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Thread: Possible head gasket issue?

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  1. Possible head gasket issue? 
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Pontefract, England
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    0 Post(s) Iím recently a new first time owner of a golf mk3 1.4 CL 1H (AEX I think), I bought the car from the second owner who had the car for 1.5 years, the first owner owned it from new. When I purchased the car it had 103,500ish miles on the clock and I have done about 2,000 miles since buying it (1 month ago). The car starts, idles and runs great, I have no issues at all that I can notice while driving.

    However, (From research) The oil pressure light comes on after motor-way/high RPM driving once the revs drop below 1000 but as soon as itís back in gear and revs are over 1000 it goes off, sometimes if flashes, sometimes itís solid. I have tried to read up on this and from what I have read itís a faulty oil pressure switch which I plan to replace.

    Also The coolant light had come on 3 times since buying the car, first when I began to drive the car back from place of purchase (4hr drive away), and then 2 other times recently after long-ish drives. All 3 times I have topped up the coolant with still water (not ideal I know).

    Anyway the main issue I have is that I have white/creamy residue on the underside of the coolant cap and white/creamy residue in a pipe that comes out the left side of the engine and attaches to the air filter on the top of the engine (I believe it is some sort of exhaust heat exchange pipe but not 100% certain).

    People I have spoken to have all said different things: 1, that itís nothing to worry about and 2, that my head gasket has gone/is going and I need to replace it.

    Can anyone give me any advice on what I should do? The oil cap is clean with very clean oil and the dipstick is clean also, nothing out of ordinary. Is it my head gasket or something else?

    The other thing I noticed today was that where my head gasket lives on the engine block it appears to have 2 black strips in between the 2 halfís of the this normal or should it only have 1 black strip?

    I have posted some pictures to help people see what Iím on about and I apologise is advance that I am such a noob with all this but I wanting and willing to learn as I love the car a lot.

    Thanks for any help anyone can give me!

    Phil. IMG_0337.JPGIMG_0329.jpgIMG_0013.JPGIMG_0012.JPGIMG_0011.JPGIMG_0010.JPGIMG_0009.JPG

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  2. Re: Possible head gasket issue? 
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Hi Phil

    Usually when a head gasket goes and there is cross contamination of fluids, the higher pressure water is forced into the lower pressure oil resulting in emulsion on oil cap, etc. Not always the case and occasionally it works the other way around. There doesn't look to be a huge amount of contamination in your coolant and difficult to see if that is emulsion created by oil/water or some other addition such as bars leaks. Check out this utube - HOW TO CHECK FOR A BLOWN HEAD GASKET - YouTube
    Can't comment on the head gasket structure but these are usually a metal wafer so probably only some delamination of the unsupported gasket.
    In your position I would contact the previous owner and get some honest information. Probably too late to ask for any money back or a refund, so be friendly and just ask for honest experience of the car and what work has been done and problems. If you feel able to properly test for head gasket failure which is not that easy, go for it. I think the usual method is a leak down test which requires specialist equipment. In any event I would dump the coolant, flush and renew.
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