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My ford ranger has a suspected head gasket leak, coolant keeps needing topped up, its an expensive repair, has anyone tried the radweld type head gasket sealant that you add to coolant and did it work? Just trying to find a cheaper fix,   Jim.

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Water in the oil would mean the gasket had blown between an oilway and the water jacket. it could just be leaking to outside the head or into the cylinder. If no obvious signs of leaks, look at the exhaust. White smoke - blown head gasket.

Opinion on head gasket sealants seems divided. If it isn't going to worsen the damage - go for it.

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could be a bad rad or pipes pressurise the system up to about 12ft lbs and watch for leaks   cold   check footwells for damp could be heater matrix    hot water evaporates fast    a sludgy rocker cap  and if head gasket in doubt  the temp gauge will fluctuate a test of evilbay     Combustion Leak Tester Kit Head Gasket Block, 30ml Fluid 15 tests Petrol/Diesel | eBay or similar      either way they are not hard to do  about an hour to strip       skim head       an hour to put bask     gaskets and stretch bolts  if you search about about £50  easy to work on       good luck  it could be a perforated rad  

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Thanks guys, no sludge on filler cap or dipstick, in garage this morning to check on a cold start, have noticed the last few mornings that it didn't start as usual, turned over a bit longer and fired up a bit uneven, 

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1 minute ago, scarecrow243 said:

sludge on filler cap dose not mean head gasket gone as most think it does cold starts and short journeys cause filler cap to have sludge 

Correct. 

I had a head gasket replaced on my car and the filler cap continued to sludge up. Short journeys did not help matters. Once I had given the car a decent motorway run and cleaned the filler cap it was never as bad.

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White/grey smoke and a poor start up can also be a sign of an injector starting to throw in the towel. head gasket leaks often only get noticed when your water temperature goes through the roof, by that point the oil turns to clotted cream and your stuck til the tow truck arrives. On the plus side of it boils off into a cylinder then that's going to be one clean bore! Best to get it fixed before the catastrophic stage.

33 minutes ago, JDog said:

Correct. 

I had a head gasket replaced on my car and the filler cap continued to sludge up. Short journeys did not help matters. Once I had given the car a decent motorway run and cleaned the filler cap it was never as bad.

Sludge and crud on a filler cap can also be a sign of a PCV valve issue. I had a seat Ibiza and thought the head gasket had died, turned out the pcv valve was stuck shut and the crankcase pressure was just constantly ruining the oil and leaving residue on the filler cap and minging up the air filter.

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Hello, most vauxhall engines have yellow sludge in the oil filler cap, it is not a sign of water in engine, 

1 hour ago, wigeon jim said:

Thanks guys, no sludge on filler cap or dipstick, in garage this morning to check on a cold start, have noticed the last few mornings that it didn't start as usual, turned over a bit longer and fired up a bit uneven, 

hello, any loss of coolant ? 

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Just my opinion if you are loosing water and it's starts not so well in mornings it's water getting into bores overnight ,if it starts but lumpy it's burning water before clearing it's self to burn diesel. So my opinion if you get it pressure checked at garage it should show that . Plus it will leak any other places under pressure.

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8 hours ago, Saltings said:

either way they are not hard to do  about an hour to strip       skim head       an hour to put bask     gaskets and stretch bolts  if you search about about £50  easy to work on 

:lol: You owe me a new keyboard !

You might have been accurate if we were talking about a MK 1 or 2 escort OHV engine, but Im going to cut you some slack and bet you havent worked on cars for a while.

The more recent Rangers have cam chains, that need removing before the head comes off, injector pump ect timing up ,then the masses of ancillaries, wiring on modern engines...Its not a job for the casual mechanic.
Parts, off the top of my head would be around £350 alone, and around 10 hours labour for someone that knows what theyre doing, you could knock a bit off if its the older belted engine, but still requires special tooling and expertise.
Your £50 in parts wouldnt change the oil and filter, which it definitely needs.

I would expect a bill of £1000-1500 depending on labour rates and area.

Additives like Celit work temporarily if the leak isnt bad, but often block up other areas of the water system, causing further problems.
I wouldnt use it if you are considering doing it properly and replacing the gasket later, new rads and pipes are expensive.

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1 hour ago, Rewulf said:

 You owe me a new keyboard !

You might have been accurate if we were talking about a MK 1 or 2 escort OHV engine, but Im going to cut you some slack and bet you havent worked on cars for a while.

The more recent Rangers have cam chains, that need removing before the head comes off, injector pump ect timing up ,then the masses of ancillaries, wiring on modern engines...Its not a job for the casual mechanic.
Parts, off the top of my head would be around £350 alone, and around 10 hours labour for someone that knows what theyre doing, you could knock a bit off if its the older belted engine, but still requires special tooling and expertise.
Your £50 in parts wouldnt change the oil and filter, which it definitely needs.

I would expect a bill of £1000-1500 depending on labour rates and area.

Additives like Celit work temporarily if the leak isnt bad, but often block up other areas of the water system, causing further problems.
I wouldnt use it if you are considering doing it properly and replacing the gasket later, new rads and pipes are expensive.

Some of the prices for car work now are truly eye watering. My wife just took her disco sport to LR. It's a drive in heated garage that opens on command. It was £180 to look at the car and find the oil leak (its only 3 1/2 years old. It was a leaking transfer box (?) oil seal and the bill will be £880 plus vat. Fortunately LR picked up the bill. 

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41 minutes ago, oowee said:

Fortunately LR picked up the bill. 

So they should.
Warranty of say 3 years is only half the story, the vehicle and its parts have to last a 'reasonable' length of time before failure, in this case (Im assuming low to average mileage) a transfer box seal should last longer than 3.5 years.
This goes for a lot of other parts too , engines , gearboxes , as long as you can show serviced, and not above average miles, should last beyond the warranty given.
A friend of mine had a 10 year old Peugeot 807 , his cam belt snapped, but after some debate , Peugeot put him a new engine in FOC , due to the car only covering 40,000 miles , and being main dealer serviced.

 

48 minutes ago, oowee said:

Some of the prices for car work now are truly eye watering.

Tell me about it , anothers friends BMW M5 supplied by the local Sytners dealership, he kerbed it, took it in for a quote.
A wheel £1000
Steering rack £3000
Lower arm and subframe, various pans, £4500
With labour the bill was £15000

They charged £200 for a lovely video that accompanied the quote.

I refurbed the wheel, fitted a new bottom arm and some of the pans, the steering rack and subframe were completely undamaged.
Checked with a 4 wheel alignment, his bill was just under £2000

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Sounds like crack between the valves it will be sluggish to start I would bet it’s on number one cylinder it’s getting water in over night making it hard work on starting we use to see this a lot in scrap yard when we stripped engines down we used to check them as we sold them on.

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Hi all, garage check today they bypassed some type of water cooled valve on Side of the block and left it all day but on starting it again a 5.00 pm , it was just the same, hydrologicing they called it, even only running a few seconds there's a little pressure in the radiator, not looking good, it's a December 2009 ford ranger with 108.000 miles so don't know if it worth the repairs or just sell it as is, 

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