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Thread: Been to look at astra need some help

  
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    Been to look at astra need some help

    Right the girlfriend is after a car, and we got offered a Astra 1.6 estate on a T reg by a freind of the family at a good price (& its cheap for her to insure). It is in near mint condition, body work is clean and in good nick (little rust on one of the rear arches), interior is spotless, engine bay is spotless, and it has a Full services history (87K), with services at regular intervals.

    Now here's the problem I did the usual checks, and when I looked under the oil cap there was a caramel coloured sludgey residue on the underside of the oil cap, is this a sign of the head gasket about to go?? or is this normal on an astra??

    I know that is there's a whitey creamy residue this is a sign of problems with the head gasket but not sure re a brownie coloured one....

    Normally I would walk straight away from it but its not the usual rubbish and the service history is very extensive and its been offered at a very good price.

    On top of this my friend has a new beetle and she has a similar residue on her oil cap & has had it to 3 different VW garages and they have all said its normal so I'm a bit fluxmixed

    Anyone give me some advice

    Also what is a good price for this car (T Reg 1999,
    1.6LS Estate)??

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    Ffoeg's Avatar
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    I bet the car has mainly been used for short trips, and assuming there is no other signs of head gasket failure such as oil in the water bottle, steam in the exhaust etc and the car is running OK...



    The stuff under the oil cap (AKA mayonnaise) is an oil/water emulsion - they can and will mix given the right circumstances.

    When you switch off your engine in weather like we've had recently, ie cold & damp, condensation will form inside the cooling engine. When you start it up next day the condensation gets thrown around with the oil and the churning action of the engine causes the oil and water to emulsify over time.

    However given a long enough journey, the water is normally boiled out by the heat of the engine, but if the journey is not long enough the water can't boil away, and when you switch then engine off again more condensation will form, compounding the problem.

    And this goes on and on, increasing the deposit inside. As it's not too runny compared with the oil it usually gets stuck to in side of the cam cover - which is what you've got.

    Changing the oil will help, but they'll be plenty more inside the cam cover to redistribute over the oil cap.

    To cure - remove cam cover and clean all the deposited crud out of the cam area.
    Clean the engine with engine flush.
    Replace oil and filter.
    Go for a long drive to boil out any remaining oil.

    The only way to stop it coming back is to make sure that every so often you go far a decent long drive. you should be OK once the weather gets warmer/drier.

    All tractor drivers are well aware of this condensation effect- as it's the main reason for water in the derv.
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    i would be a lil bit worried about a 9 year old car with rust tho, dnt vauxhall have a 10 year paint scheme or summat???
    Astra Se2 coupe

    "Love it and shove it and dance around the bucket"

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    /\/\ It's a 6 year anti-perforation warranty

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ffoeg View Post
    I bet the car has mainly been used for short trips, and assuming there is no other signs of head gasket failure such as oil in the water bottle, steam in the exhaust etc and the car is running OK...



    The stuff under the oil cap (AKA mayonnaise) is an oil/water emulsion - they can and will mix given the right circumstances.

    When you switch off your engine in weather like we've had recently, ie cold & damp, condensation will form inside the cooling engine. When you start it up next day the condensation gets thrown around with the oil and the churning action of the engine causes the oil and water to emulsify over time.

    However given a long enough journey, the water is normally boiled out by the heat of the engine, but if the journey is not long enough the water can't boil away, and when you switch then engine off again more condensation will form, compounding the problem.

    And this goes on and on, increasing the deposit inside. As it's not too runny compared with the oil it usually gets stuck to in side of the cam cover - which is what you've got.

    Changing the oil will help, but they'll be plenty more inside the cam cover to redistribute over the oil cap.

    To cure - remove cam cover and clean all the deposited crud out of the cam area.
    Clean the engine with engine flush.
    Replace oil and filter.
    Go for a long drive to boil out any remaining oil.

    The only way to stop it coming back is to make sure that every so often you go far a decent long drive. you should be OK once the weather gets warmer/drier.

    All tractor drivers are well aware of this condensation effect- as it's the main reason for water in the derv.
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    Thanks for the reply, think I may get them to get a garage to check it over

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    To be honest the rust is strange as only on one arch and its just surface rust, look like it may have been a paint imperfection as the rest of the car is spotless

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    Ffoeg do you know roughly how much it would cost if the head gasket has gone, is it just a case of replacing the gasket? or does other stuff have to be replaced?

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    just sayin ya dnt see many mk4's with rust (well not yet)

    but if ur getting the car cheap im sure you could get the rust sorted if needs must and all that
    Astra Se2 coupe

    "Love it and shove it and dance around the bucket"

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    Quote Originally Posted by tom_coupe View Post
    just sayin ya dnt see many mk4's with rust (well not yet)

    but if ur getting the car cheap im sure you could get the rust sorted if needs must and all that
    We've been offered the car for £1000 (seems a good price) as the owners has just got new cars and want rid of this one, I recon the rust would only be around £90-100 to sort so it would still be a cheap second car

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    when the head gasket goes sumtimes the head needs skimming (to make level)

    my m8's car needed this done and it cost £100 but dnt kno if thats a good price
    Astra Se2 coupe

    "Love it and shove it and dance around the bucket"

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