My MGF (98 s reg) cut out in a cloud of steam whilst on the M20 on Christmas Day.
The only indication that anything was wrong was that the heater wasnt
working (it worked ok the day before). At the time of the failiure I
was checking the temp guage (the dashboard one, not the central one)
and it was definately normal. After the engine had cooled I checked
the water level and it was empty.
My dad came along with 4 lts of tap water and we filled it up. We
watched it for several minuets and it didnt leak out so we started the
engine (in hindsight I know this could have been a very bad idea!) -
the engine started on the second turn of the key and ran fine, my dad
was watching for steam/smoke etc and there wasnt any so we switched
the engine off and checked the coolent again which had gone down quite
At this stage we took a look at the oil and although we couldnt see
any water mixed with the oil it did look a bit more cloudy than
normal. We decided it wasnt worth risking driving it and got it towed
(eventually!) to the MG garage.
From a quick look online it would seem likely that this is a head
gasket failiure and I have a couple of questions...
1) What is the likely cost...
...If I can get away with just a gasket being replaced? (£900?)
...If the cylinder head also needs skimming? (£1800?)
...If the engine is a write off and needs replacing new or recon?
2) What are the chances of each of the above scenarios given that the
engine ran ok after it had cooled?
3) The car is only worth about £5000 and I was planning on selling it
anyway, would a new engine reduce the value or increase the value?
4) Would 4 lts of tap water reduce the concentration of anti freeze
enough to cause freezing whilst it sits on the garage forecourt
waiting for the garage to open after Xmas? (we have had quite a lot of
frost but no snow)
Thanks for any help!
- posted 15 years ago