/X) left and can't face taking another vectra to bits (did the B twice).

    Question 1 where did the half pint go - into the oil?
    Question 2 being an all alloy engine is there as much chance of block damage as head.
    Question 3 Why do I keep buy Vauxall?


  2. #2
    Regular Member sparky71a's Avatar
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    Wouldn't worry about the block ,my old Astra blew at 90mph just north of Leeds,it ran on hot water till Middlesbrough and didn't even need a re-skim

    Good blocks on VX if nowt else.
    Still by then it was 5 year old and had done just short of 120k.
    If it's the head gasket on yours i'd be bl88dy annoyed!

    Running a car shouldn't come down to the luck of the draw where that sort of reliability is concerned.

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    old V/X engines had iron blocks which will never break but the 2.2 is an all alloy job so it is breakable.

    Can't see if I'm getting steam out the exhaust as its so cold that you get that anyway. Doesn't miss fire yet.

    Antifreeze doesn't smell great and the expansion tank looks very slightly dirty inside. Shouldn't the tank be very clean with this 5 year anitfreeze stuff.

    Where can I buy that tester paper that you dip in to test for fuel/oil etc. which indicates cracked head or on these engines possible block.

  4. #4
    Regular Member rushy's Avatar
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    Vehicle : SRi


    Engine : Z22SE (2.2 Petrol)

    Year : 2004

    Mileage : 137000

    Default

    Thought my 2.2 had gone last year. Turned out it was the head that had cracked.

  5. #5
    On a Sabbatical VauxVeteran's Avatar
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    You may be having the same thing I had, it's the heat exchanger has worn out, thats if yours has one that is, mines a 2.0 dti, and the unit sits just under/behind the oil filter housing, can you put your finger in the bottle and pull out grey sludge yet?

    I thought it was a head gasket also, and so did the 1st Vx mechanic who had a quick look, but they block tested it and it showed it to be that unit, get it in anyway, somethings wrong with it.

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    Regular Member Gsi3.2's Avatar
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    Right.. as a 1st off.. if you think it's because of low mileage useage that you've got the emulsion ( you've not been driving it far enough to get the engine hot enough to burn off moisture suspended within the engine oil and condensation within the internal spaces) do an oil change Today......if it doesn't re-appear then it would have just been 'dirty' water comtaminated oil that hasn't been warmed enough..

    If you think the head gasket is gone.. i.e. signs of emusified oil within the header tank then get it to a garage who can use a header tank 'Sniffer' kit to see if there are combustant fumes in the water.. it's very accurate and needs no dis assembly..

    Will the engine have survived??.. it should have as you haven't run it dry or got it hot enough to have caused warping..Follow the de-torquing sequence for the bolts correctly to minimise all chances of this happening..

    If in any doubt, call your warranty firm now to get it looked at.. time is tight, so nows the time to see how good the warranty is..
    Last edited by Gsi3.2; 27th January 2007 at 09:46.

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    Thanks guys,

    Did think about giving it an oil change and flush apart from the cost of the proper oil, but I'm away for a while and the car will not get driven for a few weeks. Not sure this will give me enough time to test.

    Engine temp never goes above 1/2 no matter how long or hard I drive it.

    Sniffer is what I want, although does that only work if the head is cracked and bleading combustion gas into the water. Had this on my B and the water pressure went through the roof. You can get it (I think) where the water leaks into the oil way but not into the chamber and this might not show on a sniffer.

    Wonder how I get V/X to do a test without me getting slapped with a bill that keeps growing. Warrenties can be an **** when not with that garage.

    What with this and the A/C packing up I'm getting feed up with it.

    Worse case if I have to do it mysel,f I worry about the difficulty of those manifold studs being @ the rear which makes getting a drill in very hard. Also the cam chain area (which is easy on the 2.0 B) which appears to be sealed but this will be for another discussion.

    Cheers
    M

  8. #8
    On a Sabbatical VauxVeteran's Avatar
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    Sniff test is not always going to give a true result, not unless they are better these days, a block test is the best way to find out, the sniff reads hydro carbon levels in the coolant, these can get in the coolant without it meaning a blown gasket.

    Other things to look for are to fill the header tank up and run the engine hot, if you get water being pushed out of the top of it like a volcanic erruption thats a sure sign its gone, if you wanna cheap way to check it, flush the cooling system out by undoing the rad plug or bottom hose, and flow a hose throught the header tank, and do an oil flush and oil and filter change at the same time, then it just becomes a time matter and observation of both the oil and anti freeze, also check around the cooling system hoses and water pump areas for chalky green/pink/blue residues, Vx water pumps aren't known for long life so that's maybe where the water went. hth.
    Last edited by VauxVeteran; 27th January 2007 at 16:08.

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    Cheers VV
    VX want 40-45 hard earned pounds to do the sniffer which involves putting some chemical in the expansion tank and running the engine. I guess it changes colour if hydro carbons are detected?

    Done 2 tests today
    1) let the car idle for 20mins and then drove it for 10 miles, gave it big revs and pulled over. With the engine still running I squeezed both rad pipes and they were not over firm. Stopped the engine and un-did the expansion cap and there was only a tiny pressure noise (very very small) and the water did rise ie. no over pressure. This tested that the head doesn't appear to be cracked in a way the exhaust gas is entering the water.

    2) Went down a long hill in over run and floored it @ the bottom in a high gear with no visable white smoke etc.

    After the 10min hardesh drive I also noticed that there was no mayo on the dip stick or cap.

    Looking on another sites people have had the same thing and its been down to short drives. @ times my car has done 5x1min journeys, then 1 that is 5mins all with the engine being turn off and allowed to cool in-between.

    Hope its condensation!

    M

  10. #10
    Regular Member Gsi3.2's Avatar
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    It does sound like it is condensation then...

    Give it a good oil change and flush, and it should go completely..

    With shorter trips you must service it more regularly, like every 6000 miles.. otherwise this kind of 'problem' can appear..

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