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paulwakinshaw

Original Poster:

436 posts

124 months

[news] 
Saturday 24th April 2004 quote quote all
Hi Chaps

Can anyone tell me the first signs of HGF? what should i expect to see (if anything) hear etc?......

Any help is great

Paul

Bonce

4,339 posts

163 months

[news] 
Saturday 24th April 2004 quote quote all
It can fail in different ways. Common signs are either a puddle of coolant under the car, low or empty header tank, white gunk in your oil or odd looking coolant.

What are your symptoms?

Martin_S

9,939 posts

129 months

[news] 
Saturday 24th April 2004 quote quote all
early symptoms are loss of coolant, overheating (sometimes intermittent - ie. the temperature will rocket, but if you switch off and let it cool it will behave itself for a while before the problem reccurs).

Later symtoms are 'mayonaise' on the underside of the oil filler cap and/or in the oil itself.

Final, and terminal, symptoms when the gasket really blows are that the temperature will go off the scale, you will trail a huge cloud of steam from the exhaust - the result of coolant actually entering the cylinders - and the oil will be converted to something resembling cold, milky coffee (actually an emulsion of oil and coolant).

Try not to let it get that far, as there is a much increased risk of the cylinder head warping, possible bearing damage from running on the contaminated oil, and even if the bearings and bottom end survive, you will need to flush the oil several times to clear the contamination.

Martin_S

9,939 posts

129 months

[news] 
Saturday 24th April 2004 quote quote all
I should add that if you are getting early symptoms, or merely suspect a HGF, some garages will be able to do a chemical test of the coolant which will confirm or disprove your suspicions, for about a tenner.

paulwakinshaw

Original Poster:

436 posts

124 months

[news] 
Saturday 24th April 2004 quote quote all
Thanks for the advice guys

My symptons are as follows....

on starting the car I always leave it to warm up for a couple of minutes just to get some heat in the engine. At about 50-60 degrees C there is always steam exiting the exhaust and to such an extent that water forms on the tail pipes.

At normal temperature (ie:80-85) this stops happening. I thought the problem might be the HG because when the engine is cold the gasket will contract away from the block and head causing a small hole/crack in the gasket to be more exposed hence water through the cylinder and into the system and out the exhaust. But obviously when the block and head are up to normal temperatue this possible crack in the gasket will be sandwiched hence no leaks.

The other thing that really made me think the gasket was going was that when the engine is warming up the tick over is quite lumpy and I thought that water was causing the ignition to be watered down and missing the spark.

There is no Mayo under the filler cap and no other signs that I can see. The coolant is nice and green as it was changed 2 months ago but the reason it was changed was because the temp went off the scale and popped the coolant bottle pressure cap and popped the hose of the radiator, could this have been an early warning sign?

do all K16 engines make a some steam on warm up? My mates does so i'm still none the wiser.

Just one thing to add, i could understand the steam if the car has been in the garage unused for a few days or longer but it happens even if i run it up to full temp let it cool for an hour then warm it up again.

confusion - oh yes!

Best regards

Paul
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elise_s1

1 posts

124 months

[news] 
Saturday 24th April 2004 quote quote all
no direct reply, but you may find my page of some interest:
http://web.tiscali.it/elise_s1/
cheers
Carlo

Martin_S

9,939 posts

129 months

[news] 
Sunday 25th April 2004 quote quote all
All engines steam to some extent, though I've not noticed it as being particularly prominent on my Elise.

Maybe high moisture content in fuel?

Doesn't sound like HGF, though.

aromaT

884 posts

129 months

[news] 
Sunday 25th April 2004 quote quote all
sounds completely normal.

fuel burns to CO2 and H2O, so you;re bound to see the "steam" until the engine and exhaust get so hot it vapourizes.

Not like any HGF I've ever heard of, and probably INGF if it's anything at all (which I doubt).

cheers

paulwakinshaw

Original Poster:

436 posts

124 months

[news] 
Sunday 25th April 2004 quote quote all
INGF..........? whats that then?

fergusd

1,236 posts

154 months

[news] 
Sunday 25th April 2004 quote quote all
All engines steam, all engines produce vast amounts of water vapour, I think in the Elise it is more visible because the exhaust system is very short in comparison to tedious tintops, hence you see the vapour before it gets condensed inside the exhaust.

Gas check for hydrocarbons in the coolant header tank is the best test for HGF.

K16 engines almost NEVER suffer from coolant in the oil (or vice versa) {ie. mayonnaise} it's 99% of the time combustion gas in the coolant that's the problem - ie. overpressurised cooling systems/coolant loss/etc

Fd

telecat

6,883 posts

125 months

[news] 
Monday 26th April 2004 quote quote all
All My "K" Series egines have done that seems to happen when the engine is warming up. Noticed it on a lot a "catted" cars as well.

hazza123

1 posts

67 months

[news] 
Friday 23rd January 2009 quote quote all
Hi there,

Can someone help me with looking for head gasket failure? Ive got a Renault 19 16v phase 2 which ive had two months and its not yet been on the road. When i start it up its a bit smokey but it does seem to clear when it warms up. Its also collecting water at the end of the tailpipe, is this because it has been sitting for 2 months? The coolant looks ok to me and the car isnt heating up really fast when its just idleing but on the bottom of the oil filler cap there is a tiny amount of faint white residue but no sludge or anything. Does the car just need a good driving once it is insured? If someone could let me know i would be very greatful.

Gad-Westy

6,774 posts

97 months

[news] 
Saturday 24th January 2009 quote quote all
hazza123 said:
Hi there,

Can someone help me with looking for head gasket failure? Ive got a Renault 19 16v phase 2 which ive had two months and its not yet been on the road. When i start it up its a bit smokey but it does seem to clear when it warms up. Its also collecting water at the end of the tailpipe, is this because it has been sitting for 2 months? The coolant looks ok to me and the car isnt heating up really fast when its just idleing but on the bottom of the oil filler cap there is a tiny amount of faint white residue but no sludge or anything. Does the car just need a good driving once it is insured? If someone could let me know i would be very greatful.
Yes to your questions. Condensation forms when a car is left for a while. That would explain both the exhaust and white deposit. Yes, they can be signs of HGF as well but this sounds unlikely given what you've said about the car standing for a while.

cyberface

12,213 posts

141 months

[news] 
Saturday 24th January 2009 quote quote all
Re: K series engines - there's a lot of spurious misinformation on thar intarnets. Save to say old chap - don't worry about your HGF until your head gasket fails, hope that helps

Gad-Westy

6,774 posts

97 months

[news] 
Saturday 24th January 2009 quote quote all
cyberface said:
Re: K series engines - there's a lot of spurious misinformation on thar intarnets. Save to say old chap - don't worry about your HGF until your head gasket fails, hope that helps
This is absolute best advice you can take with regard to HGF. If you believe everything you read on the internet, you wouldn't dare fart in the car for fear of HGF. As soon as you ditch the HGF paranoia and stop watching the temp gauge the car becomes 10 times as enjoyable.

cyberface

12,213 posts

141 months

[news] 
Saturday 24th January 2009 quote quote all
Gad-Westy said:
cyberface said:
Re: K series engines - there's a lot of spurious misinformation on thar intarnets. Save to say old chap - don't worry about your HGF until your head gasket fails, hope that helps
This is absolute best advice you can take with regard to HGF. If you believe everything you read on the internet, you wouldn't dare fart in the car for fear of HGF. As soon as you ditch the HGF paranoia and stop watching the temp gauge the car becomes 10 times as enjoyable.
And the irony is that I never enjoyed my Super 160 S1 - constantly worrying about the water temp (which overheated multiple times in traffic, cue instant panic)... until I came back to the Elise fold with a VX220 Turbo, which has an iron-blocked bulletproof engine where the water temp isn't a problem until it goes above 120˚C hehe After that was thoroughly delightful to drive, with the 'Lotus paranoia' truly banished I'm now in an S2 Exige S and the engine 'feels' even more 'Toyota shopping car' reliable than the Astra engine in the VXT. Happy days...

You're right about the internet fear-mongering though. If I hadn't had access to the Elise forums when I had the S1, I'd probably have enjoyed it a damn sight more...

Very glad I stuck with it and came back though. Absolutely awesome cars, including the VX.

kevin ritson

3,423 posts

111 months

[news] 
Saturday 24th January 2009 quote quote all
cyberface said:
And the irony is that I never enjoyed my Super 160 S1 - constantly worrying about the water temp (which overheated multiple times in traffic, cue instant panic)... until I came back to the Elise fold with a VX220 Turbo, which has an iron-blocked bulletproof engine where the water temp isn't a problem until it goes above 120˚C hehe After that was thoroughly delightful to drive, with the 'Lotus paranoia' truly banished I'm now in an S2 Exige S and the engine 'feels' even more 'Toyota shopping car' reliable than the Astra engine in the VXT. Happy days...
Hope the paranoia stays away through Eau Rouge or the banking at Rockingham wink

cyberface

12,213 posts

141 months

[news] 
Sunday 25th January 2009 quote quote all
kevin ritson said:
cyberface said:
And the irony is that I never enjoyed my Super 160 S1 - constantly worrying about the water temp (which overheated multiple times in traffic, cue instant panic)... until I came back to the Elise fold with a VX220 Turbo, which has an iron-blocked bulletproof engine where the water temp isn't a problem until it goes above 120˚C hehe After that was thoroughly delightful to drive, with the 'Lotus paranoia' truly banished I'm now in an S2 Exige S and the engine 'feels' even more 'Toyota shopping car' reliable than the Astra engine in the VXT. Happy days...
Hope the paranoia stays away through Eau Rouge or the banking at Rockingham wink
Go on then <<tries to work out what the joke is>> OK, I'm guessing you're alluding to oil starvation / cavitation in fast corners, right, with the Toyota engine likely to fail in these circumstances??

Come on, you know that we lardy S2 Exige drivers (hell, my Exige S is heavier than my VXT was, and I took a right battering over on SELOC for choosing the Vauxhall) couldn't possibly pull as high lateral Gs as you 'true believer' K series owners hehe All engines have their weaknesses, if I become a fast enough driver to risk lubrication problems with the Toyota motor then I'm sure there are upgrades available (accusump, etc.)? Or am I doomed, and need to either replace the motor with the Astra Z20LEH block or copy all the S1 guys and go Honda? wink

kevin ritson

3,423 posts

111 months

[news] 
Sunday 25th January 2009 quote quote all
cyberface said:
All engines have their weaknesses
Absolutely - don't worry about it and just drive it thumbup

Andy2005

5 posts

53 months

[news] 
Thursday 15th April 2010 quote quote all
The radiator on my 111S started spraying mist droplets over the windscreen so I had the radiator replaced at 45000 miles.It's a lousy design that relies on crimping aluminium over plastic end tanks to keep the water in-which it doesn't.

1300 miles later the head gasket went.

I'm no mechanic but it strikes me that the cooling system in these cars runs at too high a pressure and the coolant will therefore find the weakest point to escape which is the radiator.Having fixed that the next weakest point is the cylinder head gasket.

I had no overheatng symptoms,no steam from the exhaust,no gunge in the water bottle or on the dipstick,the water was escaping not into the combustion areas or oilways but at the external edge of the engine where the casing is very thin.

The K series engine no doubt appealed to Lotus because it is powerful yet lightweight but it simply is not a strong enough unit.




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