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Corsa D a lot of oil in header tank

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  • [Corsa D 2006-2014] Corsa D a lot of oil in header tank

    First post on you Forum but been lurking for a while.

    My grandson’s 2013 1.4 turbo has lots of oil in the header tank. However there is no ‘mayonnaise’ under the cam cover but the waterways are loaded with emulsion and it does lose water.

    I’ve started to strip it out thinking head gasket but the lack of water in the valve train is worrying. It also used a lot of oil very recently so I’m thinking is there a quick way oil can ge to the waterways as it runs fine with no misfires and the plugs all look good.

    I’ve stopped stripping it to do more research.

    Any thought appreciated,


  • #2
    Hi Welcome to the forum, yes there is a way . The seal on the timing chain cover can fail. Theres a H shape gasket that fits all round the timing cover and the back of the water pump. What happens is the rubber bit that seals the back of the water pump breaks down allowing the oil to mix with the coolant. To change the gasket you will need to remove the timing cover and chain as the gasket is behind the timing chain.
    That's why the engine still runs ok, because the oil and coolant are only mixing behind the cover.
    when you've removed the gasket you should see the rubber has broken or separated from the gasket.
    Will try and post a picture up tomorrow of the gasket.
    Last edited by Restorer; 01-03-2022, 11:48 PM.

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    • #3
      Thanks for your quick response Restorer,

      Im nearly ready to remove the timing cover so I’ll have a careful look there. I’ve sent for the locking tool set for the VVT system and a full gasket set c/w chain but I’ll not remove head yet.

      Is this because the oil pump is in the front cover?

      difficult to get at some items so if I can avoid head removal I’ll be well pleased 👍

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      • #4
        Yes no need to remove the head. Yes the oil pump is in the bottom of the timing chain cover. Driven by the crankshaft.

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        • #5
          Thanks again, that’ll save me a lot of work trying to get the inlet tract and exhaust off too!

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          • #6
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            • #7
              Thanks again, so these 2 areas are important to get a good seal. I’m assuming this car doesn’t have a water/oil cooler. I can’t see one but there are an awful lot of wires and pipes under the battery all covered in oily sludge which makes it difficult to trace anything.

              You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sloss View Post
                Thanks again, so these 2 areas are important to get a good seal. I’m assuming this car doesn’t have a water/oil cooler. I can’t see one but there are an awful lot of wires and pipes under the battery all covered in oily sludge which makes it difficult to trace anything.
                What you may want to do before you do a big job, is clean up that area with some brake clean and anywhere elseon the car . I would then change the coolant for fresh stuff and start monitoring it every day to see where leaks etc are coming from.

                Sent from my moto g(8) plus using Tapatalk

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                • #9
                  That’s the plan. I’m taking the rad out to get it cleaned properly. The difficult bit to flush is the block as it has no drain point.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sloss View Post
                    That’s the plan. I’m taking the rad out to get it cleaned properly. The difficult bit to flush is the block as it has no drain point.
                    Yeah I always curse the earth when the blocks don't have drains, you will just have to do the typical coolant flush and have it run clean. Good videos on YouTube

                    Sent from my moto g(8) plus using Tapatalk

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                    • #11
                      I need to know if the 14NEL Turbo engine has an oil cooler. I can’t see one like the diesel has attached to the filter housing.

                      I’m still with Restorer advising it’s the seal behind the front cover but if I take the cover off I’ll drop all this oily water into the sump oil which is not so far contaminated. Dilemma!

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                      • #12
                        Morning, nope there is no oil cooler on the 1.4 petrol. Yes unfortunately when you remove the timing chain cover coolant will run out and down into the sump. You've then got two choices, clean the sump out with cloth on a piece of wire, which is what I do if I'm not pulling the engine.
                        or remove the sump which is stuck on with sealant like super glue, and if you hit it on the wrong place it will crack 🤦‍♂️

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                        • #13
                          Excellent advice 👍 there wasn’t a lot of coolant got into the sump as I made a wick from blue paper and overnight a lot wicked out so a clean with rags on a wire will be the way.
                          I’m not seeing obvious damage on the timing cover gasket but that, as you said, seems the only way to get oil into the coolant without contaminating the whole oil system.
                          I still have the problem of a totally clogged radiator. I’ll see if the local radiator repair guys can do anything. I don’t think re-coring these plastic ones is possible, I may be wrong.
                          Do you recommend priming the oil pump to avoid dry running on start up?

                          thanks again, I’m slowly getting there!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sloss View Post
                            Excellent advice 👍 there wasn’t a lot of coolant got into the sump as I made a wick from blue paper and overnight a lot wicked out so a clean with rags on a wire will be the way.
                            I’m not seeing obvious damage on the timing cover gasket but that, as you said, seems the only way to get oil into the coolant without contaminating the whole oil system.
                            I still have the problem of a totally clogged radiator. I’ll see if the local radiator repair guys can do anything. I don’t think re-coring these plastic ones is possible, I may be wrong.
                            Do you recommend priming the oil pump to avoid dry running on start up?

                            thanks again, I’m slowly getting there!
                            I would personally just change the radiator , I replaced mine a couple years back and not to hard to do at all, and it was only about £35 - £45 for the part of eBay but was the one being sold at euro car parts, + give you some great working room.

                            Sent from my moto g(8) plus using Tapatalk

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                            • #15
                              I called the Rad Repair shop here in Aberdeen. Guy said they don’t do cleaning as they’ve never had much success. I’ve got the rad out but I can’t find the correct one online, seems the turbo car makes a difference.
                              I’ll try Eurocarparts and Dingbro 👍

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