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Head Gasket (Think I already know what you're all going to say...)

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  • [Corsa C 2000-2006] Head Gasket (Think I already know what you're all going to say...)

    Matt
    'LS' Member
    Last edited by Matt; 30-07-2014, 05:30 PM.

  • #2
    First thing to check is that you didn't get an airlock in it when that pipe snapped off. They are very prone to airlocks and the temperature going up and down may point in that direction. The coolant you are adding may be due to the airlock clearing, or coolant being ejected but the sudden rise in temperature.

    No oil contamination is a good sign. These often leak coolant into the oil behind the water pump where the timing cover gasket seals the back of the water pump. Mayo in the oil is always present if this happens.

    Top up with antifreeze then let it idle for 15-20 minutes, making sure it doesn't overheat, and put a clear bowl under the tailpipe. Collect the water that drips from the tailpipe. Clear water is usual, that's combustion byproducts condensing out. Coolant coloured water points to HG failure.

    Remember that a small external leak can emit steam at pressure and leave no trace of coolant dripping. Checking with a torch at night makes the steam easier to spot.

    Do not use HG repair snake oil remedies. A does of Radweld to sort a minor external leak is fine. But those remedies for HG failure cause more problems than they are worth.
    1972 Viva restoration thread - http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-b....html#post1534

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    • #3
      Thanks for the advice!

      Okay, I topped the coolant right up and let the engine run for a while. Immediately I spotted something that I never had before... A leak!
      It actually took me by surprise, because it was significant enough for coolant to be dripping at a steady rate under the engine bay.

      It was coming from behind one of the auxiliary belt wheels on the left hand side of the engine. I'm not sure if this is the water/coolant pump, but it seemed about right to me.

      I was a bit naughty, and put in some radweld just in case it was the pump gasket or something, and it seems to have done the trick!

      Obviously I'll have to keep a very close eye on it, but coolant is now staying at the correct level, and engine is staying at a steady temperature.

      Will attempt a proper fix as soon as I have the funds, but for now - this will enable me to drive around and get where I need to go

      New question (perhaps should start a new thread, but I figure there's probably a simple tutorial / link that I haven't been bright enough to find yet.

      One of my brakes / wheels is extremely squeaky when turning slightly to the left. A lot of people have suggested it's an anti-squeal shim that I need to replace? Others have said shove some copper grease on it.
      I've got some copper grease, but don't have the first clue in what to do with it.

      First step - jack the car up.
      Second step - take wheel off.
      And then I get lost...

      [edit] Wasn't overly clear. I mean when I'm driving, the wheel / brake will emit a horrifying squeal as I move forward, but is usually fine when pointing in a straight line or is on full lock. This usually only starts happening after I've been driving for a few minutes, so assuming it's something to do with the heat of the brake pad or something? Also, rather than simply needing copper grease should I look into replacing the pads / disc? Or is that money wasted on pads / discs that shouldn't need replacing yet? [/edit]
      Matt
      'LS' Member
      Last edited by Matt; 03-08-2014, 12:05 PM.

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      • #4
        Ref the auxiliary belt wheels yes your correct that is the water pump and is a simple job if the car doesn't have cambelt and uses timing chain.

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        • #5
          Keep a close eye on that leak, Radweld is good for fixing leak in radiators and pipes, but if the pump bearings are leaking then it won't last long. Just depends where the leak really was.

          In terms of the brake squeal - a sticking pad/caliper can do that. It's simple enough to sort out if you follow the manual - but remember brakes are a safety item, if you're not confident of what you are doing take it to an independent tyre place (NOT Kwik Fit) and ask them to check the brakes for you. There's no way we can tell if the pads/discs are worn to the point of needing replacing since we can't inspect them.
          1972 Viva restoration thread - http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-b....html#post1534

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tanktop View Post
            Ref the auxiliary belt wheels yes your correct that is the water pump and is a simple job if the car doesn't have cambelt and uses timing chain.
            Hmm... All I can say is that it's an '04 Corsa 1.2 Design. As stupid as I may sound, I'm not sure how to check if it's belt or chain.

            Originally posted by Taurus View Post
            Keep a close eye on that leak, Radweld is good for fixing leak in radiators and pipes, but if the pump bearings are leaking then it won't last long. Just depends where the leak really was.

            In terms of the brake squeal - a sticking pad/caliper can do that. It's simple enough to sort out if you follow the manual - but remember brakes are a safety item, if you're not confident of what you are doing take it to an independent tyre place (NOT Kwik Fit) and ask them to check the brakes for you. There's no way we can tell if the pads/discs are worn to the point of needing replacing since we can't inspect them.
            [edit] Just took a look at this video and it's possible that this is the sound my brake(s) are making... Definitely sounds like more of a "squeal" when inside the car, but sometimes sounds like this... [/edit]

            Matt
            'LS' Member
            Last edited by Matt; 03-08-2014, 05:19 PM.

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            • #7
              It's chain

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tanktop View Post
                It's chain
                I did suspect. Awesome!

                Out of curiosity, how often will the chain need to be serviced / replaced?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Matt View Post
                  I did suspect. Awesome!

                  Out of curiosity, how often will the chain need to be serviced / replaced?
                  I've got 110k+ miles on my Corsa B's X10XE that has never been cracked open (other than replacing the water pump) and it doesn't make any unwarranted noises. You can always hear the chain -- its definitely more mechanical sounding than an engine with a rubber belt, but it is the same familiar chain noise that comes from any brand new Vauxhall or VW with a chain engine. If you change the oil frequently (every 5-6k miles) then the chain, camshaft sprockets and plastic tensioners can last a long, long time if not for the maximum life of the car, even if you use fairly cheap 10w40 semi-synthetic like Halfords or GM/AC Delco.

                  If one follows Vauxhall's recommendation of using expensive fully-synthetic longlife 5w30 oil and run it for 20,000 miles like they suggest, then there's no way the chain/gears/tensioner will last. Its impossible to prevent some sludge forming in that that many miles, and the chain's vulnerability is just that-- if a bit of sludge breaks free and blocks the chain's oiling passage, then the chain gets starved of oil and rapid wear occurs. You know the chain needs replacing when the engine sounds like a diesel, or worse.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Matt View Post
                    I did suspect. Awesome!

                    Out of curiosity, how often will the chain need to be serviced / replaced?
                    Don't use fully-synthetic use part-synthetic and ignore anyone that says that is wrong, the oil feeds the chain so when owning my Corsa that is still owned by Vegas on here I did a oil and oil filter change with GM parts every 5,000 again ignore service comments about 20,000 miles or yearly.

                    Look at the oil after a few thousand miles it's black and watery so what is it like after 20,000!!!!! for the price of oil and filter looking after the engine every 5,000 is better than new chain or worse..

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gb33 View Post
                      If you change the oil frequently (every 5-6k miles) then the chain, camshaft sprockets and plastic tensioners can last a long, long time if not for the maximum life of the car...
                      ...If one follows Vauxhall's recommendation of using expensive fully-synthetic longlife 5w30 oil and run it for 20,000 miles like they suggest, then there's no way the chain/gears/tensioner will last...
                      ...You know the chain needs replacing when the engine sounds like a diesel, or worse.
                      Originally posted by tanktop View Post
                      Don't use fully-synthetic use part-synthetic and ignore anyone that says that is wrong, the oil feeds the chain so when owning my Corsa that is still owned by Vegas on here I did a oil and oil filter change with GM parts every 5,000 again ignore service comments about 20,000 miles or yearly.

                      Look at the oil after a few thousand miles it's black and watery so what is it like after 20,000!!!!! for the price of oil and filter looking after the engine every 5,000 is better than new chain or worse..
                      Soooo, it looks like I'll need to do an oil change as soon as I can then! Haha. Last time it was serviced was December. I bought the car at 63,000 miles this March, and it's on 67,000 now. xD

                      Something that's easy to do myself?

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                      • #12
                        Easy to do, just use a genuine GM filter and I agree with the use of semi synthetic oil. I've used both fully synth and semi synth and I prefer semi with frequent changes. It's not just about lubrication, the key thing is the oil's detergents. Old oil stops cleaning and starts leaving deposits.
                        Taurus
                        'VXR' Member
                        Last edited by Taurus; 04-08-2014, 03:46 PM. Reason: Tablet autocorrect is pants
                        1972 Viva restoration thread - http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-b....html#post1534

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                        • #13
                          As Taurus said, easy to do. You will need a T45 (six point star) bit to loosen the plug on the oil sump.

                          Also use a good filter, either a GM/Vx one or a name brand like Bosch, Mann, Wix, etc. -- cheaper filters use dodgy paper that can fall apart and clog the engine.
                          gb33
                          'LS' Member
                          Last edited by gb33; 04-08-2014, 09:45 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Awesome! Thanks for the advice.

                            Just realised today (upon going to renew my tax) that my MOT has just run out too... How the hell I forgot that one, I don't know... But looks like I'm booking that in to be done today.

                            Might as well get them to take a look at everything else whilst the car is there. I'm sure testing / looking at brakes is part of an MOT? Will ask if they can quote for a water pump too. If they're going to be working on the car anyway, y'know...

                            Will let y'all know the outcome

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                            • #15
                              Don't know if you're all still interested, but here's the outcome:

                              MOT failed on exhaust emissions (couldn't test properly because it's blowing). One headlight needs adjusting, and I need a new wheel... Wrong size tyre and rim. (What can I say, funds have been super tight?)

                              But at least they're going to take a look at the water pump too (yay!).

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